Listen to the L.G.B.T. person: a response to the Vatican’s gender theory document

Revelers carry a rainbow flag along Fifth Avenue during the L.G.B.T. Pride Parade in New York on June 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File)Revelers carry a rainbow flag along Fifth Avenue during the L.G.B.T. Pride Parade in New York on June 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File)

In recent years the Vatican (including popes, congregations and dicasteries) have expressed concern over “gender theory” and “gender ideology.” The latest document from the Congregation for Catholic Education, titled “Male and Female He Created Them,” is the most comprehensive treatment of the topic yet. As America’s Vatican correspondent, Gerard O’Connell, reports, the document comes from a Vatican Congregation and was not signed by Pope Francis, so it is not intended as the “final answer” on the topic.

Gender theory is a notoriously slippery term. Broadly, it refers to the study of gender and sexuality and how those two realities are determined naturally (that is, biologically) and/or socially (that is, culturally). Usually it includes the study of the experiences of gays and lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, and all those who identify as “queer,” another often-ambiguous term that can mean (but does not always mean) a decision to identify oneself outside of categories like male or female, or gay or straight.

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The congregation’s new document is an explicit call for dialogue, which all should welcome.

For some critics, gender theory also represents an “ideology” that seeks to impose itself on others, “encouraging” or “forcing” some people, especially youth, to question and restate their own sexuality and gender. In some church circles, especially in the developing world, it is often linked to a form of “ideological colonialism” that seeks to impose Western ideas of sexuality and gender on developing nations. Pope Francis has several times adverted to this belief.

The congregation’s new document should be praised for its call for “listening” and “dialogue.” The subtitle is important: “Towards a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in Education.” It is an explicit call for dialogue, which all should welcome. It speaks of a “path,” which indicates that the church has not yet reached the destination. It focuses on the “question” of gender theory in education, which leaves some degree of openness, and is thus addressed mainly to educators and “formators,” including those responsible for the training of priests and members of religious orders.

Another positive aspect of this document is its clear call to “respect every person in their particularity and difference” and its opposition to “bullying, violence, insults or unjust discrimination.” It also praises “the ability to welcome all legitimate expressions of human personhood with respect.”

The document’s conclusion speaks of the path of dialogue, which includes “listening, reasoning and proposing.” As such, it leaves open room for further developments and also avoids some of the harsh language of other Vatican pronouncements on sexuality and, especially, on homosexuality.

This traditional view, however, is contradicted by what most biologists and psychologists now understand about both sexuality and gender.

Let me, then, engage in the respectful dialogue called for, as someone who ministers to L.G.B.T. people.

What does the congregation propose? Essentially, and unsurprisingly, its document restates the traditional Catholic view of sexuality: Men and women are created (as heterosexuals) with fixed sexual and gender roles. This traditional view, however, is contradicted by what most biologists and psychologists now understand about both sexuality and gender. These contemporary advances in understanding human sexuality and gender have been set aside by the congregation in favor of a binary understanding of sexuality. Even the term “sexual orientation” is put into quotes in the document, as if to call that very notion into question.

[What do you think about the Catholic Church and transgender issues? Let us know in our short reader survey]

The crux of the congregation’s argument is in this understanding of gender: “This separation [of sex from gender] is at the root of the distinctions proposed by different ‘sexual orientations’ which are no longer defined by the sexual difference between male and female, and can then assume other forms determined solely by the individual, who is seen as radically autonomous.”

One objection to that proposition is that it ignores the real-life experience of L.G.B.T. people. In fact, the document’s primary partners for conversation seem to be philosophers, theologians and older church documents and papal statements—not biologists or scientists, not psychiatrists or psychologists, and not L.G.B.T. people and their families. If more people had been included in the dialogue, the congregation would probably find room for the now commonly held understanding that sexuality is not chosen by a person but is rather part of the way that they are created.

If more people had been included in the dialogue, the congregation would probably find room for the now commonly held understanding that sexuality is not chosen by a person but is rather part of the way that they are created.

In fact, for a document that relies so heavily (albeit implicity) on natural law, it ignores what we increasingly understand about the natural world, where we see men and women attracted to the same sex, men and women feeling a variety of sexual feelings throughout their lifetimes, and men and women finding themselves more on a spectrum than on any fixed place when it comes to sexuality and, occasionally, even gender.

