Oct 302014

To the Editor:
I was encouraged by Pope Francis’ calling the bishops together for discussions on the family. I was encouraged also by the preliminary drafts of these discussions concerning gay, divorced and remarried Catholics. I was encouraged that the Church seemed finally willing to adopt a more pastoral approach to good Catholics who want to be accepted fully as members of their parish communities.
Now, not so much. I no longer feel encouraged concerning the bishops’ commitment to the issues discussed at the synod, to say nothing of the bishops’ ability to guide the Church on matters concerning the family. Could not individuals who experience firsthand — and on a day-to-day basis — the intimacies of family life, and those professionals who minister to them, have been tasked with this? Can I possibly be the only person who feels that a group of single men who appallingly mishandled the scandalous and criminal behavior of a few priests in order to preserve the status quo have little credibility in addressing many of the family life issues being discussed?
I am not an iconoclast, and I consider myself a good Catholic. But, I am convinced that, as Church, we can do a much better job of ministering to all in our communities. We are called to love each other, not just those of whose behavior we approve or those who are lovable. If we live the Gospel message, that love will be manifest in our behavior toward all the children of God: gay and straight, married and cohabiting, divorced and remarried, disabled and whole, poor and wealthy, clergy and laity. Jesus himself railed against the rigidity of the old order and its hypocrisy. It seems most presumptuous to judge another who struggles to share his or her gifts but is not invited to the table because he or she has found love in an un-lovely world.
We may be surprised by who we meet in heaven.
Emily S. Dauscher

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