Catholic campus society invited everyone to a gay Pastor giving a talk

We have a Catholic Society on campus. I was a part of it - on of the leaders - but I resigned for a few reasons that I won’t go into a few days ago. This morning the President of the society sent out this message to everybody:

Sometimes in life it is good to challenge one’s views on taboo issues in ones faith. Today there will be a talk by Jane Doe [yes a woman], a gay Protestant pastor.
The idea behind the session is to create a safe space where a small group can listen to the story/stories of gay people of faith and maybe engage with the stories from their own perspective. We are planning to create an interactive space for engagement with stories. If you have ever had issues reconciling your sexuality with your faith, this is a space to come to and find out how others have resolved their concerns.

Am I right to be concerned about this? I am thinking of saying something to the President for a few reasons:

  1. Challenge ones views is a very odd thing to say in light of the Truth that our Church teaches. It would be like saying “hey lets go to a Satanism talk so that we get challenged on our view that Jesus is God”.
  2. Scandal. A female “pastor” who identifies as homosexual. As Catholics I don’t believe we should be thinking this is okay and good.
  3. The nature of the event. “Reconciling sexuality with faith” - what does that mean? If it means teaching that we are called to chastiy, and teaching Catholic truth then yes this is a good thing. However, I highly doubt it will be like that. In fact, I have no doubts it will be the exact opposite.

What do you guys think? I am friends with the President of the society, so I can chat to him, but I really am quite angered and worried about this.

Edit: Oh, and I forgot, this event is organized by, and sponsored, by the LBGT/Homosexual Society.

I think you are very right to be concerned about this and I would report it to your Pastor and if he doesn’t take action, then report it to your Bishop.

Unless this woman is going to talk about celibacy, it is not a good thing.

You think I should? I have a feeling my Pastor would support it sadly :blush:

Indeed. And what I think angers and disturbs me is that this is not something that should be promoted without due prudential judgement viz. having previously attended the exact same talk/seminar/meeting and leaving with the impression that it is good and okay for Catholics.
Instead, I believe this event will try and give a soft Christianity, selectively quote verses and spin them and then build up a few strawmen and knock them down and perhaps talk about how certain Christians “hate” gays.

What concerns me is that the announcement seems rather vague. Exactly what is being challenged? It could be Church teaching; or it could be the attitudes of some people who hate people for being homosexual whether they are living chastely or not.

Personally, I’d ask for clarification.

Well it was a general email to all Catholics on campus [who are part of the society at least] which is why it’s very, very poor judgement call. Even if I ask for clarification, others will be confused.

This announcement uses language which has the hallmarks of liberal/secular/indifferent/agnostic/modernist Christianity. A really big red signal light was the use of the phrase “taboo issues” in the faith. They treat the faith like a political party or a modern democratic society of mere civil morality. The message is phrased in such a way that it downgrades Truth from divine writ to opinion. It reduces the Catholic position to a political platform that “needs to be changed” because it’s intolerant, old-fashioned, and so on and so on. A true Roman Catholic believes that these issues of morality are not Church opinion, but divine writ indeed.

I am very saddened and disturbed by this shocking lack of masculinity. They’ll invite anyone to talk about anything. :eek:

If it were in the context of debate (Catholic versus liberal Christianity) it might be all right, but it sounds like the Catholic organization supports that lifestyle, and hopes to give homosexuals who are Christian a license to remain homosexual.

What is meant by: “create an interactive space for engagement with stories”?

Seriously, it sounds like pre-school. Storybook, cookies and milk, and nappy time.

Apparently a website is to be created. If the contributing gay people are really ‘people of faith’, and remain celibate, than there is no problem. If they work to silence their and other’s conscience, than christian men and women have no place there.

Ah, web-speak. Got it. Why not just invite all the campus Catholic club members to join CAF?

No, it’s not a website it’s an actual event - I think the word interactive is throwing you off there :stuck_out_tongue: They mean interactive not as in new media [internet] they mean it as in “everybody chats about it and it’s hands on”.

Would be great if everybody were on CAF :D. Anyway, this event is not being organized by the Christian body, least of all the Catholic student body. It’s organized by the Homosexual Society ---- our President of the Catholic Society for some reason thought it was a good idea and hence sent out invites to Catholics [the invite which I quoted].

… or as in “I don’t have enough prepared material to fill the whole time alloted?”

This is satanic. I think you should report this to the Bishop.

Before we go off shooting our machine guns, let’s look at this through the eyes of Jesus himself.

  1. This is a campus activity. Therefore, unless it’s a diocesan university or a diocesan college, the bishop has no jurisdiction. Catholics should know this by now. Bishops have no authority over schools that they do not own. For the bishop to intervene would be an abuse of power.

