a priest’s witness that it does get better


 
At a time where the Catholic Church is under much scrutiny due to scandal, abuses of power, and upholding teachings that fracture rather then unite, this short video of Father Donal Godfrey has rekindled my faith that all will be well within the tradition I was raised in.

Many have asked me if Pope Francis’ perceived openness reflects the priest’s sentiment of “it gets better.”

Honestly, my feelings are mixed. The pope’s statement of “who am I to judge” is a welcome burst of hope filled fresh air; however what truly holds me, motivates me, and inspires me are the growing number of out and proud Catholics in the United States and around the world who advocate for LGBT equality on both sides of the church doors.

In the United States, over 70% of Catholics across the age spectrum support marriage equality or civil relationship recognition for gay and lesbian families—more than 90% support legal protections for trans* and gender variant individuals. Like Donal, there is a growing number of priests and religious women/men who are not only challenging the hierarchy, but challenging all of us to radically live gospel love, justice, and hospitality.

Donal’s message of love and acceptance not only embraces the queer community, but also warmly welcomes all those who have been outed of their communities. It reminds me that no religious institution is perfect, for as humans, we are all prone to blunders, both intentional and unintentional—especially when it comes to faith. His testimony reflects that the Spirit is moving in the Catholic Church and the wider religious world with an inspiring message that church is more than an institution’s hierarchy or leadership.

Church is the people—all of the people—who together form an interconnected web with G-d at the center holding us together.

As Catholics, we are just starting to understand what our siblings in other Christian traditions have understood and practiced for some time now—church is all of us. Church is the bishops, priests, religious, lay, lapsed/recovering Catholics, and heretical Catholics like me—all of us together, coexisting and in harmoniously tense communion, embodying church.

The loss of Donal’s young friend to suicide is a tragedy that needs to end. Too many lives have been lost due to communal practices of marginalization and dehumanization of those of us who live and love beyond the norm. His death impacts the entire Internet community—though things can be repaired, it will not be the same.

Together we must honor his life by making sure all those on the fringes truly know they are loved and celebrated for who they are—they too are equally blessed and equally part of the church.

Together as a web of people, we must do all we can to make it better, now.

All of us, todas y todos en conjunto, must radically embrace the belief that the beloved and quirky community of church includes all—a church where on both sides of the door, all are created in the image of G-d truly means ALL are created in the image of G-d.

Amen, que asi sea!

– See more at: http://www.believeoutloud.com/latest/lets-make-church-better-now#sthash.wXG6sKTC.dpuf

At a time where the Catholic Church is under much scrutiny due to scandal, abuses of power, and upholding teachings that fracture rather then unite, this short video of Father Donal Godfrey has rekindled my faith that all will be well within the tradition I was raised in.

Many have asked me if Pope Francis’ perceived openness reflects the priest’s sentiment of “it gets better.”

Honestly, my feelings are mixed. The pope’s statement of “who am I to judge” is a welcome burst of hope filled fresh air; however what truly holds me, motivates me, and inspires me are the growing number of out and proud Catholics in the United States and around the world who advocate for LGBT equality on both sides of the church doors.

In the United States, over 70% of Catholics across the age spectrum support marriage equality or civil relationship recognition for gay and lesbian families—more than 90% support legal protections for trans* and gender variant individuals. Like Donal, there is a growing number of priests and religious women/men who are not only challenging the hierarchy, but challenging all of us to radically live gospel love, justice, and hospitality.

Donal’s message of love and acceptance not only embraces the queer community, but also warmly welcomes all those who have been outed of their communities. It reminds me that no religious institution is perfect, for as humans, we are all prone to blunders, both intentional and unintentional—especially when it comes to faith. His testimony reflects that the Spirit is moving in the Catholic Church and the wider religious world with an inspiring message that church is more than an institution’s hierarchy or leadership.

Church is the people—all of the people—who together form an interconnected web with G-d at the center holding us together.

As Catholics, we are just starting to understand what our siblings in other Christian traditions have understood and practiced for some time now—church is all of us. Church is the bishops, priests, religious, lay, lapsed/recovering Catholics, and heretical Catholics like me—all of us together, coexisting and in harmoniously tense communion, embodying church.

The loss of Donal’s young friend to suicide is a tragedy that needs to end. Too many lives have been lost due to communal practices of marginalization and dehumanization of those of us who live and love beyond the norm. His death impacts the entire Internet community—though things can be repaired, it will not be the same.

Together we must honor his life by making sure all those on the fringes truly know they are loved and celebrated for who they are—they too are equally blessed and equally part of the church.

Together as a web of people, we must do all we can to make it better, now.

