October 18, 2007

Out There

It seems that Cardinal George's feathers have been ruffled by DePaul University's courageous hosting of the 2nd annual Out There connference. The conference, which seeks to "address a wide range of issues of relevance to LGBTQ faculty, staff, and students at Catholic institutions, from nuts-and-bolts organizing in student services to the place of LGBTQ Studies at Catholic universities and the challenges of Catholic identity for LGBTQ individuals," will be held Oct. 19th and 20th.

Cardinal George's concern? That some of the speakers might "move from reflection to advocacy," in suggesting that LGBTQ Catholics press for changes in the moral law or form groups that ignore the magisterium. In my opinion, we don't need to form groups that ignore the hierarchy — most Catholics have been doing that already for ages, particulary on matters of sex. Furthermore, to reduce the entire conference to a focus on whether or not LGTBQ Catholics are encouraged to "live chastely" is yet another example of the church's failure to see the myriad of issues that affect LGBTQ Catholics and focus on sex as a "grave sin."

George's recent Archdiocesan article reads like an admonishment of anyone who would give pastoral support to LGBTQ Catholics without making it clear to them that they are expected to live celibately. Not only does he posit this as the Catholic moral code, but he goes so far as to state that "even non-religious" accept "the sexual complementarity of men and women is built into the morphology of our bodies and into the very purpose of sexual acts." So anything other than the perfect yin-yang of man-woman is therefore a mortal sin? Wouldn't celibacy therefore also be a sin, since it negates the "perfect union" that God has calls us to? And if not, is repression what God demands of anyone with the "inclinations" that Cardinal George fears "put our salvation at risk?" Has George learned nothing from the scandals that have rocked the Church these past years?

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