Friday, May 25, 2012

Total Honesty

Okay. There's a long, long narrative that I've been wary of sharing up until now because I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, or how it would resolve, and I was kind of scared that it would all end in disaster and I'd just end up leading other souls alongside me down the primrose path to despair and damnation. I'm pretty confident at this point that the path does not end there. I've let the tree grow a little, I've examined its fruits, they seem to be sound, and good, and beautiful, and true, and all of that, so it's time to share.

Some people are not going to like what I say here. They're going to be quick to get up in the com-box and tell me that I'm deviating from the strict letter of Church teaching. I don't think I am, and I'll get to that in due course, but I am certainly deviating from the standard tropes for same-sex attracted Catholics. I'd like to point out that these tropes are not identical with Church teaching: the Church has always been very careful to state that the psychological genesis of homosexuality is unknown, so I think that it stands to reason that one need not conform to any particular psychogenetic theory in order to be orthodox. I would also like to suggest that the various pastoral approaches that have been developed out of the popular psychogenic tropes can also not be construed to be absolute Truth, applicable to all homosexual persons in all situations. This is not to say that these approaches are not valid, that they are not helpful, that they are evil, or misguided, or ineffectual – just that they do not work for me. Think, in this respect, about the difference between Jesuit spirituality and Franciscan spirituality, the spirituality of warriors and the spirituality of gardeners: there is more than one approach that leads to truth, and Rome has always encouraged a variety of spiritualities under the aegis of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I'm not seeking to spread disunity, but diversity. Those who've followed my previous writings on narrative will understand what I mean.

Finally, I'd like to defend this project on the grounds of authenticity. Ever since I was a teenager, I've believed several important things about truth:

1. It must be rational and coherent. 2. It must be possible to live as if it is true. 3. Truth is good for people; that which is not good for the human person is not true. 4. Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty 5. I will not believe in any philosophy that leads me to believe that suicide is my best option. 6. Authenticity is essential in the search for truth.

So I'm going to be honest here, authentic. I believe and hope and pray that Truth absolute will not in any way be obscured, dishonoured, or offended by my little truth. If I am in error, or if what I say is scandalous, please correct me: but please do so in the understanding that I'm familiar with the documents. Quotations alone will not suffice. All of the authoritative texts on this subject are open to multiple hermeneutics, and for me, the interpretation that I bring to them seems true because it is vouchsafed by my own experience, it resonates within my heart. The other hermeneutics do not resonate. They make me angry. Not angry with the people who tell me these things – I understand that those people are guided by genuine pastoral concern, by a desire to perform the spiritual work of mercy we call “fraternal correction,” by the desire to speak the truth out of love. Angry none the less. Angry because something which is utterly alien to my own heart, something which has caused me pain, is promulgated as though it were the immutable will of my God.

I can't believe that.

Let me explain.

Part 1, hopefully of 12

5 comments:

  1. Looking forward to the remaining 11.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "1. It must be rational and coherent. 2. It must be possible to live as if it is true. 3. Truth is good for people; that which is not good for the human person is not true. 4. Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty 5. I will not believe in any philosophy that leads me to believe that suicide is my best option. 6. Authenticity is essential in the search for truth."

    Love these criteria, Melinda. I agree wholeheartedly! The truth will, and must be, good and beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Go to it, sister Melinda!!! While we do not think identically on all details, I believe we are on the same track essentially. And I appreciate your words and willingness to stand firmly against what sometimes amounts to Church-sanctioned prejudice--or at least seems to.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I wasn't going to comment further on this post, but Kyle's comment reminded me, that those criteria had me a bit worried (after No. 1). The thing is, they can be awfully subjective. We've all heard, "How can something be wrong if it feels so right?" And it may not be easy to see the beauty in Matthew 5:32, but I don't think that means it isn't true.

    I've been pretty busy this past week, so I'm just getting to your subsequent posts. I'll be interested to see where you go with this.

    ReplyDelete

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