Good morning!

My legs are sore today from running yesterday as my body is struggling to accept the whole fitness idea!

Yesterday I was chatting to a friend of mine. He’s gay and in a stable relationship and goes to church, a nice guy just like me. 😂😂

I asked him how he feels when he’s in church with his boyfriend and if they ever hold hands or show any affection like you might see a straight couple doing.

His reply surprised me but also made me sad. He said ‘No’ and even went onto say that if he’s in the park with his boyfriend and if there are kids around then he won’t hold his boyfriend’s hand or do anything ‘gay’ so as not to show a bad example.

My heart felt very sad for him. He’d been kicked out of home when he was younger for being gay, he’s had a hard life and yet he feels that both in the church and in the park that he has to hide in shame and fear.

The church where Jesus cries ‘come as you are…’ and ‘I have come to give you life…’ sadly seems to cry ‘come as you are not’ and ‘I have come to ruin your life…’ for the young and not so young gay.

But it’s not just him! I too often experience the same thing when I’m in church with my gay friends.

If I behave like I would if we weren’t in church then some people would be scandalised by our behaviour and conversions. If on the other hand I behave like a “good catholic” then my conscience accuses me of being a hypocrite and of letting fear and shame rule. It’s not easy.

When we look at how different it is for straight people it becomes even more apparent. In the case of straight people, love is celebrated and is encouraged and healthy public affection is seen as being a good example.

And when I think of kids, is it really s bad example for them to see two men holding hands or showing other types of normal affection?

How many of these kids will grow up and say “Mom, I’m gay”.

And even if they are not gay, would it not be good for them to know as they grow up that gay people exist and that it’s ok and not to discriminate against them or treat them any differently because of this?

And this is why I said to my friend “why do you think that it’s a bad example, you are judging yourself, don’t be ashamed of who you are and come to see that by being you that you are showing the church and the world a good example”.

Sure many will not agree and we will be severely challenged but remember that Jesus too challenged the norms of His time until the norms changed!

On the other hand, there is no need to go overboard with it either. We don’t need a gay pride parade where nothing is left to the imagination in the church either!!!

“Jesus, Mary & St. Joseph, the Holy Family. Intercede for us and help the church and world to see and accept LGBT people as loved children of God’s family and church. Break down every door of fear, rejection, discrimination and judgement and raise up LGBT saints to be ‘good examples’ to the church, to the world and to children, the adults of the future.”

Have a great day and pray for all those poor people locked in fear and shame in our churches.

Michael