The congregation also suggests that discussions about gender identity involve an intentional choice of gender by an individual. But people who are transgender report that they do not choose their identity but discover it through their experiences as human beings in a social world. 

Again, the document largely neglects to engage in discussions about new scientific understandings and discoveries about gender. It relies mainly on the belief that gender is determined solely by one’s visible genitalia, which contemporary science has shown is an incorrect (and sometimes even harmful) way to categorize people. Gender is also biologically determined by genetics, hormones and brain chemistry—things that are not visible at birth. The congregation’s document relies heavily on categories of “male” and “female” that were shaped centuries ago, and not always with the most accurate scientific methods.

The document relies mainly on the belief that gender is determined solely by one’s visible genitalia, which contemporary science has shown is an incorrect (and sometimes even harmful) way to categorize people.

The document is also undergirded by the notion of “complementarity,” which means that based on their gender (male and female), men and women have separate roles. In a sentence sure to raise eyebrows the congregation writes, “Women have a unique understanding of reality. They possess a capacity to endure adversity…” Not men? Such ideas reinforce stereotyping and prevent both men and women from rising above precisely those cultural constructs that the Vatican often rightly decries.

The most unfortunate aspect of this document is the way the congregation understands transgender people. (Oddly, in a document about gender and sexuality, the words “homosexual” or “homosexuality” are absent.) Consider this passage: “This oscillation between male and female becomes, at the end of the day, only a ‘provocative’ display against so-called ‘traditional frameworks’, and one which, in fact, ignores the suffering of those who have to live situations of sexual indeterminacy. Similar theories aim to annihilate the concept of ‘nature’ (that is, everything we have been given as a pre-existing foundation of our being and action in the world), while at the same time implicitly reaffirming its existence.”

In this formulation, transgender people are being “provocative” and are either consciously or unconsciously trying to “annihilate the concept of ‘nature.’” Friends and family members who have accompanied a transgender person through their attempts at suicide, their despair over fitting into the larger society, or their acceptance that God loves them will find that sentence baffling and even offensive.

Perhaps the most thoughtful response to this approach comes from a Catholic deacon, Ray Dever, who has a transgender child and wrote about his family’s experience in U.S. Catholic. As he writes, “Anyone with any significant first-hand experience with transgender individuals would be baffled by the suggestion that trans people are somehow the result of an ideology. It is a historical fact that long before there were gender studies programs in any university or the phrase gender ideology was ever spoken, transgender people were present, recognized, and even valued in some cultures around the world.”

The most likely short-term result of “Male and Female He Created Them” will be to provide ammunition for Catholics who would deny the reality of the transgender experience, who would label transgender people as simple ideologues, and who would deny their real-life experiences. It will most likely contribute to a greater feeling of isolation, a greater feeling of shame and a greater marginalization of those who are already marginalized in their own church: transgender people.

Let us return to the more positive aspect of this document, which could be the long-term result: the call for listening and dialogue. The congregation seems sincere in its invitation. The church, like the rest of society, is still learning about the complexities of human sexuality and gender. The next step, then, could be for the church to listen to responses from those that this document most directly affects: L.G.B.T. people themselves.

Let the dialogue begin.

[What do you think about the Catholic Church and transgender issues? Let us know in our short reader survey]

Read David Cloutier's response to the document on gender theory from the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
JOHN GRONDELSKI
2 months 2 weeks ago

How did I know that James Martin SJ would of course have problems with the CHurch's teaching and instead have the Church "dialogue" with (i.e., eventually concede to) contemporary standards? So surprising a position!

Tim O'Leary
2 months 1 week ago

John - I haven't quite figured out Fr. Martin's motivations, but his idea of dialogue is to treat the latest pop science article or hairbrained professor as more authoritative than Holy Scripture, the Catechism or the Magisterium. The effort to change minds is a one-way street, and always away from the Gospel. This is always justified with vague references to some new revelation that has been blessed by an aggressive and intolerant LGBT community. Notice that, in his writings, there is no attempt to reach out to the LGBT (an awfully inaccurate and perennially unstable acronym) political community with the perennial truths of the Gospel and its faithful Church, but to imply to them that the Church will eventually come around to their way of thinking, in years or centuries. Gender theory is doing real physical harm to children, to families, to bodies, to minds, to society. It is the most intolerant and unscientific ideology to come around since at least communism. It has beguiled the scientifically unsophisticated. Fr. Martin offers false comfort and deprives those most in need of the fulness of the Gospel - the only way to salvation for them.

