Yesterday we had a great celebration of Saint Patrick’s day at Saint Mary of the Angels in Notting Hill.
Obviously Patrick’s day makes us all pray for Ireland and because of my ministry I prayed for all LGBT Irish.
The prayer tied in with something that had caused controversy here in London over the last few days; LGBT education in Catholic schools.
As usual it’s the same old problem, we say LGBT and they think sex!!
As I think back to my own childhood in Ireland I wish that there had been LGBT education in the schools. I can imagine the immense good that it would have done between students, between parents and kids and with teachers.
Catholic teachers are put in a very awkward position and could get sacked for talking about LGBT issues in schools.
LGBT students are thus silenced and shamed and still often bullied in Catholic schools and turn the parents are stuck in the middle not knowing who or what to believe and praying to God for their children to be happy.
As catholics we can’t be afraid to talk about LGBT in schools but we must ask the question ‘how do we talk about it?”.
To say that it’s ‘allowing the devil in” is a terribly abusive thing for a young gay person to hear.
The devils of intolerance and fear and bullying are already in and they have been for centuries and it’s time to kick them out.
How I wish that their was proper education about Jesus and prayer and LGBT when I was in school. I’m certain that I would have avoided so much anxiety and depression and nervous breakdowns if I had been able to open up and deal with these parts of my life earlier and so would many others.
Séamus went to a catholic school and got terribly bullied, Toni ended up on drugs at a catholic school…and both ran away from the church.
Until this changes the cycle will continue and the church will be responsible for what happens to these souls.
We simply cannot bury our heads in the sand but instead we must humbly and bravely admit that LGBT are children of God too with equal dignity and must be given equal opportunities to holiness and happiness as everybody else.
And so my prayer to St. Patrick yesterday was to banish the snakes of fear and homophobia from our church and to allow us to finally let the Spirit of Jesus into our Catholic and to love and support every LGBT young person!
St. Patrick, pray for Ireland and especially for all LGBT Irish suffering and rejected who don’t know the love and plan that Jesus has for their lives.