Good morning from a very sunny London where my white Irish skin is going lobster red!

As some of you may know, this month is gay pride month and to some the very word “Pride” sets off all the wrong alarm bells.

We can associate gay pride with promoting everything gay and all but naked guys parading down the street promoting a culture of sexual freedom….

This is not the type of pride that is good or healthy and is what often gives the gay world such a bad reputation.

As James Martin puts it in this short clip, there are two types of pride, one promoting vanity and the other promoting dignity.

As Catholics it is the one promoting dignity that we should be interested in.

The one that says that gay people are beloved children of God, made in his image and likeness and no less loved or valued than straight people.

“Yea but straight people don’t go around with straight pride so what’s wrong with these attention-seeking gays?” You may ask….

Of course this is because straight people never had to fight for their rights. Have you ever heard of anyone being bullied for being straight?

And so I thought that it was fitting that my gay friend Peter came to dinner last night dressed head to foot in pink and here is a photo of him holding the cross of Jesus which he offered to clean as he cleans antiques for a living.

But perhaps there is more to it. As he was drawn to cleaning the cross, perhaps it’s not just the dust that he will remove.

Prophetically speaking perhaps he’s cleaning off the shame and rejection that gay people have experienced in the church and paving the way for a catholic church of love and acceptance for the gay community.

(Not everyone in pic is gay!)

As he left the house yesterday evening Peter took a little statue of Our Lady, he showed me the miraculous metal that I gave him 2 weeks ago is now on the chain around his neck and he invited me into his apartment to show me all the images that he has of Jesus.

And so once again the lesson is for us to love and not judge. If you saw Peter walking down the street how might you react? If met him 10 years ago I’m not sure how I’d have even reacted myself to be honest but I do thank God who has continued to open my heart and taught me to accept and love both myself and others as LGBTQ children of God!

Thanks for reading!