Like a Phoenix...
I no longer find myself straddling that divide.
24 hours ago a dear friend sent me an email with a link to a story whose headline read Vatican Cardinal links homosexuality with pedophilia and abuse scandal.
His email ended with the following eight words, you believe in a church that says this?!?!?
My post 4-year inaugural rant will not be a pedagogical essay about pedophilia and homosexuality -- I am not so naïve to think that I can eviscerate such nonsense with a few brief paragraphs. The following is my not-so-eloquent explanation as to how I can reconcile my religious briefs with my status as a member of the LGBTTIQ community; two seemingly opposing dynamics.
First, as a member of the Catholic and the LGBTTIQ communities, this story affected me greatly. At the most fundamental level, pedophilia is a predatory behaviour. The dynamic is one of unequal power where an adult preys on a child and, with force, turns that dynamic into something sexual.
A relationship between two same sex individuals is just that, a RELATIONSHIP. There is no power imbalance. There is no predatory component and what's more, should the relationship turn sexual, there is informed consent.
To have such a senior ranking Cardinal make such a horrific comparison is irresponsible. And, while everyone is entitled to their opinion, caution must be exercised when making such polarizing statements because inevitably some will believe such statements to be factual, which they are not; they are subjective.
I have reverence for my Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican but, at times, I find myself doubting the congress of men who serve as administrators of the Catholic Church and the spiritual advisors tasked with preaching the word of God.
For me, there are three components to my belief system:
- FAITH. It is the most personal. It is my unwavering belief in existance of God and my active life of obedience to Him.
- RELIGION. It is the practices related to communal faith and to group rituals and communication stemming from shared conviction.
- CATHOLIC CHURCH. It is both the physical structure and the term I use to collectively describe the clergy/the formal religious leadership.