“The synod said that gay people have ‘gifts and talents to offer the Christian community.'”
Is this going to happen in my lifetime? I, then, wish no more miracles.
I remember growing up Catholic in the Philippines. I was always surrounded by priest and nuns in our home. My parents were devout Catholics who were very active in the church. My mom was a member (and officer I believe) of the Catholic Women’s League or “Blue Ladies” as they called them. My dad, was a member (and officer as well) of the Knights of Columbus. The whole family goes to church on Sundays and is part of CFM or Christian Family Movement. I met many friends through that group since the group usually organizes family trips to Pansol during the hot Philippines summer months.
Needless to say, I was immersed in the faith.
When I was young, I already knew that I was attracted to the men. I barely knew what it was and why I was feeling that way. I was 7-years old. As I grew older, I reached out to anything and everything I could find to understand exactly what I was feeling. I remember looking up the word “homosexual” in our Encyclopedia Britannica. I tried to understand why I would be feeling differently than the rest of my peers. It made me feel odd. It made me feel like I had a secret to hide. I felt shame.
In school, we were taught that homosexuality is a sin. I’ve heard all the time that we should “hate the sin, not the sinner”. I had strong conflicts in my head. How can I love another man when I am taught that God thinks it is wrong? I didn’t want to be teased and bullied. I wanted to be “normal”. That is when I decided I will not love another man. I will go into the priesthood and offer my life to God. At least, with that sacrifice, I can be spared from the flames of hell.
Time passed. I entered the monastery. I found out quickly that it would be a very dangerous place for me. There would be more loving men there than I would meet outside the monastery walls and it would put me in a position of temptation far greater than I would if I did not live there. I decided not to pursue monastic life.
I met an Irish monk who helped me understand that God loves me for who I am. I accepted that God loves me for who I am. I never left the Catholic church. It is a church I deeply love.
The news today about the proposed changes in the Catholic church gave me a feeling of extreme gladness. The change that my church would no longer treat me as an outcast means so much to me. The change that would let people know that gays are humans too and gays are also children of God is so powerful, I cannot even contain myself.
If and when this change happens, we may not know for now. But for it to be considered for review is a major milestone. I can only hope at this time. I can only hope.