Fr. George: Welcome everyone. On behalf of St. Jude’s parish, I want to welcome everyone here tonight to continue our teachings on the Catechism. A warm welcome to all the homosexuals who have come out tonight. Because of the Synod’s final document, we are to open our doors and welcome you. We are to be non-judgemental, change our tone, and give you a big group hug. We look forward to all of the wonderful gifts you have to give to the Church. I do confess that I don’t remember having a negative tone about persons struggling with same-sex attraction. In fact, I don’t know too many faithful Catholics who have ever expressed any resentment or hatred at all towards you, but hey, that doesn’t matter. All that matters is the fluffy emotion, non-judgementalism, and pitch of our voice that counts! So let’s begin where we left off from last week’s session.
So, anyhow, we were about to talk about the offenses against chastity before our last session ended. Let’s start with that, then. So masturbation….as you all know by now the Church teaches that masturbation is an “intrinsically and gravely disordered action…” Hey, what do you know? That sounds pretty familiar….oh never mind…anyhow…uh…I hear some commotion in the back, there. Is there a problem?
Participant 1: Hi Father, uh…sorry to interrupt…but I just wanted to let you know that a group of us masturbators came out as well. We figured that because the Church had no problem welcoming gays, you would have no problem welcoming us, either….since, you know, we basically do the same thing except by ourselves.
Fr. George: Oh…uh…yes, yes. All our welcome. So, as I was saying…this action is quite sinful and degrading to us as persons….uh yes? Did you have another question. I see a hand up. Go ahead….
Participant 1: Well, Father, I thought the Church was welcoming us and since the release of the Synod’s document, there would not be any more talk of this judgement thing. I’m not feeling very welcome right now.
Fr. George: Well, I think you misunderstand. The Church’s teaching didn’t change at all, just the tone did. You’re still very welcome. The Church, of course, distinguishes between the sin committed and the person. We don’t condemn you, but we do condemn the sin.
Participant 1: But, that’s not what I thought this new openness meant. I thought you were to accept me as I am, and minister to me as a Catholic masturbator. I mean, what kind of welcome is this? And besides, does the Catholic Church think we’re dummies or something? If you can’t accept us for who we are as gays and masturbators, what makes you think that shitty coffee and donuts and stupid smiles is going to make much difference to us? In principle, you’ve rejected what we identify with. Who are you trying to kid?
Fr. George: Well, perhaps we can skip this subject tonight and go on to the next one….which is fornication. As you know, this is another….uh…yes…the front row…you have a question?
Participant 2: Oh hi, Father. My name’s Jack and this is my partner, Elsie. We’re not married, but we were so inspired to come out tonight because of what the Catholic Church now teaches about cohabitating couples and how there is much goodness in our relationship. I hope we don’t focus on the negative but on the positives, on affirmation, on empowerment, on helping us be who we need to be in Christ…along our journey! We’re not ready for marriage, but we figure we should be able to receive Communion, now that the “adulterers” who have remarried [chuckle] get to receive too. We wouldn’t feel welcome or part of the community otherwise, and we know the Church does not have any second-class citizens. It will help my life partner and I get over this Catholic guilt hang-up, pre-V2.
Fr. George: Well, it’s true that there are positive elements, but really the New Testament does say that fornicators will not inherit the kingdom of God….Anyhow, uh…maybe we can leave these topics for another time. Let’s try a safe one…how about prostitution. Uh….yes?
Participant 3: Hi, I’m a male prostitute, and I’m really into the “judge not” business. It was always my understanding that Jesus was kind of strict on the whole “sin no more” business — like an immediate thing — but I was curious to read now that there was not any immediate need (or any nasty pressure) to repent. I heard something about walking with us along life’s journey, and affirming the positive qualities in all of us. I even heard that hell might now be empty. This is all news to me, but I’m glad that the Church has a new tone where it won’t be emphasizing repentance anymore.
Fr. George: Well, that’s really not true. The Church still calls us to repentance, and you can’t stay in that state without risking your immortal soul. And besides, you…..what’s that racket in the back row?
Participant 3: Hey Father! I brought the whole crew down tonight, instead of shooting our latest porn flick. We figured we get in on the action too. Many of us come from religious backgrounds and since contraception and fornication appear to be getting a second look, we were just discussing what our chances were going to be. Now that the irregular couple (isn’t that new semantic these days?) who spoke earlier were getting a free-pass, we figure that some kind of pastoral provision for us should be just around the corner. Is that something the church can look into?
Fr. George: Ah screw it. Martha, bring out the coffee and donuts. We’ll just make it a social night on Thursdays.
After the coffee and donuts….
Participant 4: Hey Father, what’s with all this crap about “welcoming Gays”? You know I’ve experienced these attractions and have fallen many times. You’ve helped me greatly and shown me great kindness and respect along this trek. And Confession has been my great help. It use to be that a quiet decorum about our sins was kept between a penitent and his priest and a few close friends. Now the whole god damn church is having a Pride parade about them all. WTF?