Rhett Segall
2 months 1 week ago

Excellent analysis! The principle of reaching out to the LGBT with the perennial truths of the Gospel needs to be said and you say it quite well.

Tim O'Leary
2 months 1 week ago

Rhett - Fr. Martin reminds me of the vicar in the Monty Python sketch, The Mouse Problem, who in response to hearing some people insist they are more comfortable being mice, says "I feel that these poor unfortunate people should be free to live the lives of their own choice". The sketch is meant as satire of how the media handles deviant life. The video and transcript can be found here: Video: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2uwxiz. Script: http://www.montypython.50webs.com/scripts/Series_1/16.htm
Some choice conversations:
Reporter: This week 'The World Around Us' looks at the growing social phenomenon of Mice and Men. What makes a man want to be a mouse.
Confessor: (in semi-lit chair) Well it's not a question of wanting to be a mouse... it just sort of happens to you. All of a sudden you realize... that's what you want to be.
Reporter: And when did you first notice these... shall we say... tendencies?
Confessor: Well... I was about seventeen and some mates and me went to a party, and, er... we had quite a lot to drink... and then some of the fellows there ... started handing ... cheese around ... and well just out of curiosity 1 tried a bit ... and well that was that.
Reporter: And what was your reaction to this?
Confessor: Well I was shocked. But, er... gradually I came to feel that I was more at ease ... with other mice.
Reporter: What is it that attracts someone like Mr. A to this way of life? I have with me a consultant psychiatrist.
Psychiatrist: Well, we've just heard a typical case history. I myself have over seven hundred similar histories, all fully documented
Reporter: what makes certain men want to be mice?
Psychiatrist: Well, we psychiatrists have found that over 8% of the population will always be mice. I mean, after all, there's something of the mouse in all of us.
Reporter: What a lot of people don't realize is that a mouse, once accepted, can fulfill a very useful role in society. Indeed there are examples throughout history of famous men now known to have been mice. (videos of Caesar, Napoleon and "And, of course, Hillaire Belloc.")

Rhett Segall
2 months 1 week ago

Maritain refers to the "god 'Number'" which is relevant to the situation. I can't help think of Eve Tushnet and Wesley Hill who have accepted their homosexuality and also committed themselves to the Christian standard.

John Mack
2 months 1 week ago

The Catholic church's doctrines on sex are based on a philosophic system called Natural Law. They are not based on the Gospels.

Tim O'Leary
2 months 1 week ago

John - Jesus said " For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. (Mt 15:19). The Church got it from the same place as Jesus. So did St. Paul (NIV 1 Cor 6:9-10) "Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." When Australian Rugby's greatest active player, Israel Folau, tweeted this verse a few weeks ago, it took less than a few days before he was fired from the Australian team. And it wasn't because he called out fornicators. Such is the power of the gender Gestapo.

Frank T
2 months 2 weeks ago

The more they speak of things that they don't truly understand, the less credibility they have.

John Orsulan Jr
2 months 2 weeks ago

What is Happening to Some Catholics to rely on Biologists, Psychiatrists and Therapists to Establish RCC Teaching. God created Human Beings Male & Female. Gender Fluidity based on a person's Life Encounters is a Lie and only a TEMPORARY MIND FANTASY SOON TO FADE AWAY. Homosexuality is just an attempt to avoid PROCREATION IN SEX. Similar to Contraception. Sterile Sexual Activity. This is Against Natural Law And MORE IMPORTANTLY GOD'S LAW. RCC TEACHING >>> Homosexuality is GRAVELY DISORDERED!!! Accept this or Become a CAFETERIA CATHOLIC! JESUS is ALWAYS WAITING for any Repent Sinner to be Cleansed with His Blood in the Sacrament of CONFESSION / RECONCILIATION! Worthless Servant of Jesus Christ, John

Michael Bindner
2 months 2 weeks ago

Natural law that relies on authority and not biological and personal evidence is fallacy, not reason. Google logical fallacy.

