Yesterday I was in Canning Town at the monthly discipleship day which is always enjoyable and can also be a bit traumatising as often I meet people who aren’t so understanding of gay Catholics such as myself and often I feel and sense their discomfort.
That said it was a very prayerful day and my presence there is also to make people think and reflect on these LGBT issues and hopefully come a few steps closer to understanding and loving gay people.
When I got back I was so tired and so I decided to go for a coffee and felt led by the Holy Spirit to a particular coffee shop.
The owner was very chatty and despite being tired I did my best to talk way out of charity.
Once I told him that I was a missionary he took it upon himself to start challenging Christianity and praising Islam! I really wasn’t in the mood and he seemed very proud of his knowledge of the bible and religious matters which impressed me even less!
It’s always worth remembering that Satan knows the bible and about religion more than any of us and it’s not for that that he’s holy.
Anyway we agreed to disagree on a few things and as I was going he said ‘some Christians even accept gays into the church’!
Now that was the totally wrong thing to say to me and despite being tired my energy suddenly came back and I said “I’m gay”.
Silence followed and then he told me about how the Bible says that it’s a sin to be gay etc and he was determined to catch me out!
Of course the catholic church is very clear that it is not a sin to be gay and that the sin is about the sexual acts if they occur but this guy was joining the long list of others who hear the word sex when the word gay is mentioned.
Deflecting from the bible I asked him ‘what about all the gay Muslims?’ And I was not expecting the reply I got!
“There are none “!!
Smiling at this stage I said “let me introduce to a few” and then he went on to tell me how being gay is a choice and happens when young people are watching television or something and the idea enters their minds.
I grew up in Ireland and at the time there were no gay people on the television and despite all the straight people that I saw I still ended up gay like many others and had no idea why!
Now that would be an idea, to sue RTE (Irish tv) for being gay.
Of course over the years I’ve met an awful lot of gay Muslims and especially when I was in Sarajevo and they often lived in terrible shame and secrecy and were terrified of their families and after talking to this guy I could see why. He was like the Muslim equivalent of my favourite little Irish leprauchan behind the protests against my own ministry. 😂😂
All joking aside I felt Jesus allowed this situation to remind me that His love isn’t just for LGBT Catholics but for LGBT Muslims and indeed for all LGBT people and for all people in general. It was also a reminder of how in 2022 there is still so much intolerance and prejudice not to mention crazy explanations around LGBT issues.
And so once again we must pray, we must educate and we must fight and stand for social justice in both society and the church so that LGBT people can be given the chance to live, to love and to become great saints of the 21st century too!
Thanks for reading!