All of us, todas y todos en conjunto, must radically embrace the belief that the beloved and quirky community of church includes all—a church where on both sides of the door, all are created in the image of G-d truly means ALL are created in the image of G-d.

Amen, que asi sea!

– See more at: http://www.believeoutloud.com/latest/lets-make-church-better-now#sthash.wXG6sKTC.dpuf

At a time where the Catholic Church is under much scrutiny due to scandal, abuses of power, and upholding teachings that fracture rather then unite, the clip of Father Donal Godfrey has rekindled my faith that all will be well within the tradition I was raised in.

Many have asked me if Pope Francis’ perceived openness reflects the priest’s sentiment of “it gets better.”

Honestly, my feelings are mixed. The pope’s statement of “who am I to judge” is a welcome burst of hope filled fresh air; however what truly holds me, motivates me, and inspires me are the growing number of out and proud Catholics in the United States and around the world who advocate for LGBT equality on both sides of the church doors.

In the United States, over 70% of Catholics across the age spectrum support marriage equality or civil relationship recognition for gay and lesbian families—more than 90% support legal protections for trans* and gender variant individuals. Like Donal, there is a growing number of priests and religious women/men who are not only challenging the hierarchy, but challenging all of us to radically live gospel love, justice, and hospitality.

Donal’s message of love and acceptance not only embraces the queer community, but also warmly welcomes all those who have been outed of their communities. It reminds me that no religious institution is perfect, for as humans, we are all prone to blunders, both intentional and unintentional—especially when it comes to faith. His testimony reflects that the Spirit is moving in the Catholic Church and the wider religious world with an inspiring message that church is more than an institution’s hierarchy or leadership.

Church is the people—all of the people—who together form an interconnected web with G-d at the center holding us together.

As Catholics, we are just starting to understand what our siblings in other Christian traditions have understood and practiced for some time now—church is all of us. Church is the bishops, priests, religious, lay, lapsed/recovering Catholics, and heretical Catholics like me—all of us together, coexisting and in harmoniously tense communion, embodying church.

The loss of Donal’s young friend to suicide is a tragedy that needs to end. Too many lives have been lost due to communal practices of marginalization and dehumanization of those of us who live and love beyond the norm. His death impacts the entire Internet community—though things can be repaired, it will not be the same.

Together we must honor his life by making sure all those on the fringes truly know they are loved and celebrated for who they are—they too are equally blessed and equally part of the church.

Together as a web of people, we must do all we can to make it better, now.

All of us, todas y todos en conjunto, must radically embrace the belief that the beloved and quirky community of church includes all—a church where on both sides of the door, all are created in the image of G-d truly means ALL are created in the image of G-d.

Amen, que asi sea!

also available at:  http://www.believeoutloud.com/latest/lets-make-church-better-now

–delfin bautista is a member of the CTA 20/30 Leadership Team and the CTA Board of Directors; delfin is also a member of Dignity’s Young Adult Caucus and Trans Caucus.  delfin “preaches” on their own blog Mi Lucha, Mi Pulpito and  is a contributor to Believe Out Loud.

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This entry was posted in LGBTQ, Peace & Justice by delfinwaldemar. Bookmark the permalink.

About delfinwaldemar

i am a native of miami, fl and i am of cuban and salvadoran heritage. i am a social worker and queer theologian who is passionate about engaging the intersections of religion, sexuality, race/ethnicity, and justice—specifically around lgbtq issues. i have a master in divinity as well as a master of social work. as an activist scholar of faith, i am interested in creating spaces where individuals and communities are safe and challenged to explore identity, expression, gender, and orientation in their complexities. i enjoy cooking, eating, laughing, writing, photography, eating more, “queerying” theology, and spending time with family and friends--especially my dearly beloved (while also driving him crazy). my approach to life is rooted in la lucha (the struggle)—lifting up our stories and experiences to inspire creative and authentic conversations and actions that thrive outside boxes transgressing dominant narratives. i hope this space will provide folks who feel isolated or disconnected from communities, especially religious one, an opportunity to wrestle and reconnect and re-member and simply be with the sacred. being raised roman catholic, i have felt marginalized and alone because of who i am within my church community--my queerness bars me from being able to pursue ordination and so this blog will be a space for me to share my journey of faith through homilies, pictures, liturgies, rants, queeries...my prayer is that this space become a pulpit and sanctuary, a new way of living into our call to radical holiness juntos...a place where you, me, G-d will caminar juntos y juntas en la lucha. Amen.

One thought on “a priest’s witness that it does get better

  1. Pingback: Catholics: Go Purple Today for #SpiritDay in Support of LGBT Youth! | Bondings 2.0

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