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‘No Gay Priests,’ Says Pope Francis

I swear, I don’t know what to make of this pope’s words. Here is what he’s now saying about gay priests and religious: [1]

“In consecrated and priestly life, there’s no room for that kind of affection. Therefore, the church recommends that people with that kind of ingrained tendency should not be accepted into the ministry or consecrated life.

“The ministry or the consecrated life is not his place.”

More: [2]

Francis recalled that one time “I had a somewhat scandalized bishop here who told me that he had found out that in his diocese, a very large diocese, there were several homosexual priests and that he had to deal with all that, intervening, above all, in the formation process, to form a different group of clergy.”

“It’s a reality we can’t deny. There is no lack of cases in the consecrated life either. A religious told me that, on a canonical visit to one of the provinces in his congregation, he was surprised. He saw that there were good young students and even some already professed religious who were gay,” he said.

The Pope said that the religious “wondered if it were an issue and asked me if there was something wrong with that. Francis said he was told by one religious superior that the issue was not “that serious, it’s just an expression of an affection.”

“That’s a mistake,” Francis warned. “It’s not just an expression of an affection. In consecrated and priestly life, there’s no room for that kind of affection. Therefore, the Church recommends that people with that kind of ingrained tendency should not be accepted into the ministry or consecrated life. The ministry or the consecrated life is not his place.”

change_me

A pro-gay activist priest tries to spin this:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js [6]

That’s plainly wrong. How much clearer can you get than “the ministry or the consecrated life is not [the] place [for gays]”?

On the other hand, one can certainly understand Father Martin’s confusion. Francis has given every indication of liberalizing on homosexuality. He has promoted pro-gay cardinal and bishops, for instance. What does Francis really believe? His famous “who am I to judge?” comments in 2013 [7] were made in reference to a question about a prominent priest accused of homosexual promiscuity. Here’s the full papal statement; emphases below are mine:

About Monsignor Ricca: I did what canon law calls for, that is a preliminary investigation. And from this investigation, there was nothing of what had been alleged. We did not find anything of that. This is the response. But I wish to add something else: I see that many times in the Church, over and above this case, but including this case, people search for “sins from youth”, for example, and then publish them. They are not crimes, right? Crimes are something different: the abuse of minors is a crime. No, sins. But if a person, whether it be a lay person, a priest or a religious sister, commits a sin and then converts, the Lord forgives, and when the Lord forgives, the Lord forgets and this is very important for our lives. When we confess our sins and we truly say, “I have sinned in this”, the Lord forgets, and so we have no right not to forget, because otherwise we would run the risk of the Lord not forgetting our sins. That is a danger. This is important: a theology of sin. Many times I think of Saint Peter. He committed one of the worst sins, that is he denied Christ, and even with this sin they made him Pope. We have to think a great deal about that. But, returning to your question more concretely. In this case, I conducted the preliminary investigation and we didn’t find anything. This is the first question. Then, you spoke about the gay lobby. So much is written about the gay lobby. I still haven’t found anyone with an identity card in the Vatican with “gay” on it. They say there are some there. I believe that when you are dealing with such a person, you must distinguish between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of someone forming a lobby, because not all lobbies are good. This one is not good. If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this in a beautiful way, saying … wait a moment, how does it say it … it says: “no one should marginalize these people for this, they must be integrated into society”. The problem is not having this tendency, no, we must be brothers and sisters to one another, and there is this one and there is that one. The problem is in making a lobby of this tendency: a lobby of misers, a lobby of politicians, a lobby of masons, so many lobbies. For me, this is the greater problem. Thank you so much for asking this question. Many thanks.

Francis’s words here support Father Martin’s position, it seems to me. I don’t understand how the pope can say that homosexual desire itself is not a problem within the priesthood, but only understanding oneself as a gay priest, and acting on those desires. And now Francis says, “Therefore, the Church recommends that people with that kind of ingrained tendency should not be accepted into the ministry or consecrated life.”

Well, which is it? Has Francis’s thinking changed? Maintaining deep skepticism is the prudent response.

There has been some hesitancy among theologically conservative Catholics to make too much of this new statement by Francis, because it seems to run so counter to what he’s been doing. I think the one thing that everyone can agree on is that Francis’s teaching is characterized by the confusion it generates.

