By Louis May
I am gay. I seek to love God and others within the particular context of the Roman Catholic Church.
Lately, however, the words, “Face it. The Church is just not that into you,” have presented themselves annoyingly and persistently in my own consciousness. Friends have asked why I choose to stay in relationship with a Church that is at times openly hostile to gay people.
When someone is in a relationship that just isn’t working or worse, shouldn’t be working, one often is told the words “Face it. He’s just not that into you.” If you’re the one in love with someone, hearing these words is never welcome. Usually such advice, however well intentioned, is ignored and the potentially bad relationship continues.
It may well be that the majority of Christians in Church professions, whether clergy or laity, are “not that into us.” It doesn’t matter. I will remain open to the possibility of dialogue with them.
I suppose my answer to the critique of why I choose to remain Roman Catholic while being gay lies in how I understand the Catholic Church. Too often the Church is viewed as a hierarchy: pope at the top, then cardinals and bishops, next the clergy, and finally at the bottom the laity. This view is the one that creates many problems, and among the many examples is the perception that the Church is hostile to gay people. It is a view focused largely on the temporal rather than the spiritual.
Within the Church there are indeed many people. Some of them seek to make a professional career within the organization. Someone has to manage the many temporal aspects of the Church: record keeping; constructing and maintaining buildings like churches, offices, schools, hospitals, parish halls; and communications, such as traditional media, parish bulletins, as well social media in all its forms. Until recently, the majority of such Christians in Church professions refused to use the word “gay.” They make it seem like “the Church is just not that into you,” and that I cannot belong to the Church.
However, the Church is defined as the People of God, the Body of Christ, the Temple of the Holy Spirit. I am among the People of God, I am a member of the Body of Christ, and by virtue of my baptism, I am a Temple of the Holy Spirit. Thus, I am part of the Church like everyone else. Why would, or perhaps, more importantly, how could I ever cut myself off from it? I am part of it, and it is part of me.
It may well be that the majority of Christians in Church professions, whether clergy or laity, are “not that into us.” It doesn’t matter. I will remain open to the possibility of dialogue with them. I rejoice in the dialogue and support of the many pastors who do support us: one in particular, who will always be in my heart, who stated that God loves us, the church loves us and that he loves us. I will never forget his personal declaration of love.
I will not leave the Church because of disagreements, no matter how great they are among some of its members.
God opened the door of relationship with our humanity. Through the Incarnation, God is really “into us.”