This one goes out to all my progressive Catholic comrades who feel misunderstood. Does your family inch away from you when you conspicuously gender-neutralize the prayers at mass? Does your queer community give you the stink eye for hanging around a church that still sort of teaches that “homosexual acts are intrinsically evil?” “I can explain,” you begin. “See, there’s this concept in queer theology called the ‘Transgender Christ,’ and…” but you’ve already lost them. Yes, we’re a confounding bunch all year long, but once it’s time for the office holiday gift exchange, things can get stressful. That’s why today I offer what may be the first-ever Christmas shopping guide for progressive Catholics. Share it with your confused loved ones, water cooler pals and OK Cupid dates today, so the only mysteries left this holiday season will be the sacred ones!
Let’s get started. In the name of the Creator, the Redeemer and the Sophia-Wisdom-Spirit. Amen.
The Equally Blessed LGBTQ-and-ally pilgrims who made waves at World Youth Day this summer gave out rainbow rosary swag – and I almost flew to Rio just to get my hands on one. Make some for the roamin’ Catholics in your life, and turn their prayer practice from drab to fab.
Good for: Catholic Workers, Evangelii Gaudium cheerleaders, Occupy Catholics and other simple livers who actually mean it when they say they don’t want you to buy them stuff.
2. Calendario Romano, aka the Dreamy Priests Calendar
Clericalism never looked so good. Send away for a couple today. Hunky men of the cloth aren’t your loved one’s thing? We can all pray that Women’s Ordination Conference will offer a counterpoint product in 2015, but in the meantime, maybe your friend would prefer the Calendario Romano people’s other heart-warming calendar. Oh man, you’ll really put the Christ back in Christmas with that one.
Your progressive Catholic nerd friend never thought she’d want to “unlock the secrets of how men become pope,” but she can now, when you buy her one of the four remaining copies of this game available on the internet. Francis’s hot, newsy papacy makes this game a more relevant gift than ever – even if you don’t know where your loved one falls on the Francis like-o-meter. See, did you know that progressive Catholics exhibit the full range of human emotion on the new guy? Some of us have joined TIME, The Advocate and 92% of Catholics in being ready to fast-track him to sainthood. Others of us think he’s spouting the same old papal bull, and that it was easier to get support for church reform when the guy in power wasn’t so darn cuddly. Hedge your bets with this Francis-neutral pope present.
One time, I saw anti-abortion activists protesting at an LGBTQ Pride parade and wanted to say, “I respect you and your beliefs on this. The progressive Catholic community includes folks on all sides of the life issue, and we tend to coexist with grace in a way that you don’t see almost anywhere else – it’s pretty impressive, really. BUT, don’t you think you’re barking up the wrong tree here among the queer folks? Do you know how babies are made?” Well, if they were Catholic-educated, the answer may be no. Until CCD starts offering some Unitarian-style sex ed, it’s safe to assume that something like this thorough how-to on sex and sexual health will clear some things up.
If numbers 1-4 won’t do it for the progressive Catholic in your life, this one probably will. It is the low-hanging fruit of progressive Catholic presents. I mean, who doesn’t love nuns?
Maxim calls this calendar “habit-forming,” and I’m living proof of why. I’ve received this gem two years running, and while I’m no sister, I’ve found myself starting to act like one:
I best get my hands on the 2014 edition, stat. Judging by the cover, it looks like God might make an athlete of me yet. Miracles happen every day.
That’s all I got. I hope this clears some things up. When in doubt, there’s always monk-made cheese, fair trade stoles for women-priests, or any Enneagram book but especially this one. Whether he’s been naughty or nice, the progressive Catholic in your life deserves a treat.
Progressive/church-reform/feminist/queer/questioning/constructive-critic/etc Catholic peers: I’d love to get the sensus fidelium on this. Please pipe in with your wish list!
Katie works for nuns and for Call To Action – but everything about this is 100% her own.