Watch what happens at the February meeting in Rome, when the bishops gather to talk about the response to sexual abuse. If they do not speak of homosexuality in the priesthood as a component of the crisis, that’s a good sign that this statement from Francis was designed to throw some red meat to the conservatives. If they do speak of it in a serious way, then we will look back on this new statement as a signal of the pope’s intentions.

The fact that many people on both sides of the argument are hesitant to embrace the pope’s words on their face, despite their clear Catholic orthodoxy, tells you something about papal credibility at this point.

84 Comments (Open | Close)

84 Comments To "‘No Gay Priests,’ Says Pope Francis"

#1 Comment By JohnInCA On December 4, 2018 @ 5:01 pm

@Hosana, @Gerard
Yeah, that advice has been tried. A lot. The success rate is nothing to write home about. Hence why I call it impractical.

So unless y’all have something new that bumps up the success rate of that advice, it remains impractical.

@Jose Guatemala
(A) You do realize that’s basically what Paul said, right? It’s better to be celibate, but if you can’t pull that off, marriage is acceptable?

(B) There is not a single group of celibate men in the world that can reliably teach a man how to be successfully celibate for his entire life. Not a one. Not inside the church, not outside the church, not in some other church. Men are, quite simply, terrible at being intentionally celibate.

So yes, it’s not practical advice. It’s extraordinary advice, and following it requires a person be extraordinary. And simply put, gay folk are actually pretty ordinary. We’re not X-Men, who get super-powered will because we’re gay. And expecting ordinary folk to successfully implement extraordinary advice is impractical.

And if that’s a “slap in the face” to anyone, then it’s one that was needed because someone shouldn’t enter into a lifelong commitment ill-informed as to the difficulty of the task they’re facing.

#2 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 4, 2018 @ 5:07 pm

I understand James Martin’s staged confusion; it’s intentional. Even Fran Macadam is a better Catholic than he.

#3 Comment By Ted On December 4, 2018 @ 5:32 pm

JonF says: “Jelly, whatever problem exist because of gay clergy long anteater Francis’ papacy.”

This has got to be the great autocorrect fail of all time. I believe what JonF meant to type was “antedate”. But I’ll take “anteater”.

#4 Comment By Ted On December 4, 2018 @ 5:45 pm

“No Gay Priests, Says Pope Francis”

“Homosexual priests, religious men and women should be urged to live celibacy wholly and, especially, to be perfectly responsible, trying to never create scandal in their communities or for the holy people of God by living a double life,” the pope said. “It would be better if they left the ministry or consecrated life rather than live a double life.”

In English: why not try to do what you signed up for?

No gay priests? Since when? Since St. Subito elevated Bernardin to the papacy? Since the latter’s “all is forgiven” presser with his penitential rent boy? Since Weakland’s exposure? Or since Uncle Ted? Or Uncle Ted’s pick ups of flight attendants ending with referrals to the seminary at Seton Hall? Or the Dirty Monsignor of Lincoln’s attempt to tongue seminarians on the way to the shower?

Only this time he really means it!

The effect, as we’ve said, is cumulative. Francis is acting like it’s a mild issue, a rash.

This adds up to zero. Anybody who buys it is simply being foolish.

[8]

“Perfecting his English”!

#5 Comment By Joe M On December 4, 2018 @ 6:53 pm

What sticks out here is the apparent inability of any major Catholic leader to even begin to articulate the whole Catholic case as it relates to homosexuality. The old CDF document is great, but no one now seems able to convincingly verbalize support for it, or be willing to fully address the topic I. The open. They are scared of homosexuality, I think, because it’s all too close to home.

#6 Comment By John On December 4, 2018 @ 6:56 pm

I fail to see the inconsistency here. Let me say, for the record, that I am an ex-Catholic gay agnostic who left the church over this issue so I don’t particularly have a stake in this, and what follows has nothing to do with the priest shortage practical concerns which that church will face if it barred gays who are in conformance with the church’s principles and beliefs from entering the priesthood.

The pope could be saying exactly what the catechism is saying – that the homosexual orientation is not sinful in so far as it describes urges beyond one’s control and so a person so inclined should not be judged for having those feelings and inclinations. However, acting on those sexual inclinations is deemed sinful and a person Who actively engages in the sexual activity associated with this lifestyle is “sinful” and in need of penance and forgiveness.

