Good evening from Moorhouse Road, Notting Hill.

A few days ago an old friend who hasn’t seen me for a few years sent me this message

“Hey Michael,

hope you’re well.

As a representative of Christ I feel obliged to tell you what I know to be true.

At first glance of your Facebook, it seems you have a boyfriend.

I just want to reiterate Church teaching and say that homosexual relations can never be approved by God nor the Church and in these confusing times we are called to chastity.

I have more to say but it has been quite some time since we have spoken and much has happened.
I look forward to your response.

In Christ’s peace”

It got me thinking!!

‘As a representative of Christ”. I always get very uncomfortable when people refer to Jesus as “Christ”.

You see to me Jesus is my good and familiar friend and never in 15 years has He ever addressed Himself as “Christ” and so when people refer to Him in that way, my first question is if they know Him at all!

I had years of this when I lived in France. “Le Christ” this and ‘Le Christ” that from a crowd that would barely look at you or ask you how you were!

And so when this person goes onto tell me that he is a representative of Christ, I really do wonder what he is actually representing or who?

Is He really representing the Jesus that I know and love or is he representing some sort of mythical, hypothetical or theoretical Christ which is more the product of the imagination and speculation rather than anything else?

The message goes onto say what ‘he knows to be true” which really doesn’t leave any room for discussion or understanding and then to tell me that homosexual relationships will never be approved by God or the church when the same God that has led me into a beautiful same sex relationship.

So as you can imagine these type of messages from well-meaning friends are not so easy to stomach!

They must think that I’m both brainless and illiterate and that somehow after almost 15 years of prayer and soul searching that I never read the catechism or wrestled with the official teachings of the church!!

Perhaps I just had the nervous breakdowns and anxiety for the fun of it all and that after years of prayer I suddenly decided to follow the devil?!!

They must think I’m a right ass.

Anyway, at this stage I don’t take these types of messages too seriously but still I feel sad at the lack of reflection and thought of others before writing to me.

The gay issue is complicated and the bible bashing or catechism quoting approach simple does not work.

It disrespects human experience and somehow places those ‘loyal to the church’s teachings’ as superior human beings and children of God than others and this is simply not true.

God sees us all as equal and in these complicated issues has an infinite respect for the place of freedom and of conscience. We see that all throughout the bible.

And so as my friend signs of “in Christ’s peace”, ironically I didn’t feel too much of it!!

And yet I too must be patient and not retaliate aggressively as this person is simply quoting what he believes to be true and what the catholic church claims to be true.

Of course one day it will all be changed and Catholics will laugh at some of the old teachings and understandings but until then people like Rayne and I are in for a rocky ride and yet a very worthwhile one as we challenge old ways of thinking and call our Church forward to embracing, loving and understanding the LGBTQ community.

Have a nice evening in the peace of Jesus 😉