John Orsulan Jr
2 months 1 week ago

Michael...Natural Law proclaims by itself that Sexual Activity is Reserved for PROCREATION. Have You ever seen Groups of Homosexual Animals? Human Beings created in the Image and Likeness of God are more Depraved than Animals. Repent, The Kingdom of God is at Hand. John, A sinner who SURRENDERS TO THE WILL OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH!

Joen Fagan
2 months 1 week ago

In the just-out July/August issue of Discovery, there's an authoritative article on monkeys. It says there are 0ver 330 species and "At least 40 species, exhibit homosexual behaviors..." So a number of primate researchers at least see a considerable number of individuals in a considerable number of groups. The article also reports "Love life takes a variety of forms" "Beyond procreation, some monkeys engage in sexual acts for pleasure and to strengthen social bonds." You might read about the bonobos who show very widespread sexual behavior much of it homosexual and unrelated to reproduction.

John Orsulan Jr
2 months 1 week ago

Hi Joen...Even going by the Discovery Article that You mention only 40 out of 330 species of Monkeys exhibit Homosexual Behavior. A very small %. It is obvious that Heterosexual Sex was Instituted and Blessed by God when He said to Adam and Eve; "Be Fruitful and Multiply". Homosexuality is condemned in the Torah and the New Testament. The RCC CALLS HOMOSEXUALITY GRAVELY DISORDERED! 'NUFF SAID! DEVOTED SERVANT OF JESUS CHRIST, JOHN

John Mack
2 months 1 week ago

Please, the existence of homosexuality among animals is well documented.

Roman Hawke
2 months ago

Your comparing human behavior with animal behavior?

Roman Hawke
2 months ago

Your comparing human behavior with animal behavior?

John Orsulan Jr
2 months 1 week ago

Michael...Natural Law proclaims by itself that Sexual Activity is Reserved for PROCREATION. Have You ever seen Groups of Homosexual Animals? Human Beings created in the Image and Likeness of God are more Depraved than Animals. Repent, The Kingdom of God is at Hand. John, A sinner who SURRENDERS TO THE WILL OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH!

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea
2 months 2 weeks ago

You know -- it is interesting. God gave us fine minds to use in developing science, medicine, technology. Guess s/he made a mistake? Or perhaps s/he is a sadist who gives us intellect but does not want us to use it. So -- let's see -- if we go by Scripture alone, may I ask how many slaves you own? And which section of the Flat Earth Society do you preside over? The hierarchy has been wrong so many times and centuries later acknowledge it -- e.g. Galileo. They are wrong here too. Fortunately, today, only an increasingly shrinking percentage of humans give a damn what the Vatican says.

J Jones
2 months 2 weeks ago

Well and truly stated, Gail.

John Orsulan Jr
2 months 1 week ago

MARY, Please provide the Biblical References where Slavery is ACCEPTED? It is true that until about 150 Years Ago Slavery did Exist but not because of Christianity. Provide Your Biblical Reference for the Earth being Flat? Galileo had disagreements with the Church but I believe it was more over SPIRITUAL matters than Scientific matters. Accept Christ's Church or Suffer the consequences in the HEREAFTER! Servant of Jesus Christ, John

John Mack
2 months 1 week ago

Don't be so lazy. Google: slavery bible. As for Galileo, yes, the church never demied his findings. But for PR's sake, after the Protestant professors of Europe condemned the Catholic church for enthusiastically receiving Galileo's findings, the Vatican backed down and ordered Galileo yo teach his findings as theory and not fact. The Galileo case had nothing to do with spirituality.

John Mack
2 months 1 week ago

A reasonable form of reason relies on scientific observation and established fact. An unresonable claim to reason is to start with crude observation, formulate unproven premises and proceed from there with logic. Logic is not reason. It is a tool of reason and needs to start with correct observations, not proejudices and unproven premises.

