Tom, who uploaded the above video on 4 May 2011, is a Catholic boy from Liverpool in England. Notice his inner struggles when discovering he is gay. Fortunately for him, his family rallied round. But where was the official support from the Church? People cannot help being homosexual. They are created like that by God who shapes all of us through the process of evolution. And, since we are all are made for love, why should gays and lesbians be forbidden to enjoy intimacy and love? The Church still condemns all sexual homosexual acts as ‘intrinsically disordered’ and’ condemned by Scripture as a serious depravity’.
Prof John J. McNeill
In 1997, I was ordered to silence by the Vatican on the issue of homosexuality. This order came as the result of my book ‘The Church and the Homosexual’, which argued that loving gay or lesbian relationships between consenting adults should be acceptable in the Church. Since I was given that order formally under the vow of obedience to which I had freely committed myself on entering the Society of Jesus, all my spiritual training led me to accept that order and obey. And for almost a decade, I did my best to abide by that order to silence. I did not speak publicly or write anything concerning homosexuality. . . .
Finally it was clear to me what my decision must be. I wrote to my religious superior in 1985 : “God has called me to a ministry of compassion to gay people and I cannot in conscience renounce that ministry.” That refusal to obey the Vatican’s latest order brought with it a rather surprising grace of real peace and joy. I had struggled for nine years to discern whether my silence was following the will of God according to my vows as a Jesuit, or if it were instead cowardice and fear of the consequences of disobedience . . . I became convinced that gay people needed a spokesperson and defender in the Catholic Church who from personal experience could fearlessly speak the truth about gayness.
McNeill was expelled from the Jesuit Order in 1987. Read more here.
Father C Robert Nugent
I do not believe that God regards homosexuality as a ‘sin’ if homosexuality means the psychosexual identity of lesbians or gay persons, which we know from contemporary scientific studies is within the boundaries of healthy, human psychological development, and which seems to be as natural for some people as heterosexuality is for others. If homosexuality means the emotional, intimate bonding in same-gender relationships of love and friendship, I believe that since God is love, where there is authentic love, God is present.
Sister Jeannine Gramick, SSND, and Father Robert Nugent, SDS, were engaged in pastoral activities directed toward homosexual persons for many years. In 1977 they founded the organisation New Ways Ministry in the Archdiocese of Washington in order to promote “justice and reconciliation between lesbian and gay Catholics and the wider Catholic community”. They wrote the book Building Bridges: Gay and Lesbian Reality and the Catholic Church (1992) and editedVoices of Hope: A Collection of Positive Catholic Writings on Gay and Lesbian Issues (1995).
Their pastoral experience and academic studies convinced them that it was not correct to judge homosexual acts ‘intrisically evil’ or the homosexual inclination ‘objectively disordered’. They also called into question the definitive and unchangeable nature of present Catholic doctrine regarding homosexuality.
In 1984 Cardinal Hickey of Washington forbade them to operate in his archdiocese. Also the Congregation for Religious put pressure on their Congregations to remove them from their apostolate among homosexuals. A series of further examinations of their life and beliefs followed.
Then, in May 1999, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith condemned them once more. “Sister Jeannine Gramick, SSND, and Father Robert Nugent, SDS, are permanently prohibited from any pastoral work involving homosexual persons”.
Read here: the theological debate on homosexuality;
Sister Gramick’s account;
scientific findings about homosexuality.