A few days ago I had a very fruitful conversation with an individual who honestly and openly expressed his concerns about LGBT ministries.
In essence it was “give an inch take a mile” with the fear that welcoming LGBT people into the catholic church is then the stepping stone to accepting gay marriage, gay sex…everything gay!
To be perfectly honest with you all, I actually agreed whole heartedly with him because as a gay Catholic from a charismatic and prayer background, I’m often myself left very disappointed at other gay ministries who welcome everyone (good) and yet rarely if ever mention things like sin, prayer and the forbidden words of sexual purity!!
Jesus welcomes everyone and yet he doesn’t make it easy, he sent the rich young man away empty handed after challenging him to leave everything and to follow him!
Jesus often mentioned sin and conversion and prayer and even St. Paul when reaching out to the pagans realised that there had to be some conditions of holiness for them too.
And so it comes as no surprise to me that many Catholics are terrified of LGBT ministries for this simple reason and they are afraid of being called homophobic if they say something.
Now personally I have never gone down this road and I’ve always been very open about my conviction that gay sex is a sin and that while all LGBT people are loved by God, like everyone else they are called to a conversion of heart and lives through prayer just like everybody else.
I am just as unpopular in the gay scene for saying this as I am in the catholic scene for not believing in conversion therapy and some would argue that my beliefs come from an ‘internalised homophobia’ and that I just need to free myself of my Irish background and enjoy all the sex in the world!!
Trust me I’ve had my battles with sexual sin but just because it’s not an easy road does not mean that it’s not the right road and presenting people half a gospel is as bad as not presenting them a gospel at all and is also very uncharitable to other Catholics who are concerned for the welfare of the church.
And so this is where our Medjugorje ministry is different because the focus is on Jesus and on bringing people to know him personally and to seeking holiness and transformation through lives of prayer and the sacraments.
Now this is not to judge other ministries that do a lot of good work for the LGBT community but at the same time it is to draw a clear line in the sand so to speak and to make it clear that our ministry is primarily one of prayer and spiritual transformation rather than social justice issues etc.
And so to conclude, holiness is a narrow path, everyone is welcome but not everyone is willing to walk it.
Please pray for us and this LGBT ministry that we may never stray from this narrow path or give into pressures from both within and outside the church to stop talking about sin, the cross and the cost of following Jesus.
P.S Look who’s in Medjugorje with Seamus for a few days!!