Today I was surfing around the Internet and came across an interesting article about a statement by Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan of Mexico. According to the Brisbane Times, an Australian newspaper, Cardinal Barragan stated “Transsexuals and homosexuals will never enter the kingdom of heaven and it is not me who says this, but St Paul”. He later said, “People are not born homosexual, they become homosexual, for different reasons: education issues or because they did not develop their own identity during adolescence. Perhaps they aren’t guilty but by acting against the dignity of the body they will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven”.
Again, according to the Brisbane Time, the Vatican spoke out about what Cardinal Barragan said, which I am glad they did. “Father Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, said the conservative website on which the cardinal made his comments should not be considered an authority on Catholic thinking ‘on complex and delicate issues such as homosexuality'” (Brisbane Time). A more detailed description can be found on Catholic News Service.
On Yahoo News, they report that Cardinal Barragan also stated that “Homosexuality is therefore a sin, but this does not justify any form of discrimination. God alone has the right to judge. We on earth cannot condemn, and as human beings we all have the same rights.”
I found this very interesting because on the website I first discovered what Cardinal Barragan stated, there was a lot, and I mean a lot, of comment from the gay community that were outraged by what Cardinal Barragan said. At first I was surprised as well. I knew what I was reading wasn’t what the Church really teaches on homosexuality and Heaven, so I had to do a little more research into what was really said. Above are just two articles I found on this topic. It’s strange how many news organizations will only pick out little pieces of information that relates to only their view point on a topic.
Now, I understand why so many people in the gay community are angered by Cardinal Barragan saying they will never enter Heaven. I personally think Catholics as a whole should be outraged by this comment as well. Catholics should be outraged that the Church does not help individuals very often whom are gay, or as the Church says it “have same sex attractions”. I have spoke on Courage before, which is endorsed by the Catholic Church, and they only have two meeting locations in Michigan. I find it a tragic that there is not a Courage group in Detroit. Detroit is the largest city in Michigan, and the Church fails to provide a place for people who have “same sex attractions” to find a place within the Church. I personally feel the Church is failing so many gay people by really leaving them to find their only support within the gay community. Most of the time, the only “gay community” most areas have is a gay bar. How can we expect people to act in a moral life style if the only place we leave for them to find support is a bar? We do not do this to those with “opposite sex attractions” do we? Many in the Catholic Church would be outraged if that was the only way for them to find any type of support.
I just want to finish this posting by saying that it saddens me to read that Cardinal Barragan would rather speak of what he feels may happen to the gay community once they stand before God instead of taking the opportunity to speak to the gay community, have a conversation with members of the gay community and really work on finding a way for those of the gay community that have left the church to find their way home to a loving, caring Church that Jesus would be proud to call His own. It also saddens me that the gay community will not stop and take a look at it’s self. It seems (to me anyways) like the gay community is lead by gay bars, drag queens and the all so popluar “Gay Pride Parade”. Wouldn’t it be better if the gay community was identified by a few better images?
UPDATE (Dec 16th, 2009): After reviewing Courage website, I found that they do indeed have a Courage group in the city of Detroit. I was getting my information from another source. I discovered there are six Courage groups in Michigan, with none being located in the Upper Pensilualia. I still do not feel that is enough, I still feel they are too spread out and that they are not focused on spreading the word about these groups in a manner that could reach those who have left the Church because they do not feel accepted there.