A number of them showed up on my reading radar and I was pleasantly surprised to see their stories in the Washington Post:
When Eve Tushnet converted to Catholicism in 1998, she thought she might be the world’s first celibate Catholic lesbian.
Having grown up in a liberal, upper Northwest Washington home before moving on to Yale University, the then-19-year-old knew no other gay Catholics who embraced the church’s ban on sex outside heterosexual marriage. Her decision to abstain made her an outlier.
“Everyone I knew totally rejected it,” she said of the church’s teaching on gay sexuality.
Josh Gonnerman, 29, a theology PhD student at Catholic University, writes for the spiritualfriendship site and speaks easily about embracing his gayness. When he came out in the mid-2000s, Gonnerman says, church leaders weren’t speaking about celibacy because they had “sort of thrown their lot in with the Republican Party” and wouldn’t talk inclusively in any way about LGBT people. The LGBT group he and Tushnet are part of at Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, he said, has gone from more of a “support group” to something more upbeat that organizes social and spiritual activities for members — not all of whom accept church teaching on celibacy.
“There is this shift from the more negative to the more positive,” he said. “In the past, the Catholic approach was: ‘Oh, sucks for you’ [that you’re gay]. The emphasis was on the difficulty. Celibacy is being reimagined.”
Read the whole thing.
More times than not, I'll read or hear about nominal Catholics who struggle with the Church's teachings on a variety of issues. Attending Mass regularly, the Eucharist, gay marriage, you name it. The only authority many of them are willing to yield to is the authority that guides them on what to have for breakfast or what to tape on the DVR.
It's refreshing to read about people like Ms. Tushnet and Mr. Gonnerman who embrace the faith and attempt to bend to the Church's teachings rather than succumb to the authority of self.
God bless 'em. God give the faithful and those attempting to be faithful the same courage and strength.