If this means that one who is so sexually inclined is “afflicted” with “intrinsically disordered” thoughts” whether they “sin” or not.

I guess that the pope can be saying that priest’s are more likely than not fraternize with other priests in which case gays who enter the seminary are exposing themselves to temptations they should not subject themselves to.

Or, he could be thinking, though he foesn’t Say it, that a priest is supposed to serve as some kind of role model by, it is presumed, sacrificing his chance of marriage and family for the life of celibacy.

It is assumed that a gay person is not making that ultimate sacrifice, as insulting as that seems, because the gay priest is forgoing on a life act which purportedly would condemn him from hell, not one that would receive the church’s blessing.

Again, I don’t buy into the church’s condemnation of homosexuality (or for that matter any of the church’s beliefs anymore). I am merely explaining how the pope could reach the conclusion that he reaches, to whatever extent it can be deciphered since he as well as the translators, admittedly have spoken off the cuff every now and then.

#7 Comment By Nell On December 4, 2018 @ 7:03 pm

This was referred to above — from a Reuters report this past May: “Pope Francis warned Italian bishops this week to vet carefully applicants to the priesthood and reject anyone they suspected might be homosexual, local media reported on Thursday. ‘Keep an eye on the admissions to seminaries, keep your eyes open,’ the pope was quoted as saying by newspaper La Stampa’s Vatican Insider service. ‘If in doubt, better not let them enter’.”

#8 Comment By David On December 4, 2018 @ 7:05 pm

As in the Msgr. Ricca comment, Francis is not trying to be precise here – but in this case, it is not simply his fault. The theology on this is fairly ambiguous. The Catholic teaching is pretty clear that “being gay” is not a sin, and clear that homosexual acts are sins. But the language of “ingrained tendency” seems to me to be the key piece of language. There is a past document that talked about “deep-seated homosexual tendencies,” and I think Francis here is making a distinction among people that is not merely binary. We are captive to the binary of “sexual orientation” (though of course trans ideology has very much destabilized that) as some kind of fixed, stable identity marker – say, like skin color – when in fact it is simply a different kind of thing. One interpretation of his remarks is that people who are “very strongly attached” to their sexual desires should not be in the priesthood or religious life, and one could reason this would apply also to those who might have “very strong” sexual desires of any sort. The difficulty here, quite frankly, is that Catholic theology is so polarized that little effort has been made to parse out this ground. It would be extremely interesting to hear from experienced formators who could help us make reasonable distinctions that they have undoubtedly seen. We could develop an account of sexual orientation that is not simply a given binary, but also not naively understood as some sort of a choice. To say “it’s complicated” is to acknowledge the complexity of sexuality and sexual development amidst liquid modernity, and not simply to make a mess.

#9 Comment By a commenter On December 4, 2018 @ 7:52 pm

“Expecting gays to remain Catholic and celibate has never been a practical answer.”

I don’t think it’s really about being practical. It’s about becoming a saint. It’s not as if we’re expected to be willing to make a specific amount of effort, but no more. We all sin, all of us except Christ and His mother Mary. But the sacrament of confession allows us to get back up if we fall down, and continue on hopefully the road to sainthood.

#10 Comment By Arthur McGowan On December 4, 2018 @ 7:59 pm

“The Church must state whether being a homosexual in itself is a sin or is the sexual act of homosexuals the sin? Is a celibate homosexual judged for eternal damnation?”

And it’s about time the Church clarified just how many Persons there are in the Trinity, and how many natures in Christ, and whether Jesus rose from the dead. I mean, I read the New York Times every day, and it just never gets straightened out.

#11 Comment By JMM On December 4, 2018 @ 9:00 pm

A friend who is a big supporter of Francis explained it this way. Francis would like to shift emphasis in the church away from, in his mind, an obsession about sexual sins and judging people based on them. He doesn’t want to so much change doctrine my friend says, but rather shift the emphasis away from finger-wagging to works of mercy. He wants to make the church “a field hospital.” He sees conservative moralists in the church as being like the pharisees of old, missing the big picture. Jesus reserved his harshest criticisms not for sexual sinners. Mary Magdalene was in his company. The woman at the well was treated with mercy. But rather his harshest criticisms were towards the “holier than thou.”

