Yesterday, Bondings 2.0 reported on Irish Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh’s admission that the institutional Church “struggles to find a language” through which it can relate to LGBT people. In response to his remarks, former political journalist and gay Catholic Ursula Halligan wrote a sharp letter in The Irish Times. She said the archbishop “misses the point,” and continued:
“Could it be that the hierarchical church is struggling to find a language to relate to gay people because its theology of human sexuality is deeply flawed?
“Is it any wonder that the church struggles to find a language to relate to us when the language it already uses is so vile?
“The hypocrisy of this while preaching a Gospel message of love and justice is breathtaking.”
Halligan also expressed concern in her letter that the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Dublin would exclude LGBT Catholics and their families. Claiming that “all are welcome” to the event without actions behind that statement is “a hollow welcome,” she said.
Halligan is onto something. Catholics in the pews are entirely capable of relating to and speaking about LGBT identities in respectful, human terms. Church leaders seem almost entirely incapable of doing so. Even the more pastoral statements and actions are hindered by an obsessive focus on gender complementarity and understandings of human sexuality and gender identity wholly separated from contemporary science, human experience, and the lens of spirituality. Halligan is right to join the growing chorus of Catholics, including several bishops, who know that, if nothing else, harmful language like “intrinsically disordered” must be jettisoned in favor of respectful and humanizing language.
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, April 21, 2018