Speaking of Catholics in California, it’s been 25 years since then-Bishop Roger Mahony created a gay and lesbian ministry for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, though the Roman Catholic Church officially condemns homosexual behavior as immoral. The ministry is led by Father Chris Ponnet, and he tells the Los Angeles Times that local parishes have become much more tolerant of homosexual members.
In the last 25 years, Ponnet said, the church in Los Angeles has become more accepting of gays and lesbians and, in some parishes, his ministry has faded away as members have been absorbed into regular parish life. Still, those at Saturday’s Mass said the ministry was still needed, in part to educate the church, in part to show gay Catholics who have fallen away that they have a place to return.
Talk at the Mass wasn’t so much of living up to church doctrine as changing it.
“I feel that the church might actually be going through a process of ‘coming out,’ ” declared Father Brian Doran, a retired priest who spoke of himself as having come out as a gay man. In his homily, he described it as a long and difficult process, moving through stages of depression, anger, bargaining, acceptance and, finally, joy.
Read the rest here.
I’m not surprised to read that L.A. parishes have become more tolerant of homosexual members during the past 25 years. This is a relative comparison—and I suspect that this mirrors a societal shift.
But Catholic doctrine on homosexuality has not softened. It still causes quite the stir when a Catholic priests comes out in support of gay marriage. And rainbows are still too “politically charged” for at least one Catholic school.
The Roman Catholic Church is not part of the open-church movement. And despite plenty of similarities, Catholics still are not Episcopalians. You need a conversion to get that.