#12 Comment By LFM On December 4, 2018 @ 9:23 pm

JMM – what if sexual sins happen to be one of the major reasons *why* people are so in need of works of mercy at the moment? Look at the epidemic of fatherlessness in the Western world, and its consequences among the poor.

#13 Comment By FutureNoir8 On December 4, 2018 @ 9:29 pm

Christianity & Catholicism are growing in the global south and Pipe Francis does not want to alienate macho Latinos and homophobic Africans.

Francis knows where his future bread is buttered!

#14 Comment By Eric Mader On December 4, 2018 @ 10:12 pm

As a Catholic, I’m saddened to point out that even my Lutheran mother knows actions speak louder than words.

#15 Comment By Gerard On December 4, 2018 @ 10:16 pm

@JMM: >>Jesus reserved his harshest criticisms not for sexual sinners. Mary Magdalene was in his company. The woman at the well was treated with mercy. But rather his harshest criticisms were towards the “holier than thou.”<<

But I say to you that whoever so much as looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28).

Such a rigid guy, that Jesus.

But seriously, I'm not sure I'd attempt to rank sins in the mind of Jesus. One thing for sure: he preached the reality of sin and its corrupting influence on the human heart and the awful fate of those who surrendered their souls to it.

You know…wide is the gate that leads to destruction…and all that rigid stuff.

As for the Pharisees, contrary to popular myth, it wasn't so much the "holier-than-thou" attitude that Jesus condemned. Rather, it was Fake Holiness.

And in the case of the Pharisees, it was a mindset that put the trappings of power and privilege and office over duty to God.

Sort of like Francis and his pals, come to think of it, along with the bulk of bureaucrat-bishops living their comfortable and privileged lives, while holding their fingers in the wind to check which way it's blowing at any given moment.

Truly, there's nothing new under the sun.

#16 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 4, 2018 @ 10:46 pm

“Expecting gays to stop being gay has never worked for more then a few years, which is what lead the church to stop pushing ex-gay therapy years ago and adopt it’s ‘intrinsically disordered’ stance.”

Joseph Sciambra never succeeded in overcoming until he met a priest who didn’t treat this particular sin as something special, but just the same as all the others that human beings are enslaved to, treating it just the same.

I would concur, although I did not meet a priest, but was converted by accepting Christ. As Rod said, the transformation gives you the power to become obedient.

Being “gay” is now supposedly an immutable identity, but that term is a discouraging late innovation designed to make turning from sin unthinkable.

It remains true that the majority of people in the world do not turn away from their sins, whatever they might be, but die in them.

As Chesterton put it, this doesn’t mean that their difficulty is that Christianity has been tried and found wanting, but that they haven’t wanted to try Christianity because of the difficulty.

#17 Comment By Sheila On December 5, 2018 @ 12:51 am

Fran Macadam,

“Joseph Sciambra never succeeded in overcoming until he met a priest who didn’t treat this particular sin as something special, but just the same as all the others that human beings are enslaved to, treating it just the same.”

One or two tales of gays who “overcome” their orientation with prayer and spiritual guidance is called anecdata. Actual scientific research shows that homosexuality is almost always an innate predisposition that does not change.

#18 Comment By Ted On December 5, 2018 @ 8:16 am

FutureNoir8: “Christianity & Catholicism are growing in the global south and Pipe Francis does not want to alienate macho Latinos and homophobic Africans.”

That’s very shrewd, and to be filed for reference.

#19 Comment By Hibernian On December 5, 2018 @ 8:35 am

@ Uncle Chucky:

“Yes, I can really see ethnic American Catholics paying attention to an African Pope.”

I think you are living in the past,

#20 Comment By Rick On December 5, 2018 @ 9:16 am

I am sad to say it, but under Pope Francis, the phrase “papal credibility” has become an oxymoron.

#21 Comment By Hosanna On December 5, 2018 @ 9:20 am

@JohnInCA

You seem to be adhering to a debased form of consequentialism, where the determining factor of what moral standards to espouse isn’t even what standards produce the best outcome but what standards are easiest for humans to follow. Your emphasis on practicality and success rates reminds me of a discussion I was having with my university colleagues earlier today about how the educational system in the US has become increasingly afraid to allow students to fail, and so keeps lowering the educational standards in order to get to the point where failure is impossible for them. Administrators might think this is in the best interests of students, protecting their feelings from pain, but they are actually harming students by preventing them from learning anything, thus spoiling the whole point of education and degrading the system for everyone. You seem to have a similar perspective as these college administrators from a moral angle: that moral standards have to keep being lowered until they are practical enough for pretty much everyone to easily follow. By trying to avoid people feeling broken, you are in the end harming them by preventing them from growing morally.

