In defense of the church

By |2005-10-13T09:00:00-04:00October 13th, 2005|Opinions|

Dear BTL,
So, Sean Kosofsky is angry at the Catholic Church again, specifically the Vatican (“Pope BeneDictator” from the Oct. 6 issue of BTL ). Surprise! Now he wants his friends and the rest of the GLBT community to leave the church. That’s asking an awful lot. Yes, the Catholic magisterials have done much to piss us off, both those here in Detroit and in the Vatican. However, the very same issues plague other denominations in this country, but the Catholic Church gets most of the press. Where is the outrage in how the other denominations of this country treat the GLBT community? Where is the outrage in how they have covered up their own sexual abuse scandals? Are people naive enough to think this doesn’t happen anywhere but in the Catholic Church? Where is the outrage in how the poor are treated in this country? In the Metro Detroit area? I don’t see waiting lists and long lines to get into other houses of worship because they treat people so much better than the Catholics.
Personally, I am not a “cradle Catholic.” I didn’t start attending a Catholic parish until I was 20. That was after “trying on” a few other Protestant communities. At the age of 32, I finally went through RCIA and received the Sacrament of Baptism. It was one of the best and most important decisions I have ever made in my life. Though I attend Mass at Dignity regularly, I have never felt unwelcome in the parishes of my hometown or the city I now live, or any other that I have been to for that matter. I have no intention of leaving the Catholic Church. My faith does not lie in what the Vatican does or says. My faith does not lie in what the Archdiocese of Detroit does or says. My faith is in the Holy Trinity – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. THAT keeps me celebrating Mass as a Catholic. Yes, it does cause me pain and anger to see what they are doing to my church in the forms of discrimination and mistreatment. Clearly, they are blinded by the greed of power and whatever personal benefits they can manage. These are not the followers of Christ. Fear and misunderstanding dictate their actions, not love and compassion.
Let’s be clear about something. Leaving the church will not change anyone’s mind about any issue. Those who don’t want you there to begin with will only cheer for good riddance. Do they “win” if you leave? No, of course not. It’s a loss to both sides, quite frankly. I happen to know that there are straight priests and parishioners that care deeply for the GLBT community and feel the same hurt for the injustices suffered. It is very unfortunate that people have been driven out of their communities, some to the point of committing suicide. I can only pray that those who have left the Catholic Church have not left God, too. Practicing Catholic or not, if you’ve really had enough, get off the soap box and do something positive about it.

Steve White,

About the Author:

Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.