Monday, October 22, 2012

let them come home

I have a good friend who is a priest, a religious. I was talking to him over the weekend and he asked after my mother. When he heard that she was in poor form, perhaps slipping away, he told me he'd say Mass for her on Sunday. He's that kind of a man: a good guy, a good priest ... much loved in his community, much loved in the parish.

He had a letter in a national paper recently. He suffers from depression. He knows what it's like to feel alienated and rejected. And he knows what it feels like to be enfolded in a loving welcome by friends, family, parish, & community when he returns home after treatment. He wishes those who are gay could experience the same welcome from the Church.

He is not a wild-eyed liberal. He has fairly orthodox views. He doesn't want same sex marriage or ask that 2000 years of Church teaching be dumped in favour of making the Church a reflection of the values dear to secular culture. When he and I sit down over a cup of coffee and rant a bit (as priests do) about the problems we face as priests in the modern world we're pretty much ad idem on what the various problems are.

So maybe it's not surprising that he and I agree on this. Everyone should feel welcomed by the Church. How that's going to happen when the debate has become so polarised by the whole 'culture wars' thing I don't know. A great many poor souls have been caught in the cross-fire between extremists on both sides ... 

But I do know that in the Church that Christ founded all must feel welcome.

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