Thursday, May 1, 2014

Catholic conversations about gender, celibacy and homosexuality

Marc, the "Bad Catholic," has a "TOB in a Nutshell" post on his blog, under the title "Sexuality and Personality." The post addresses some pretty fundamental issues (heck, you got that from the title, didn't you?) as well as the very current, very complicated questions that people have only started asking recently--for example, what does it mean that "male and female he created them" when we know someone who experiences life from a transgender perspective?  What would happen if we got rid of concepts like "man" and "woman"?

Here's a sample; go read the rest:
In an imaginary world of only women, there would be no women. For on what ground would “woman” take on any meaning, any demarcation of identity, besides (perhaps) a being who is not a plant, not a fish, and not a bicycle? So too, a man is only a man in any meaningful sense in his relation to women.

Today Huffington Post highlighted the appeal of a priest who wants a dispensation from his vow of celibacy; he doesn't want to leave the priesthood, though. He's hoping Pope Francis will let him have it both ways. The show host did not get all her facts straight (see how many erroneous statements you can spot!), but she did invite Byzantine Father Thomas Loya to speak about priestly celibacy. Which he proceeded to do with more clarity than the host knew what to do with. Note especially how Father Loya explains that the Byzantine liturgy requires periodic celibacy even of married priests: there is an "eschatological" (life-of-the-world-to-come) dimension to the Liturgy that celibacy expresses:

Then this past Sunday a half-hour documentary was released that is addressed in a special way to people who experience same-sex attraction. There will no doubt be many gay people who will be outraged by a film that claims that the Catholic Church has anything to offer them, but the people in the film (all have impeccable gay bona-fides) tell a different story. Watch it here, or go to the Blackstone page to see, share, comment. Gay or straight, seeing this movie could be a moment of grace for someone you love--or for you.

The Third Way from Blackstone Films on Vimeo.

Brandon Vogt interviews Father John Hollowell about The Third Way
Abbey Roads critiques the title and offers a helpful interpretation