Last Saturday after the gay pride parade there was an ecumenical service for LGBT Christians at 6pm in the baptist Church.
We started off with praise and worship after which there was some lively praise and worship followed by 2 pastors preaching about God’s love and good plans for all LGBT people.
One of the pastors was a heterosexual woman who mentioned that since she and her husband began welcoming and helping LGBT people, they received much abuse and even death threats.
The other pastor was a transgender man who again had a great love for Jesus and had no doubts about God’s love and acceptance of him in the kingdom of heaven too.
Afterwards there was a communion service and for us Catholics, Fr. Keith was present to provide a blessing as generally speaking Catholics don’t receive communion when they visit a protestant church.
One of my Catholic friends was quite upset afterwards and he asked the question:
“Why can’t we receive communion here when they have welcomed us into their church as we are while we are not even wanted in our own Catholic churches where we can receive communion?!
These indeed are the dilemmas of being gay and Catholic and one of the reasons why a lot of gay Catholics leave the Catholic church altogether and join one of the protestant churches where they feel more welcome.
“How can you belong to an institution that doesn’t accept you?” is basically the argument and it’s quite a good argument too!
Yet if we were to leave the Catholic church we’d suddenly belong to another institution that doesn’t accept Our Lady or the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist so we’d be compromised by that too!!
Hence the solution is quite simple! We are called to be LGBT Catholics.
Being an LGBT Catholic means that we won’t be fully united with LGBT protestants or with homophobic Catholics but that doesn’t matter! We will be united among ourselves and over time we can hope and pray for more unity with others knowing that these things take time and perseverance but change does happen.
So let’s keep praying and advocating for unity between our churches and between ourselves for all LGBT people and may the love and truth of Jesus break down all walls of fear, exclusion and division that so often divide us.