  2. The bishop has authority over the diocesan clergy that works for him and over the laity in his diocese. A college campus, a Catholic high school that is not diocesan is outside of his jurisdiction. Think of it the way that you would think of an embassy in your city. It may be in your city, but it’s not your country. Therefore, what happens in the embassy is out of your control as much as you would like to fix it. It is important not to impose on bishops what is contrary to Christ’s law for them.

  3. The announcement may have been written by a student. Reading it, I can say that it is very poorly worded. It employs a lot of jargon incorrectly. God only knows that the person is trying to say or what the person understands these words to mean.

  4. Asking someone to speak on how he or she reconciles his or her sexual orientation with his or her faith is not a sin. The Church does it all the time. That’s how we learn. These conversations are held at the Vatican and at Pontifical universities around the world. In order to develop a pastoral plan to serve the spiritual needs of people with same sex attraction, the Church has had to sit down and listen to them and to their spiritual needs from their point of view. That’s how the Church came out with the official document on the pastoral care of homosexual persons. That’s how the Church came to the conclusion that being homosexual is not a sin, but homosexual activity is. She listened. She heard and she reflected on what she heard against the backdrop of Sacred Tradition. If it were a sin to listen to someone tell his or her story, then the popes and the Sacred Congregation for the Faith and every Pontifical University and Pontifical School of Theology has sinned. Christ looks at the Church’s need to understand and at the individual’s need to be heard. There is no moral prohibition here.

  5. In the worse case scenario, the person may say that she feels that it is justified to actively engage in same sex behavior. The audience does not have to buy into it. That’s her position, not the position of the Church. What is of interest to the learner is how she arrived at this position. Even when a person is in error, it is important to understand their thought process. If we want to be like Christ and help people correct their errors, it helps to understand where their logic falls apart.

It would have been much clearer if the announcement has simply said that there is a Protestant Lesbian Pastor who will share how she deals with her same sex attraction along her journey of faith. Then leave it at that. This way, you’re not endorsing her way of life. What you’re doing is inviting the students and faculty to hear someone’s story.

All of us hear people’s stories all the time, usually in more informal settings. People tell us about their marriage, divorce and remarriage. They tell us about their abortions. They speak to us about their infidelity to Church teaching. Just because we listen does not mean that we’re endorsing. We’re listening. We’re trying to understand the other person the same way that Christ understands him or her. We’re not going to pat them on the back for their errors. Christ listens to the woman at the well, but he does not pat her on the back. However, he tries to understand her and to show her that he’s interested in her story.

I hear these stories every day in my ministry. I don’t endorse any of them. However, as a son of St. Francis, I listen with the same ears that Francis listened with. If I am going to respond in a way that is appropriate and effective, it helps to understand the person’s struggles, the person’s mental processes and to pay close attention to where their logic falls apart.

I’ll close by saying that the announcement is poorly worded. I have no idea why. I can only guess that the person who wrote it does not know how to use this language correctly, because it’s all wrong.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

This point does not seems o work. There are people with homosexual attractions, and Sr Augustine’s and the bad example may attract them. We do not want to understand how the homosexual convinced themselves that their lifestyle is acceptable. We do not want to understand the Casanova’s neither, so this is not against the homosexuality, this is for our safety.

We shall keep away from sexual aberrations.

I’m confused as to exactly who is organising this event and who is inviting others to attend.

NewsTheMan, is this organised by the LBGT/Homosexual Society, who sent copies of the notice of the meeting to other campus societies? Or is it organised by the LBGT/Homosexual Society and hosted by the Catholic society? Did the President of the Catholic Society simply forward a message he received from another campus Society, in a fyi sort of way?

You may not wish to understand and that’s fine. It’s your right to make that choice. Many of us do want to understand. Most of us are not threatened by listening, nor do most of us follow suit, just because we understand.

The person who has a loved one with same-sex attractions, wants to understand. The individual who is involved in ministry, wants to understand. The counselor wants to understand. The good teacher wants to understand his or her student. The theologian, the confessor, the religious brother or sister, the bishop and even the pope, wants to understand. That’s why we created a Catholic commission to study this and eventually came up with an official document on the pastoral care of homosexual persons. The document tells us that we have to try to understand in order to provide pastoral care.

Understanding someone and something is not an endorsement. It’s simply knowledge.

There are two very important points here.

  1. If the study of something leads one to sin, then the study is not worth the effort. Let someone stronger than you do the studying.

  2. If you’re going to have someone tell their story, you owe it to your audience to tell them exactly what to expect. You cannot lead your audience to believe something that is not true. In this case, the wording of the announcement would suggest that the gay lifestyle and the faith are compatible. That’s misleading.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

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