So much of the world today is deathly afraid of failure. Christ expects failure. He elevates the weak and suffering above the strong and comfortable. That is why I follow Him, because I know I am weak and He is my only hope for the redemption of my weakness. This is wisdom that flies against the world’s wisdom, but it is the true joy of the Christian gospel.

#22 Comment By Patrick On December 5, 2018 @ 9:53 am

“tells you something about papal credibility at this point.”

That, or it tells you Francis’ critics are more anti-Francis than pro-truth.

#23 Comment By Olga On December 5, 2018 @ 10:13 am

I read the biography of a celibate gay priest. A nun at his Catholic High School recognized he was gay before he recognized himself as gay. She said, “You have a calling for vocation.” So with that he went to seminary and was a celibate priest for 10 years. For unknown reasons, the church arranged for him to receive a professional massage. He cried after receiving it. He did not realized how starved for touch he was. After that he left the priesthood. He did not abuse children or break his vows.

The problem isn’t gay men or heterosexual men. The problem is required celibacy. Few are suited for it. There are some people that identify as asexual. However, most people need touch and sex. There are healthy ways to get those needs met.

Celibacy created a space where people running from their own sexuality ran to. Maybe the pedophile and the homosexual thought that being in the church would take them away from dealing with their own sexual issues. It did not.

The church needs healthy leaders. It needs men and women who can be honest about their sexuality and can have a public relationship such as being married. A mostly married clergy would help. However, that isn’t a panacea. Many Protestant clergy have also abused parishioners and children. Power imbalance also leads to abuse.

#24 Comment By Jose Guatemala On December 5, 2018 @ 12:16 pm

Dreher once talked about an orthodox priest who was asked which was holy: a happily married monogamous gay man in a same sex relationship or a gay man sexually active with multiple partners but sincerely repentant after each episode? Well, the Bible says the repentant one is justified (I’m not Catholic or Orthodox so I don’t know what those faiths teach). To fail to admit and repent of your sins is damnable.

And it’s not like I, as a straight man, don’t commit sexual sins. Jesus says it’s sin to even think lustful thoughts. But there’s hope for same sex attracted and straight people. God will forgive us all no matter how often we fail. I think about the parables of the workers in the vineyard and the prodigal son.

I realize most same sex attracted people will not stay celibate, just as most straight people can’t avoid their own sexual sin. We’re fallen people. I’m saying practicality doesn’t matter. We’re not talking about philosophical pragmatism here.

#25 Comment By John On December 5, 2018 @ 2:30 pm

Olga pretty much sums up what I personally believe about reframing from sex and romantic relationships. Some, most notably those who are asexual, can live in accordance with those standards without a problem but for most people – gay, straight or bi – that is an unrealistic and unhealthy way to live.

#26 Comment By LFM On December 5, 2018 @ 2:35 pm

Sheila, Fran Macadam did not say that Joseph Sciambra had had therapy to make him not-gay. He himself says that he has never done any such thing and is neutral on the subject (I think). What Fran means, if I am not mistaken, and what Mr Sciambra means, is that a priest helped him to control his previously compulsive urge to seek out sex with male partners. Rather like a straight man might ask for a priest’s help in abstaining from sexual relations with women so that he could remain celibate.

#27 Comment By workingdad On December 5, 2018 @ 3:38 pm

Interesting. Doesn’t even matter what he said at this point. As you state, this all comes down to what does he mean and what direction is he going. The actual words and basic meaning no longer matter.

#28 Comment By Gerard On December 5, 2018 @ 3:59 pm

@Jose Guatemala: >>Dreher once talked about an orthodox priest who was asked which was holy: a happily married monogamous gay man in a same sex relationship or a gay man sexually active with multiple partners but sincerely repentant after each episode?<<

Fascinating question. I think only God can judge "holiness," which, as I define it, is the quality of oneness with God. The only human being who was ever perfect in that regard, that is in perfect oneness with God, was Jesus Christ.

