It is no secret members of the Catholic Church have rejected homosexual activity, which is essentially homosexuality. These people claim it is a sin and anyone inflicted with this condition can be cured through God. Members of the church have supported conversion therapy, which is a pseudoscientific technique that can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness and suicide.
This past week, an article in The New York Times took a different angle on attitudes toward homosexuality in the Catholic Church, delving into the gay priests hiding from their sexuality to be leaders in the church.
The Times interviewed two dozen gay priests and seminaries from around the country, and what these people said creates an ugly picture of the dangers presented if you are a gay man in the clergy.
This article comes at a time when the church is starting to finally punish rapists and molesters who have been using their power to hurt innocent people, such as former cardinal Theodore McCarrick. McCarrick is the highest-ranking church official ever to be expelled from the priesthood for sex abuse.
Multiple men have come forward with claims that McCarrick molested and sexually abused them while they were minors who were training to become priests. The decision to defrock him is historical. Punishments like this do not often happen in the church and more often than not these scandals have been covered up and swept under the rug.
While it is wonderful that these terrible people are finally being punished for their wrongdoings, it comes at a cost for the LGBTQ community, especially for the gay priests. The defrocking of McCarrick has led to rhetoric blaming homosexuality for these abuses.
According to The Times article, important bishops have argued that certain gay priests are the cause of the problem, and right-wing media organizations attack what they refer to as the church’s “homosexual subculture,” “lavender mafia” or “gay cabal.”
While the Catholic Church is improving in addressing the problem of sex abuse within the church — something that has been going on for decades and was long overdue — they are not approaching it head-on. They are using the LGBTQ community as a scapegoat for their internal problems so as not to place any blame on the actual institution that is the Catholic Church.
Being in the LGBTQ community does not equate to being a rapist or pedophile. Anyone of any sexuality or gender can be a bad person. The real problem is the fact that the church has let bad men like McCarrick carry on without any form of punishment.
As we can see in The Times article, these gay men are not bad people who are getting away with hurting people because of their power. Instead, they are hiding in a cage, being victimized for crimes they did not commit and trying to be a person they are not.
Many of these priests have described this scapegoating as dangerous for them and their jobs, and it has only gotten worse as more sex abuse scandals come to the surface.
I have never been a member of the Catholic Church, and with the anti-LGBTQ rhetoric that is constantly surrounding it, I probably never will be. Most religious scholars who analyze the Bible come to the conclusion that the clearest section of the Bible that claims homosexuality is a sin is in the Old Testament in Leviticus 18:22.
Regardless of where in the Bible homosexuality is claimed as sinful is located, there are a lot of other things that are listed as sins that people still do — and no one shuns them or threatens their lives because of it.
Some of these sins include getting remarried after a divorce, wearing torn clothes or anything revealing, getting tattoos and eating bacon or pork. I am almost positive most of these people preaching against homosexuality have done at least one of those things.
The anti-gay rhetoric within the Catholic Church is based on hatred and ignorance, which sounds like the opposite of what God would have wanted. Christianity is supposed to be about living your life through the guidance of love and being the best version of yourself. I see no room for hatred in that description.