One of the most difficult things about interfaith dialogue is talking about the issues that people disagree on. It can be so easy to sit down and find the commonalities between you and someone else, but to sit down and talk about the things you don’t agree on can be painful. It is for this reason that I feel it is important to talk about the last LGBT mass held in Soho, an area in Westminster, England.
I stumbled across this article today when looking through the Religion articles on BBC, and quite frankly it made me sad. It is disheartening to see a community of people who support each other, and in this case have been doing so for six years, have to disband. Reading the article I felt the sadness of this community who supported and embraced each other in their faith over the past six years now have that support system taken away because who they love and are attracted to “contradicted the teachings of the church.”
Now I am not ignorant of the Church’s teachings. I know that the Catholic Church has some pretty strong statements and teachings regarding homosexuality and how it is believed to be wrong. But personally I really struggle with this. How is it that a religion which is so welcoming of all different people can throw out this entire community of people who embrace their Catholic faith in Soho? Why is there hate instead of love? I’ve been asking these kinds of questions for years and I still don’t have any answers.
Despite all this article says, I don’t see this as the end of the road for LGBT Catholics. Yes it’s a setback, but there has to be a way for these groups of people to coexist and for LGBT people to be able to practice their Catholic faith. I want to be respectful of the Catholic Church and all that it believes, because there are so many things about the faith that work to accept and help the marginalized in the world. However I really think that this is something they got wrong. I feel that if the people of the Vatican got to talk with someone who went to this specific church they might see things differently. Maybe they would see the community as a welcoming place of worship like so many other churches across the globe. That’s something amazing about dialoguing: even when talking about stark differences between two people or groups, you still end up finding something in common.
Now there are a lot of unknowns and uncertainties surrounding this issue, but what I do know is that I’m not giving up on the Church. I believe that someday people from all different walks of life can come together to practice the faith that speaks truth to their hearts and work together to make the world a better place.
And that my friends will be a great day for religious pluralism.