A new book on queer Catholicism highlights the need to focus on queer voices

To The Works of God Revealed, author Sam Albano takes us on a richly-sourced journey through the history of the Catholic Church’s teaching on the LGBTQIA+ experience. Sam currently serves as the national secretary of DignityUSA which “works for respect and justice for people of all sexual orientations, genders and backgrounds – especially LGBT people , transgender, queer, queer and intersex – to the Catholic Church and the world through education, advocacy and support.”

God’s Works Revealed: Spirituality, Theology, and Social Justice for Gay, Lesbian, and Interracial Catholics. written for both straight and non-straight people. As a queer, millennial Catholic, one of the main issues I see in the Catholic Church today is the lack of education about all things LGBTQIA+ from people in positions of authority within the church. Decisions are being made and statements are being released by people who don’t know what they’re talking about because they don’t connect with the LGBTQIA+ community in any significant way. Speaking of what they do not know, the church authorities have created confusion that has caused great pain.

The pain of being a member of a religion that does not want to take care of your humanity is visible everywhere The Works of God Revealed. However, the author is still respectful of his expressions of dissatisfaction and pain. This book is not an insult to the establishment; it is a sincere attempt to discuss a point of view that has been largely ignored by authorities within the Catholic Church.

LGBTQIA+ people are often misrepresented as rebels who want to destroy or disrespect the teachings and traditions of the church. The author shows what I have found to be true in my community of Catholic LGBTQIA+ friends: love for others, genuine longing and years of prayer and learning what the Catholic Church teaches. There is 12 resource pages listed at the end of this book. The Works of God Revealed it proves that LGBTQIA+ Catholics do not enter discussions about education and theology uneducated or unprepared, and it is time that non-LGBTQIA+ Catholics have the self-respect to do so.

Knowing in advance that Albano and I have different conclusions about the church’s teaching on sex, I expected that this book would somehow disturb me. But I wasn’t prepared for how powerful it would be to have someone speak in harmony with church teaching. from and for my opinion as a queer person – it is rare in the Catholic media.

Since most church teachings and documents about the LGBTQIA+ experience are written by straight people, they tend to sound like “us vs. them” statements. This is not to say that straight people cannot serve people effectively within the LGBTQIA+ paradigm; rather, it shows when all LGBTQIA+ education and ministry is coming only for straight people it does not live or work. The Queer community are important members of the body of Christ, and the leadership of the Catholic Church is doing a great disservice by ignoring us or not wanting to shepherd and strengthen us spiritually. The current systems are not working.

To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about this book. I appreciate the lengths the author was willing to go to give people the right information: about the experience of being LGBTQIA+ and Catholic, how the wording of the church’s teaching has affected that experience (especially in a negative way) and how close it is. related to social justice. Every time I am given the opportunity to talk about being a nun and a Catholic, I worry that what I say will be accepted as I try to prove that I am worth living, that I am worth sharing in society and that I deserve to be a part. of the Catholic Church. Books like The Works of God Revealed of course they are necessary, but I can’t help but wonder if they feel that LGBTQIA+ people have to “find their place” here.

Albano and I studied many of the same church documents. I’m sure we’ve raised many of the same concerns in our audience. However, we have been able to reach “contradictory” decisions in several ways, even with our freedom and true desire. Normally, this would be where we go to church to “solve” the debate, but I think Albano and I are both worried about trusting an institution that has been such a source of misinformation. , lies and danger when it comes. the LGBTQIA+ community. If the Catholic Church wishes to remain in authority, the people who run it must stop being irresponsible and irresponsible when it comes to LGBTQIA+ issues.

Although we have different opinions, I hope that Albano has reached his conclusions after years of prayer and heartache – indeed, this book is proof! – and I ask for the same trust and consideration to be given to me. I do not see it as a conflict of interest or a betrayal of my faith to encourage people to read this book. The Catholic Church is not meant to be an echo chamber. We should listen all members with the intention of truly loving and caring for each other.

I would have passed on this opportunity or written this book as a leftist lie. I didn’t do that. Neither should you.

Author’s message: I know that the non-LGBTQIA+ experience is too broad to be accurately described by the words “straight” or “gay” but the lack of widely understood terms and the need for brevity forced me to use them in this instance.

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