Homosexual acts are disordered. That is, they are out of harmony with the natural order created by God. This is why they so often lead people, even well-intentioned people, to disordered and dissolute lives.

However, again, as to subjective moral guilt, none of us can judge. That said, in the choice you posed, I would have more hope for the second person as the one who recognizes both his own brokenness and the moral law.

That said, I would in no way lose hope regarding the first person. When asked how a rich man who could get to Heaven, if it were easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, Jesus said all things are possible for God. Just so in the case of the first person. The second too. And all of us.

#29 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On December 5, 2018 @ 4:12 pm

Expecting that non-celibate gays will remain communicant Catholics has never been a practical answer either.

but this line of argument just won’t fly

The “argument” is between communicant Roman Catholics who believe it is important and worthwhile to be communicant. The only argument anyone else needs to entertain is “Do I wish to be Roman Catholic, or not?”

#30 Comment By Gerard On December 5, 2018 @ 4:35 pm

@Siarlys Jenkins: >>The “argument” is between communicant Roman Catholics who believe it is important and worthwhile to be communicant. The only argument anyone else needs to entertain is “Do I wish to be Roman Catholic, or not?”<<

Interesting that Siarlys, a non-Catholic, cuts to the heart of the matter.

Those who disregard the ancient teaching of the Church, even if he were Pope, are not Catholic.

Those who adhere to that teaching, even if they are broken and sinful, are Catholic.

Everything else is beside the point.

#31 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On December 5, 2018 @ 10:13 pm

Interesting that Siarlys, a non-Catholic, cuts to the heart of the matter.

I’ve spent some time studying constitutional jurisprudence and mulling over the meaning of the First Amendment. There is a legal analysis expounding the religion clauses called “Church Autonomy in Matters of Faith and Doctrine.”

#32 Comment By JohnInCA On December 6, 2018 @ 1:30 pm

@Lesley

You’re saying it’s the job of the Catholic Church to explicitly court and coach *mediocrity* and *adequacy?*

Nope.

I am saying that the church’s “gay problem” will only go away when it finds a workable way for gay Catholics to remain good Catholics.

If they can’t do that, then they will continue to have these problems because no one can figure out how to keep straight Catholics from having gay babies.

@Hosanna

You seem to be adhering to a debased form of consequentialism […]

“Debased”? Sure, why not. Not the worst thing y’all have called me.

That said, yes. Obviously. I’ve been very upfront about this from my first comments in this blog months ago to now. Quite simply, I am 100% unconcerned with theology.

My main argument, the entire time has been that without enforced sodomy laws, churches need to find a way to let gay people remain in good standing or those gay people will leave and eventually their families will follow.

It is a practical problem. It needs a practical solution.

@Jose Guatemala

I’m saying practicality doesn’t matter.

Don’t be absurd. Practical matters of recruitment and retention have always mattered. People who disregard these concerns should be prepared to meet the entirely predictable consequences.

@Gerard

Those who disregard the ancient teaching of the Church, even if he were Pope, are not Catholic.

So the 90% of Catholic women who take birth control aren’t Catholic? Interesting position.

#33 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On December 6, 2018 @ 9:16 pm

If they can’t do that, then they will continue to have these problems because no one can figure out how to keep straight Catholics from having gay babies.

So what? A very tiny minority of babies born to Catholic marriages turn out gay, just like the rest of the population. If they all leave the church, it will be statistically insignificant.

#34 Comment By JohnInCA On December 7, 2018 @ 12:50 pm

So are you trying to argue that I’m wrong when I say that a gay kid leaving a church increases the chance that the rest of the family leaves, or are you ignoring that point?

Because sure, if we were just talking about gay kids, and no one else, then sure. But we never have been. When people don’t actually disapprove of X, and their church rejects their kid for X, a lot of people reject the church and stand by their kid.

And you gotta remember, even back in 2015 most American Christians thought that gay folk were morally acceptable. Catholics were even higher in that belief. Put simply, most Catholic parents aren’t going to stick by the church if they feel the church doesn’t accept their gay kid.

Alternatively, if you’re on-board with “smaller, purer churches”, then go for it. But you should be aware that said churches are not on-board with that objective.