The Church is a whore

“The Church is a whore, but she is my mother.” ~ St. Augustine

For Christmas, my parents give me a year’s subscription to Netflix. The main reason they give me this is because I do not have cable and this allows me the ability to watch something on my computer by streaming movies over the internet. Yeah, I do get a movie by mail, but that was not the main reason for this present. The reason I bring this up is I am sitting here streaming a documentary called “Lord, Save Us from Your Followers” and one of the individuals interviewed in the movie mentioned the above quote by St. Augustine. This quote got me thinking about the Church’s current state as well as how this relates to being gay and Catholic.

St. Augustine made a very bold statement, referring to the Church as a whore and his mother. These two images do not go together very easily for many people, especially when referring to the Catholic Church. I do believe that if St. Augustine were alive today, he would say the same thing about the Church.  He understood the Church is not perfect because people run it.

St. Augustine also understood how important the Church is to all of us. The Church has been the leader in teaching us about Jesus, about sharing the stories of the Bible, about charity, love, and so many other positives things. St. Augustine understood this completely when he said, “The Church is a whore, but she is my mother”. By referring to the Church as his mother, he was stating that just as a mother does, the church’s job is to teach us and lead us in the right direction and that we are suppose to honor the Church as we honor our mothers and fathers.

The Church has not done the best job when it comes to providing support of gay Catholics. In fact, in my opinion, I think they have done a very poor job. The Church teaches that we as Catholics must have compassion and understanding for those that are homosexuals, but from what I have seen and read, many times the Church has acted in the opposite manner. If we were to look at this in relations to the quote by St. Augustine, we can see how the Church acts like a mother by teaching us to treat people with respect and compassion, but at the same time, it is acting as a whore by mistreating and misguiding so many people.

I have spoke before of a man I meet at a local gay bar. When he asked me what I was doing the next day and I informed him I was attending church, he seemed surprised. After talking for a bit longer, he told me that he used to be Catholic, but now he really was not sure what he was. Even to this day, I have a sense of sadness when I think about the conversation I had with him. I am not sure if it is because he has left the Church or if it is because I did not say or show any real compassion for him on this issue.

It also saddens me that so many gays leave the Church because of the fact they do not feel there is a place for them there. I must admit, I often feel this way myself. When I attend Mass, I look around and see many couples, family, and a few single people here and there at the service.  I have sat in church on several occasions wondering if I was the only gay person there. It is a very lonely feeling to think that you are all alone in a place that many refer to as “God’s House”. I wonder if those that have left the Church have felt similar as I have when they sat there in a pew at their local Catholic Church and felt all alone.

I know have been blogging on this website for a little over a year. I have had contact with many people from around the world and it truly is something I never expected when I started this website. One of the things that I have learned is that even though I may sit in the pew at the Catholic Churches I attend by myself and often feel alone there, I truly am not. Many others gay Catholics are doing the same as I am, going to Mass by themselves. In some crazy way that does bring some comfort to me, knowing that I am on the only person in this world that is gay and attending Mass. If you happen to feel in a similar manner, know that you are not alone. If nothing else, know that I am here, sitting most Saturdays in a pew attending Mass. (I usually attend on Saturday due to my work schedule).

I would like to end this blog entry with a quote an individual name Ean places in his email signature. “If you believe the Church is of God and not men, how can you give up on it”.  Just as Ean understands, St. Augustine understood that the Church is not perfect, but we should not give up on it. It is only through hard work and dedication can we create a place where a young gay Catholic can feel welcomed when he or she sits down in a pew at their Catholic Church.

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2 Responses to The Church is a whore

  1. Rick says:

    How can anyone feel welcome in something that is so full of corruption? Like the US gov, In no way is the Vatican a saint. It’s loaded with men as crooked as snakes. You can’t progress if those with the power have so many alterior motives. I don’t affiliate with churches, but I don’t feel I need to be. They’re too subjective, and far too many stray from the written facts-and all of them interpret things differently. (Or how they want it to be)

    I’ve never really had a problem with churches. The only problem I have is I sometimes get so bored I want to cry, lol. But I can assure you, you are not, have never been, and NEVER will be the ONLY gay person in any church with more than 30 members. Trust me 😉

    I hope you are well, Joe!!!

    • Joe says:

      Hey Rick, glad to see you still stop by my blog once in a while. Thank you for leaving a comment as well. I do agree that there are crooked people in the government and Vatican. But that doesn’t mean that the form of government we have in the US or the Catholic faith is the wrong, it just means that some people should not have power in either organization have gained that power. I do think that the US and the Church will find there ways to do what is right for the people that live and believe in them, that it’s those that are gay. :)

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