‘Faggot, faggot, you are a fucking faggot’

shouted this homeless guy at me after mass this morning while Toni was beside me.

“Yes I am” I replied and “God loves me too”.

“You are not normal, God made man and woman, you are a fucking faggot”.

After which he walked off before coming back saying

“This is my father’s house” (the church he meant). And again “you’re a fucking faggot”.

Well I’m not writing about this because it terribly upset me because the years have strengthened me but I am writing about it to highlight the abuse and discrimination that one can face in the church.

This guy verbalized what many other people think; that God hates gays.

I haven’t been insulted like that since my last visit to Medjugorje which in itself is a sad statement to make. Most people go there for peace but when I go there it’s war!!

At times being gay in the church is like holding a red rag to a bull.

At times there is such intimidation to either leave the catholic church or else to be silent about the way the church treats gay people.

Fortunately I have never left. One gift God gave me was perseverance with a thirst for truth and justice.

Being catholic does not mean I have to agree with all catholic teaching because some of it is incomplete and is still evolving.

Being catholic does mean following Jesus and the inspirations of the Holy Spirit and thus loving Jesus in the Eucharist and bringing His love to everybody, even the “fucking faggots” as some may call us.

I have no doubt that Jesus cries when He sees people who claim to be Christians treating others like this and this type of bullying and intimidation is exactly what leads to things like anxiety depression, social phobias, addictions etc.

We must make every effort to insure that the church is both a place of spiritual and human growth while being a place of inclusion for all.

And so once again I pray for our catholic church and our gay young people who still get called names like “faggot” and are told that they are not normal by so many older members of the church while struggling to find a place that they too can belong.

Let’s not tolerate this type of behaviour and if you are reading this and if there is no gay support group in your church in your town perhaps the Lord is asking you to allow Him to reach out in love through you with the reassuring news that Jesus loves gays too.

Thanks for reading

Michael