A top Church official in France has said there is “something of God speaking” in same-gender relationships, and encouraged LGBTQ Catholics to remain in the Church to help it progress towards greater inclusion.
Monsignor Olivier Ribadeau-Dumas, secretary general and spokesperson of the Bishops’ Conference of France, made his affirming comments while speaking to the LGBT Catholic group Becoming One in Christ last October. Riposte Catholique quoted Ribadeau-Dumas as telling the group:
“I think there is something in every true love relationship that tells us of the love of God, whatever that relationship is. . .I know that if God is love and if two people really love each other then there is something that is inevitably linked to that. . .A love that goes so far as to give one’s life for one who loves that love cannot fail to tell us something about God’s love for us.”
Religión Digital reported that the priest also opined about France’s 2013 marriage equality law, saying “something good came out of an evil” because the Church’s perception of lesbian and gay people had changed for the better. The report continued:
“Things are progressing’ in the Church as regards respect for homosexuals: ‘we just have to give them time,’ said the spokesman for the French bishops, adding that he hopes that gays will find more and more acceptance in the hearts of parishes, and not only in specialized pastoral ministries.
“‘I understand how impatient you are, but let’s give [the Church] time, it’s reassuring, after all, it has progressed and there are more steps forward. In the heart of the Church, be love, love her, and from within, help her to progress towards that love, that recognition, that love’, Ribadeau-Dumas encouraged those present at the talk, paraphrasing Saint Teresa of Lisieux.”
To listen to the audio recordings of Ribadeau-Dumas’ talk, click here.
Monsignor Ribadeau-Dumas is voicing the simple truth that so many Catholics already profess in their words and through their lives: queer relationships most certainly exhibit authentic, abiding love, and where there is such love, there is God.
Ribadeau-Dumas’ approach when discussing same-gender love is not the reductionist lens that equates queer love with genital acts, an approach that has too often been the standard employed by Church leaders. Rather, the priest chooses a holistic lens that elevates the good and focuses on love. And, in doing so, Ribadeau-Dumas and others who adopt such an approach are helping open the Church to hear what God is speaking to us through queer love. So I leave readers with this question: what is God speaking to us through LGBTQ relationships? Leave your thoughts in the “Comments” section below.
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, April 8, 2019