US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Needs improvement: Readers rate the bishops' response to church sex abuse

By Scott Alessi | Print this pagePrint |
A progress report from U.S. Catholic readers says that bishops still haven’t learned all their lessons on the subject of sexual abuse.

Anger. Betrayal. Sadness. Disappointment. These are just some of the myriad of emotions felt by Catholics in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal that broke in 2002. And a decade later—following a flood of additional details on cases of clerical abuse and cover-ups as well as new efforts to enforce transparency and accountability within the church—many U.S. Catholic readers still hold on to those same feelings of disillusionment.

Do Catholics believe in life on other planets?

By Kevin P. Considine | Print this pagePrint |
Jesus is the savior of humanity, but what that mean if we discovered alien life forms?

In a 1995 episode of the popular TV drama The X-Files, FBI agent Fox Mulder—a true believer in extraterrestrial life—has a quick exchange with his partner Dana Scully, the rational scientist and devoted skeptic. He asks, “Are you familiar with the Ten Commandments?”

“You want me to recite them?” Scully responds. Mulder says, “Just . . . the one about the Sabbath. The part where God made heaven and earth but didn’t bother to tell anyone about his side projects.”

Out of the closet and into your living room

By Patrick McCormick | Print this pagePrint |
For most of the 20th century, movies and television have cast gay and lesbian characters as deviant bad guys. But as attitudes in the larger public change, so has Hollywood's portrayal.

It's been just about a year since Ellen DeGeneres and the character she plays on her ABC sitcom came out of the closet. Time enough for all the media hype around this "sweeps week" event to dissipate, and for those of us curled up on our couches to wonder if the much ballyhooed episode was one giant leap for gays and lesbians everywhere-or just one small step for ABC/Disney's ratings.

Why we never married

By David Morrison | Print this pagePrint |
Morrison, a Roman Catholic man, a former gay activist, and veteran of over a decade in a same-sex relationship, argues against the church's condoning of gay and lesbian "marriage."

Let's invite gay and lesbian Catholics to a church wedding

By Dwight Daniels | Print this pagePrint |
In this 1997 article that accompanies the one above, one Catholic argues that same-sex marriage would allow the church to encourage more loving, nurturing, and lasting relationships.

The time has come for the Catholic Church to invite gay and lesbian Catholics to the celebration of Matrimony. Such an invitation would have a positive impact on the lives of many gay and lesbian Catholics and would be equally beneficial for the life and health of the institutional church.

Gay and lesbian Catholics beg to differ

By Thomas J. Billitteri | Print this pagePrint |
A deep and tempestuous gulf divides orthodox Catholic teaching and the beliefs of many gay and lesbian Catholics.

"Someday," Gina Marie says quietly, "I would like to be asked for forgiveness." Her words are simple, direct, and uncompromising. It is not a lover from whom Gina Marie seeks a gesture of reconciliation, at least not a lover in a temporal sense. Rather, it is the Roman Catholic Church, an institution she cherished and revered in childhood but now views as hurtful, indifferent, sometimes brutally cruel.

Let's watch our language about gays and lesbians

By Father Richard Prendergast | Print this pagePrint |
Official statements calling gays and lesbians "disordered" and "violent" do little to make them feel welcomed and respected in the church. A pastor argues that it's time to stop the name-calling and start treating gays and lesbians as brothers and sisters in Christ.

I met Laura and Lynne at a party given by A mutual friend. It was there that I learned they were awaiting word from halfway around the world about a baby available for adoption. A few months later, the two women brought home their new daughter, Chloe.

Thoughts from a gay teacher in a Catholic school

By Ann Wells | Print this pagePrint |
A junior high teacher yearns to be a positive gay role model in her Catholic school. But she wonders, "Does the church love me as much as I love it?"

I am stuck. I am thinking about my lesson plans for tomorrow's junior high religion class. We have been covering the church's position on controversial topics, and so far it has gone well. But the knots in my stomach tell me how I feel about tomorrow's topic. It is about homosexuality. I don't know what to tell the students.

You see, I am gay, and I am a Catholic school teacher.

One gay priest's story

By Father Raymond Calabrese | Print this pagePrint |
Defying the current scapegoating and stereotypes, a priest shares his journey and struggle.

My Roman collar caused Mrs. H to hesitate. She knew I was gay, but she also recalled a sermon in which her pastor had said that unless gays repented, they had no place in the church, let alone heaven. She had looked for a priest who would understand that her gay son was dying of AIDS. There was no one in her community to confide in, least of all the parish priest.