Parish Rot — Acceptance of Homosexuality Runs Deep in the American Church
As has been obvious to many Catholics for many years, broad swathes of the American Church have been very cavalier and accepting of homosexual behavior, despite the fact that the Church is crystal clear that such behavior is gravely sinful.
So, I wanted to share a brief story.
My RCIA Experience
When I decided I had to become Catholic, I went to a local RCIA Program. RCIA stands for “Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.” It is the program most converts go through in order to become Catholic.
So, I went to my first class. The instructor was a nice lady. But she had one major flaw: She took it upon herself to tell the students that she disagreed with the Church’s teaching. On what you may ask? You guessed it: homosexuality.
Up until she said that (and no student even brought it up) I had been very engaged in the discussion. But when she said it, I went dead silent. I didn’t know how to respond. I was so disappointed that an instructor in the Catholic faith wasn’t even standing by it that I determined the most prudent course of action, for a first class, would be to simply be silent — and if God intended me to speak, He would open the door.
An Open Door
Well, He did. The instructor noticed I went from lively and engaged to dead silent. “So Joshua, what do you think?”
“Oh, I’m happy to just listen,” I said, attempting to give her an out.
“No, I’d really love to hear what you think.”
I gave her another out, but then the other instructor, a middle-aged man who was subbing for the Deacon (who was sick) chimed in and said he’d love to hear my thoughts as well (he had not stood up to the lead instructor when she said she disagreed with the Church’s teaching on homosexuality).
Taking this as my cue, and after giving 2-3 chances for them to opt out of getting a response from me, I looked the instructor in the eye, and firmly, but politely said:
“I am here precisely because I am no longer a Protestant; thus, I intend to obey and stand by the Church’s teachings.”
The room fell pin-drop silent. After about 5-10 seconds (which seemed like an eternity), I spoke up again:
“Also, you misquoted the Catechism.”
She had claimed that the Church taught that homosexual persons were intrinsically disordered, and that was discriminatory. I said, “That is absolutely false. That’s not what the Catechism says. It says that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”
Sure enough, she looked it up, and I was correct. Paragraph 2357 said exactly what I said: “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” Persons who have homosexual dispositions are to be loved and honored as persons. But homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.
“And by the way,” I said, “the Catechism states that many actions I would be prone to as a heterosexual man are also ‘intrinsically disordered.’ So if the Church discriminates against homosexuals, it is also discriminating against me, a straight man, I guess.” Sure enough, when the Catechism was opened, turns out I was correct. Many such actions are described as “intrinsically disordered.”
Suffice it to say I left that class horrified. How could the instructor in the Catholic faith (1) Openly declare rebellion against it; and (2) mangle the Catechism to make her point?
To add insult to injury, the other instructor only stood up for the Church’s teaching against the dissenting instructor after I stood up for it! How on earth could this be happening? I wasn’t even in the Church yet, and yet I was standing up for her teachings more than the Catholics who were instructing me.
I was baffled.
I was even more baffled when I told the RCIA coordinator about it. The response was horrible. All I got was: “Thanks for letting us know.”
No changes were made, nothing. Someone was openly teaching error to potential converts, and they were allowed to continue doing so.
Not a Mystery
There were other troubling things that occurred during that RCIA class, but I trust the point is clear. There is a rot that has infested far too many Catholic parishes from parish leadership itself. That is why so many lay people are so furious right now. Nor was this a mystery to me prior to deciding to convert. I knew all about it, having had many discussions with Catholic friends.
But church leaders are attendants. They are not the Bridegroom. You don’t flee the altar, as many of the faithful are threatening to do.
You don’t leave. In fact, you can’t leave. You stick it out. People will always, always disappoint. But the Church remains the beneficiary of Christ’s promises.
So, you don’t leave, for this is to base faith on men. You stay, for that is to base faith on Christ.