Kevin Murphy
2 months 2 weeks ago

As usual, vague references to biologists, scientists and new "understanding.". No reliance on what Jesus or the Saints said on the issue. And we all know "dialogue" and "paths to understanding" are Jesuit smokescreen till they get what they want. Does Martin really believe Jesus would approve of mutilating one's body in the attempt to change sex?

Frank Bergen
2 months 2 weeks ago

And what, pray tell, did Jesus say on the subject? Doubtless something I missed in my reading of the gospels.

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea
2 months 2 weeks ago

Here's some science. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180524112351.htm. "Brain activity and structure in transgender adolescents more closely resembles the typical activation patterns of their desired gender." I actually do not remember Jesus's lectures on the binary nature of gender or sexuality. Can you please cite the relevant Gospel passages? That would be edifying.

Douglas Fang
2 months 2 weeks ago

Father Martin, I usually quite agree with you on the topic of how the Church should approach LGBT people. However, I have to agree with the Church on the topic of “Gender Theory”, which I believe is wrong and quite distorting in society’s today. Transgenderism is foremost and always a deep psychological problem, you cannot sugar-coat it. Do you know there are certain people who suffer from another severe psychological problem that they want to amputate themselves as they feel that these body parts should not belong to them?

Worse, there is a whole subset of industry that exploits this condition for a substantial financial gain: to encourage expensive hormone treatment for very, very young people and later “sex reassignment” operations? I personally know someone who recovers from this condition through reasoning, dialogue and praying. I know for sure that if he seeks help from the “medical experts”, he will be encouraged to seek lifelong hormonal medication with all kinds of complications… These treatments are just to reduce the symptoms and do nothing with the root cause and can be a huge financial burden.

I don’t say that transgender people can all be recovered, but we should allow many types of treatments to be studied and offered without being labeled as “transphobic”.

Pancho Mulongeni
2 months 1 week ago

"I don’t say that transgender people can all be recovered, but we should allow many types of treatments to be studied and offered without being labeled as “transphobic”."

I rather let people researching on ways to help young transgender people tell me what treatments are based on evidence than your advice, if you want those young people to live, that is, too many take their own lives.

J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

Agreed. The risk of suicide by trans teens is extraordinarily high.

Teresa Gould
2 months 2 weeks ago

What then do you make of the Genesis account? Why the distinction male and female ? Does that signify nothing now because of gender theory? If it’s not meant to be taken literally, as much of Genesis is not, what is the theology we should take from it concerning the nature of humans since their differences and complementary natures is what is highlighted in Genesis?

Bern Price
2 months 2 weeks ago

Judging by history (Galileo, slavery, Teilhard, etc) it will probably take decades if not centuries to reach the ground we might simply begin with: that God created the world and all people out of love, that Jesus came and died for love of all, and that people who hurt, who are despised and shunned, poor and suffering are the ones we should love for Christ's sake literally. Judge not friends!

J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

Gorgeous. I stick around the Catholic Church because this is who I believe Jesus wants to be and who, i believe, most of us would be trying to be if it weren't for the exclusion practiced by the men who run the institution.

Michael Bindner
2 months 2 weeks ago

Eden is an allegory about blame, not biology and not original sin. The story itself is derived from Sumarian myth.

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea
2 months 2 weeks ago

Exactly!

Richard Markiewicz
2 months 2 weeks ago

Thank you Father Martin. Sometimes it is the lone voice in the wilderness that will echo Jesus’ voice to all of us. I’m baffled by the very nature of this document and while hopeful it will lead to further dialogue, I’m concerned that there was no reaching out to the scientific community and those who are LGBTQ. I’m always amazed at people who purport to not be LGBTQ that think they have any ability to speak about our experience. I pray that change will continue and move us further. You have my continued prayers.

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea
2 months 2 weeks ago

There's NEVER reaching out to the scientific community on anything. There are excellent sexual abuse expert in this country -- they never have been called to a meeting. The bishops trot out Thomas Plante, basically a church apologist. It's disgusting. They do not WANT truth; they live in their hierarchical bubbles and wonder why the pews are emptying.

