I Wish I Could Love Thee Notre Dame

“I learned that as deep as a wound is, that’s how deep the healing can be.”

Mary Karr, 2015 Syracuse University Commencement Address

I recently had the privilege to speak with students on the Notre Dame LGBTQ retreat, and it gave me an opportunity to reflect on my own time as a gay student in college. When I return to campus, I can often see other graduates basking in a shimmer around the edges, the Catholic glamour of the Basilica, the warmth of the grotto, and the roar of the Stadium. Friends fondly recall late nights in LaFortune and flood their former dorms with nostalgia. For many, Notre Dame is and was a dream come true.

I wish I could see it. I want to be just a normal college graduate, who looks back on those days and wishes to relive them. But I can’t. And I’m don’t.

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An Ecclesial Examination of Conscience, from Your Gay Christian Brother

Stories I have heard over the last couple of weeks:

  • a student who came out to his father in high school and was kicked out of his house the next morning
  • a woman who was fired for a same sex relationship, who received death threats from Catholics after going public, and for whom it took years before she didn’t wake up angry at the Church

These stories are all over the Church. If you go where gay people are, these are the stories you hear. If you haven’t personally heard one of these stories, then you should consider what this means about your construction of ecclesiality, and what can be done about this. If people don’t do anything, then this is the status quo. If you stand by silently while this happens, then history (and God and I) will remember you as one who acquiesces. I won’t stand for it, and you shouldn’t either.

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Franciscan U, Blasphemy, and the PA Grand Jury Report

Content warning: discusses child sexual violence.

Matthew 18:6 and Mark 9:42 provide an identical warning from Christ: “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea.” We often spend a lot of time thinking about “these little ones,” but we don’t consider the subject of the “you” here. What many of us fail to reflect upon is that, in this scene, Christ is alone with the twelve. John has just asked Jesus about stopping those who cast out demons in his name, and Jesus says not to concern himself with such matters. Instead, Christ is warning his disciples about their own behavior.

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Stop Being “Celibate,” Stop Apologizing

It was one of those “we’re both gay, how about a coffee?” kind of meetings. After a while I told her, “Yeah, it was fun hooking up and stuff… But I’m glad it’s in the past.”

She looked at me seriously, giving the sort of look that goes right into you but without feeling invasive. She said, “You don’t need to apologize for your past. You don’t need to justify yourself to me.”

“Oh,” I said. “Thanks.”

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The Playground for Homosexuals

“Holiness is nothing other than charity lived to the full.” – Pope Benedict XVI

“The important thing is that each believer discern his or her own path, that they bring out the very best of themselves, the most personal gifts that God has placed in their hearts (cf. 1 Cor 12:7), rather than hopelessly trying to imitate something not meant for them.” -Pope Francis

I had drinks with a friend a couple of years ago, and our conversation turned to the question of Catholicism and homosexuality. He was working on a graduate thesis that explored this question, but he’d come up against the problem of limited magisterial resources.

This was a problem that I once found incredibly frustrating. Why is it that the Church prioritizes explorations of the many facets of the married vocation, handing to couples discerning or living out marriage numerous resources and guidance on very specific questions, while the question of homosexuality and the vocation of the person who experiences “homosexual inclinations” is allotted three brief paragraphs in the Catechism and a couple of dated documents from local bishops’ conferences? Continue reading “The Playground for Homosexuals”

Published in Logos: A Catholic Perspective on Homoerotic Desire

My first academic article is now out! You can find it in the Winter 2019 edition of Logos Journal, alongside articles on capital punishment, Therese of Lisieux, consecrated widows in the Church, and Teresa’s Dark Night. My article focuses on the question of homoerotic desire, attempting to shift the current cultural conversations in the Church on homosexual lust and marriage to more fundamental conversations on same-sex desire, love, and creativity. It looks at Church history and tradition, drawing on the resources of the past to give a fresh perspective on today’s labored debates. Continue reading “Published in Logos: A Catholic Perspective on Homoerotic Desire”

Parenthood and the Voice of Conscience

Parenthood is central to the Nativity story. Birth and infancy cast Christ the King most of all in dependence. God so humbled himself not only to become man, but also to be dependent upon man, particularly upon two parents, Mary and Joseph. God did not only come to mankind to be sacrificed, but also to be nurtured, to be loved and cared for by woman and man, to communicate his needs and to make requests to his parents as they bring him to adulthood Continue reading “Parenthood and the Voice of Conscience”