Tuesday, July 21, 2015

To be gay and Catholic

To be understood. To be accepted and not just tolerated. To be heard and to be allowed to speak your mind. To be gay and Catholic.

Not every gay in this world can be ‘lucky’ to be wholly embraced in their churches and parishes, even in their homes. Not every gay can be given the opportunity to lead and to serve; to shepherd. I am lucky to be one.

I believe it’s not really about luck. I had my shares of struggles; I had my doses of rejections. I was stereotyped, maligned, discriminated and judged. But at the end of it all, love prevailed. Love prevails. The reason why I am still serving in our parish, the reason why I am surviving; it’s really about love, not luck.

Last Sunday, that love was affirmed. We were in a meeting, along with Parish leaders, members of the Parish Pastoral Council executive committee led by our Parish Priest, Fr. Erik. We talked about emerging ministries; about expanding our horizons in reaching out and serving. They acknowledged the little steps we are doing in establishing LGBT Ministry.

Our LGBT Ministry is NOT founded to provide a pastoral care for gay Catholics; it is not a rehabilitation center. We are not recruiting anyone to ‘heal’ and make him straight. There is no magic factory that will transform anyone to be a holy knight or a special minister. No lesbians will be forced to wear below-the-knee skirts to be accepted. No gays will be asked to remove their false eyelashes.

Our LGBT Ministry is giving all gays the opportunity to serve their Church. Thus, it is not a pastoral care ministry that makes gays automatic beneficiaries of programs; as a matter of fact, there is no program. It is calling the flock to come home, to make them feel comfortable, and to rediscover love, mercy and compassion taught by Jesus Christ.

To understand, to accept, to speak, to listen, to serve, to shepherd: to be prouder to be gay Catholics.

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