The internet has been full of jubilation and despair in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage across the US, and this is certainly true for Catholics as well. Some Catholics are rejoicing in this historic moment, seeing a major step forward for justice, human dignity, and mercy. Others are deeply disappointed, believing the Supreme Court has redefined marriage in a way that will undermine the family and human flourishing. For some Catholics, however, it’s a bit more complicated.
Two pieces caught my eye that reflect on the tensions some millennial Catholics feel when it comes to figuring out how to reconcile devotion to the Church and the love we have for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.
The editors of the Jesuit Post write:
Those of us loyal both to our church and to our LGBT family and friends are left in a difficult position. On the one hand, we want to proclaim the way, the truth, and the life – we want to witness to the radically transformative power of God’s love in the world – and we want to follow the church’s lead in that endeavor. On the other, we struggle to reconcile the church’s teaching with the suffering of our loved ones, or the church’s disappointment with our loved ones’ joy.
Christopher Hale writes:
When we listen to each other with big hearts, we can begin to overcome the unfair stereotypes that divide us. We can put to rest the great lie that everyone who opposes gay marriage is a bigot and that everyone who supports it is a bad Catholic. We can begin to understand and form ourselves again around the fundamental truths of our faith: that God loves us, that the Church welcomes us, and that Jesus walks with us.
As bishops from around the world prepare to respond to the clear need for better pastoral care of gay, lesbian, and transgender people at the upcoming Synod, we can only hope that they will hear from and focus on those voices (on both sides of this issue and anywhere in between) dedicated to dialogue and love, rather than those spewing hatred (of the Church or gay and lesbian people) or pushing legalism. The road ahead is not entirely clear, but if we are guided by the wisdom and love of Christ, we will surely find our way.