I saw Fr. James Martin’s video about the Orlando terrorist attack and I meant to say something about it but didn’t get to it because eighth grade graduation and all that. Now, I’m glad I didn’t. Because Eliot Milco of First Things did.
And he does it well. It’s not a takedown. And that’s what I like about it. It’s well thought out and loving.
To catch you up, Fr. Martin posted a vid essentially chiding the American bishops for not expressing support specifically for “the LGBT community” in their responses to the murders in Orlando. Mind you, many bishops did offer words of condolence but most didn’t specifically mention that particular community.
Eliot Milco writes:
Fr. Martin’s video is a great example of his thoroughgoing humaneness and care for words. He says what he means, and makes clear as always that he deeply means what he says. He is nonetheless wrong, and I think his statement is misleading and uncharitable to the bishops in question.
What does it mean to be “gay” or “LGBT”? This question could be answered in many different ways: according to sexual preference, behavior, orientation, identity, psychology, biology, lifestyle, etc. There can be no question, though, that at present the label “LGBT” and its components represent more than simply a fact about the dispositions, lifestyles, or biologies of various individuals. They represent a highly developed political and anthropological ideology, which makes hard claims about human nature and desire, morality, the structure of the family, and the proper use of bodies.
To be clear, everyone who identifies with any of the labels that go into “LGBTQ…” is worthy of our love, our sympathy, and our solidarity in their quest (with all Christians) for the truth, for justice, and for eternal happiness. But what we share with our brethren on account of our common humanity does not nullify what divides us in terms of our choices and beliefs about happiness, justice, and the truth.
And so, here’s the rub: The Catholic Church and the LGBT Community have divergent understandings of human nature, personal identity, the proper use of bodies, and the requirements for happiness. As Fr. Martin rightly points out, Catholics treat the LGBT Community as “other”—not because the Church wishes to exclude members of the LGBT Community from the mercy of Christ, induction into the Church, or eventual participation in the Sacraments (on the contrary, this is one of our great hopes), but because the beliefs, practices, politics, and morals proposed by the LGBT Community as an ideological bloc are fundamentally inimical to the primary end of man.
You can read the whole thing here. I don’t want to be THAT GUY and steal the whole thing.
The Church is open to ALL. And that’s a great, beautiful, and wonderful thing about the Catholic Church. We are all sinners. It is specifically because we are not labeled by our sin that the Church calls out to us as human beings loved by God, our Creator.