Monday, June 19, 2017

We are all Sinners

Someone posted a comment on twitter about Catholicism and LGBT, and a person responded with thus:

"As a former Catholic & gay man, I can assure you LGBTQ individuals will not feel welcome in any church that treats them as inherently sinful"

Maybe you see the problem in that statement.  I did give the individual a benefit of doubt and asked if he felt that he was being singled out, but he never responded.  I don't think he's interested in being heard.  I think he's interested in being told that he is right or justified.

The problem if you haven't figured it out is that the Church teaches that all people are inherently sinful and yes, we are treated as being such.  That is why there are the sacraments, particularly the ones of healing, in the first place.  I should clarify that the Church doesn't teach that we are dung heaps that are totally corrupted by sin.  God doesn't make junk so the old saying goes.  But original sin does exist.  So yes we are born without inheriting Adam's original holiness. We are however able to cooperate with God's grace.

I give a lot of credit to my parish priest.  Yesterday during his homily, he talked about showing reverence to Christ in our words, deeds, and in our dress.  I believe that last one was to address the state of dress at our parish.  It's summer; people are often showing a lot of skin.  After he said that several times he also said that he realizes people are not perfect.  He pointed out that included himself and they we were all in need of God's mercy.

And this is how it should always be addressed both to the general population and to the individual.  We are all sinners in need of both correction and mercy.  Unfortunately people do not want to hear the correction part and therefore anger shows up.  Then victim statuses show up.  I'm _________ therefore I'm treated as inherently sinful and shouldn't be.

It's true we should be charitable and show mercy to our fellow sinners.  Therefore nobody who seeks mercy should have it withheld from them.  The Church teaches this in regard to LGBT people.

The difference is in the correction and the acknowledgement for the need of mercy.  Some sinners do not want to be corrected at all.  Regardless if the correction is done privately to the individual or collectively against particular groups of sinners, some do not want to hear it.

I do.

To be specific, I think correction is warranted from a priest, a spiritual adviser, a spouse, a parent, a close friend, and an adult child.  A stranger's correction may or may not be warranted, but I often find that strangers are not in a position to be making fraternal corrections to individuals.  It's best to speak out against specific sins for a general audience if one feels compelled to correct strangers.

Furthermore I would find it a wrong to not say anything at all.  While I may be reluctant to hear a person's correction or may at first find it incorrect, I still believe in hearing a person out.

But seeing as how it's Pride Month, it needs to be said that certain actions are sins and there are people in denial.  I know that many have learned that and have decided to not justify their sins if not turn away from them.  This is the reason why people continue to speak out.  It's not because of hate.  It's because we hope that they will realize the error and ask for God's mercy.  We hope for salvation and mercy for all sinners but one must recognize the need first and why.

And this is my prayer for the gay former Catholic man, that he realizes that he is welcome to receive mercy right after he realizes that he, like everyone, is a sinner.  It's my prayer for anyone who is unrepentant regardless of their sexual orientation.

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