All are welcome?

While the Catholic Church’s open arms are often a source of inspiration to me, I couldn’t help but feel disheartened by the recent announcement that Rome would happily “absorb” those Anglicans who took issue with their own church’s stance on women and LGBT individuals. It felt a bit like a slap in the face. “You don’t think women and gays* should have full rights within their religious communities? Neither do we! Come on over!”

I admit to feeling afraid of a church which actively “recruits” those who have the most conservative mindsets — that I feel afraid of the places where I feel welcome diminishing, that at any time soon the scales could tip and it could be just too much, that I might give in to a former priest’s suggestion that people like me “leave the Church” if we don’t agree with everything, because a “smaller, purer” church is better than a larger, impure one.

Except, who among us is able to claim purity, anyway?

I’ve  entertained ideas of something of a “church swap.” “Hey, I’ll trade you a bunch of conservative Anglicans for a bunch of liberal Catholics!” These ideas are only half-joking. Because the more welcome we make those who deny full personhood for women and gays, the less welcome people like me become–who fall into both categories. It has me questioning again where my breaking point is, how strong my love and devotion to the faith of my heritage really is. I don’t know the answer to that question yet. Do you?

* I use ‘gays’ for the sake of brevity here, to imply ‘not straight’ and to stand for the whole range of the GLBTQIA spectrum (I’m a ‘B’ myself ;)).


4 thoughts on “All are welcome?

  1. It is correct, that this is a charitable RESPONSE by Benedict XVI to welcome Anglicans into the Catholic Church. I don’t see how welcoming more people into the Church will result in a smaller Church. I couldn’t imagine that a Catholic would leave the faith because some Anglicans became Catholic. There has been no compromise on matters of faith or morals, so in effect nothing has changed other then some of us will have another place we can receive the sacraments, and some (former) Anglicans will have the fullness of the faith.

  2. In your post, you reference “rights” and a denial of “personhood” of women and gays.

    I wonder where in the Catechism you can find that women and gays are not, or less than people?

    Also, what rights are being denied to women and gays?

    I think you’re referring to ordination to the priesthood, to which no one is entitled – ordination is a privilage, not a right.

    As far as fornication – that is a sin and everyone has the ability to sin as much as they choose.

  3. Thank you very much, Lacey, for these comments. I agree with you. The Catholic Church these days seems to welcome the traditionalists of all kinds and push away those who enjoy reading ‘the signs of the times.’
    The nice things about the times is that they keep a-changin’ whether those in power want it or not.
    I smiled at your swap idea. Yes, it feels like the more conservative sectors of the Roman Catholic Church wish the less so would leave…

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