Michael Bindner
2 months 2 weeks ago

I would be happy if the Curia would have an honest conversation among themselves, with expert therapeutic help, on the nature of asexuality. Gay Curia are already self-aware. Traditionalists who are asexual are under the impression that they are heroic and holy heterosexuals. Such a delusion is dangerous in doctrinal formation, and for some, for Altar and choir boys and seminarians.

J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

Michael, keep speaking.

Rhett Segall
2 months 2 weeks ago

At the root of “gender theory” is individualism, i.e., I am what I choose to be. I can affirm my evident sexuality if I want and that’s good because I’ve affirmed it. Or I can disavow my evident sexuality if I want and that’s good because I’ve disavowed it. It is the job of government, so this philosophy asserts, to make sure that no one interferes with this freedom. It’s the responsibility of parents, according to individualism, to encourage their child to choose what the child feels they want to be; that’s true parenting. Evidently this perspective is utterly unchristian. Our true freedom is the ability to respond unhampered to God’s call, a critical dimension of which, as stated by others, is found in Jesus words: “Male and female He created them”.

Michael Bindner
2 months 2 weeks ago

Experience is different from an individual decision. It is valid evidence. Appeals to authority and tradition are logical fallacy at best and superstition at worst.

Rhett Segall
2 months 2 weeks ago

Not if one accepts Revelation.

Michael Bindner
2 months 1 week ago

Revelation was a reactionary screed asserting that Pauline Christianity was the whore of Hellenistic stoicism (he may have been correct) and that Jesus would come again soon and would restore the the Judaized Church. Hold the scallops wrapped in bacon.

Rhett Segall
2 months 1 week ago

I'm not talking about the book of Revelation (the Apocalypse), Michael, but that God has spoken to us (Revealed Himself to us) in the Scriptures and in His Son, Jesus. In the book of Genesis, which Jesus affirmed, we are told that as male and female we are in God's image. (Gen. 1:27)

J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

Michael, don't bother. Rhett stated that abortion kills what "men hold most glorious" in women and kills "what most makes her her".

Rhett Segall
2 months 1 week ago

Guilty!

Michael Bindner
2 months 2 weeks ago

Q can be questioning or queer. Queer is deliberately outrageous. It is a self-affirmation in reaction to reactionary oppression, especially from the Catholic Church and White Evangelicals.

J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

Michael, I really appreciate your understanding of the word "queer". Again, keep speaking.

Michael Bindner
2 months 1 week ago

I know and am related to at least 3 LGBTQIA pew people. None are queer, although my grad school roommate was. I used to help him answer questions about after hours parties at Trax (a gay nightclub in DC), not because I am gay or queer but because I answers the phone first and was mostly a good roommate.

Michael Bindner
2 months 1 week ago

It is amazing how normal the vast majority of gay people are. And how nice. Those that object to them, not so much.

J Jones
2 months 1 week ago

I agree. I am straight and I have chosen to spend my life around kind, wise Catholics which has resulted in my having a lot of gay friends. One of the most painful and joyful experiences I had while working in a Catholic-run homeless shelter was when a homeless woman told me she had been afraid to accept our offer of emergency housing because her Catholic family had told her she was sinful and an abomination, trash in God's eyes. I only learned this a year later when she accompanied us to a Holy Thursday Mass where we washed each other's feet. She was suicidal when she moved in with us. By Holy Thursday, that woundedness had healed and she knew we loved her exactly as she was; she knew we hoped she would find love and have a family; she and I together had found her a welcoming and affirming church in her own tradition and I participated fully in those services with her until she had a community there and no longer needed my accompaniment there. The last time I went to services with her at her church was that Triduum, after she had moved into permanent housing. We left together to do our regular volunteer gig at a soup kitchen together. While we put away tables, she told me how afraid she had been we would not welcome and love and serve her because of how hateful other Catholics had been. I already knew I had done the right and honest thing by choosing Christian discipleship over a life of vowed obedience to the RCC but she taught me I had also done the truly loving and Catholic Christian thing by making that decision because -- having refused obedience to an institution that taught her family to speak and behave in hateful ways --- I was able to include her with open arms in our lives as she made her way on the path to her own healthy, Christ-filled life.

Richard Markiewicz
2 months 1 week ago

Thank you for be Christs hands in the world. We need more people like you and less judgemental Pharisees.

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