‘Why should there be a separate ministry for gay people?’ is a question that I get asked regularly and usually followed by a high voltage of religiosity with “because we are all one in Christ”?
Perhaps we need to look to the world for the answer! Why are there gay pubs and gay areas if we are ‘all one’ as they say and why for that matter is there any separation between any group of individuals…
The answer of course is obvious! We all have certain things in common like our need to eat and drink and then we have other things which are different.
Women for example have different bodies to men and it only makes sense that they’d meet together and go shopping together and talk about relationships together.
It’d be ridiculous if they didn’t have a separate space to talk together among themselves and I’m sure that if a group of men were present that they wouldn’t feel at all free.
It’s similar with gay people. There are certain things that as a gay man I wouldn’t feel comfortable discussing in front of a straight man and if they weren’t familiar with the gay scene and the challenges thereof, how could they possibly understand?
And considering that the church environment is often very hostile to gay people and especially those that are in relationships, of course there needs to be a separate ministry and environment where these group of people can come together to pray and discuss their specific issues.
Now notice that I said “ministry” and not ‘church” because there doesn’t need to be a separate church for gay people.
Usually those that oppose separate ministries under the “we are all one” line are just covering up their own homophobia and are in denial that gay people are any different to straight people and that they have different issues etc.
Ideally there would be separate ministries for different groups of people; gay, straight, young, old, men women…to help them with their individual group needs and then afterwards there would be a coming together of all groups to pray and worship and socialise such as mass on Sunday.
In other words, unity in difference with mutual respect for eachothers differences etc.
And so you see that this is at the heart of our Medjugorje LGBT ministry; to provide a space where LGBT Catholics can learn about Medjugorje and God’s love and plan for them without feeling rejected or discriminated against in any way so that afterwards they will feel confident going along to Sunday Mass and being one in the body of Christ.
Yet this can only happen if the body of Christ accept the gay people and take down all masks of homophobia.
The more the body accept and integrate the LGBT community into the church and help them to follow Jesus, the less need there will be fir LGBT ministries just like there are less and less gay bars now because the world has become more gay friendly.
However for now our catholic church is very far away from loving, accepting and integrating LGBT people into it with equal dignity, respect and opportunities and so there is a desperate need for LGBT ministries to reach out in love and help these people while the church is catching up.
Hence our ministry to the LGBT which I encourage everyone to support and pray for and tell anyone that may be interested to come along with their friends and families and help to bring unity, love, healing and understanding to our Catholic church, mother to all!