The People Speak Out

Local voices connecting globally

This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.  (Pope Francis)

Canon Law 212 calls upon the laity to speak up:

2 - The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

§3. - According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

Nick Smith This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 319-648-5336
Riverside, Iowa United States of America

Cover Letter:

I attended the synod held in my local parish last week. It was disappointing. The synod listening and discussion session was held right after the parish council meeting. Eighteen people participated—sixteen members of the council and two non-members. After a fifteen-minute introduction, the people broke into three groups of six with a two-part questionnaire: “Based on your personal experience, what fills your heart and what breaks your heart about the Catholic Church.” Each group made a list for each part of the question—no "mutual listening and communal discernment," was allowed. The entire synod lasted for thirty-five minutes; thus, the consultation of the people of God was reduced to a mere question.
The Vatican instructions that “special care should be taken to involve those persons who may risk being excluded: women, the handicapped, refugees, migrants, the elderly, people who live in poverty, Catholics who rarely or never practice their faith, etc., were certainly not followed. The goal of the synod was to foster real communion and community through lived experience of discernment, participation, and co-responsibility. This synod session fostered none of this. I should have known better than to believe the Church actually wanted us to gather as equals, allowing the Holy Spirit to move among us as the director of our discernment.
I believe that the Holy Spirit directs me to submit an independent synod report [attached] which has been guided by the Spirit for more than sixty years. My hope is that it will be read and considered. My hope and prayer are that some of its seeds will fall on good ground, and bring forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. What you do with this report is, of course, up to you, but the Holy Spirit and I have done our part by letting our discernments be known.

Nick Smith
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My Story

I am a cradle Catholic. My mother was a convert to the Church. We lived in a small Iowa town where all of my relatives were from my mother’s side of the family and were protestant in faith within several denominations. My Catholic side of the family, which we visited once each year, all lived in Kansas. We were fierce in our beliefs. My mother took us to mass every morning, walking us across town because she couldn’t drive a car. Each morning the priest would celebrate a high mass with my sisters playing and singing the responses. My little brother and I were altar servers and served seven day a week. My younger brother’s favorite day was Ash Wednesday, not because he was so keen on Lent, but because he knew that when he went to school wearing the ashes on his forehead, he’d be getting into several fights with the protestant kids. We were soldiers for Christ, you know—defenders of the faith.
As a child, I was extremely upset by the Catholic view of salvation. We were taught that salvation was through the Catholic church only. Catholic equaled salvation. Protestant equaled damnation. The thought of all my relatives not receiving the salvation of Jesus Christ was extremely painful to me. I used to cry because I wanted my grandparents, aunts, and uncles and all of my cousins to be saved. The thought of heaven without them was unbearable.
My Grandfather died when I was about twelve years old. My mother and father went to the priest asking for permission to attend the funeral. The priest told them that we could attend the wake the night before the funeral, and we could go to the cemetery after the funeral service, but we could not attend the actual funeral service because it was held in a protestant church. Even though my mother cried and begged the priest to allow her to attend, he was firm that attending the funeral would be a grave and mortal sin. Since we were fierce Catholics, my family did not attend my grandfather’s funeral service because it was held in a protestant church. However, I went. I rode my bicycle to my grandparent’s church. I sat in the back, and in my mind, I railed against God for this injustice. This Catholic law was not right; it was not just.
My parents were angry with me and insisted that I go to confession the next Sunday and confess my sin. I confessed to the priest, and he granted me absolution, but I knew I was not really forgiven because I was not sorry for what I had done. I knew then that I was going to hell. I vowed then to find the truth of God’s plan. I promised that I would discover “the way” of Jesus the Christ. I have been on that quest for the last sixty-some years.
Imagine my joy when a few years later, Vatican II declared that salvation did exist for non-Catholics as well as Catholics. The Church opened itself to ecumenism and plotted a path to reform and inclusion. Unfortunately, much of the promise of Vatican II has not been realized, and I long for its completion so we may all journey together with God.



State of the Catholic Church in America

Journeying together [walking together] is not a dictatorship, nor is it a democracy but a partnership of believers moving in faith toward the truth of Jesus the Christ, and we are terrible at it in the United States of America. The Church is a mess! It is currently in its worst crisis since the Reformation and at risk of falling apart or becoming a museum church irrelevant to the world.
• Those who have left Catholicism outnumber those who have joined the church by an almost four-to-one margin.
• Slightly more than 10 percent of American adults (10.1 percent) have left the Catholic church after having been raised Catholic.
• Former Catholics, if considered to be a denomination, would make up the second largest group with around thirty-five million members. These ex-Catholics would by far outnumber the next largest denomination, Southern Baptists, by twenty million people.
• Only about 40 percent of American Catholics attend Mass on a weekly basis.
• Three-quarters of Catholics report that they never participate in the sacrament of reconciliation or that they do so less than once a year.
• A new Pew Research Center survey finds that most Catholics [69%] say they personally believe that the bread and wine used in Communion “are only symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.”
How has this happened? First, the clerics who administered the sacraments came to displace those very sacraments in prominence. The priests became the symbols that are deemed the most important in the Church. Secondly, the over concern with protecting an ancient, medieval institution’s image has surpassed the Eucharist as the central concern of the Church, Additionally, four important developments took place during the last eighty years that dramatically altered the Church’s standing and reputation in the world.
The Nag Hammadi library
• These documents have acquired an importance beyond their historical value for Catholics in America.
• With the discovery of these lost gospels, people became interested in the earliest days of the Jesus movement called “The Way.” Jesus is seen as a mystical, radical, feminist, egalitarian, and subversive redeemer, destroyed by the rising forces of the Christian Church after it was declared the official religion of the Roman empire with its patriarchal, hierarchical, and repressive structure.
• The earliest followers of Jesus found their ideas dismissed as "heresy" while the power-maniacs of the Catholic Church grabbed for themselves the grandiose title of "orthodox." The state sanctioned Catholic Church successfully covered its tracks by rewriting most early Christian documents and destroying those that revealed the actual truth.
Vatican II: Second Vatican Council, also called Vatican II, (1962–65), 21st ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church, announced by Pope John XXIII on January 25, 1959, was the second huge development of the last eighty years.
• For many Catholics, the changes in the liturgy were the most immediate and striking. There was the truly profound change in the understanding of Baptism; that by virtue of the sacrament all the people of God share a common responsibility to preach the Gospel. There was the opening of the church to the world.
• Unfortunately, the promise of Vatican II has been destroyed by the clericalism of the Catholic Church. The laity feel lost and betrayed by the actions of the hierarchy. There has been a push-back to the spirit and reforms of the council.
• Those clerics who oppose or resent the council [and its teachings] are busy conducting a “reform of the reform.”
• Many American Catholics feel torn between the promises of Vatican II and the church hierarchy’s attempt to return the Church to its pre-Vatican II form.
Clerical Sex Abuse Scandal
• For years, decades, and maybe centuries, the church has swept sexual misconduct of its clergy under the rug. Most Americans now believe that pedophilia and same-sex activity are rampant within the walls of churches and rectories around the world.
• The most disgraceful aspect of this sordid side of the church is the cover-up. The church protects clerics who act improperly, the church pays victims to be silent, and pedophiles are transferred (after being “redeemed”) to other diocese where they destroy more lives.
• For so many American Catholics, pedophilia was the last straw of secrecy and deception by the Catholic Church. Many have permanently left the Church, while others are seeking a more trustworthy place for worship and spirituality.
Testifying to the Truth
• Many people believe that the customs and traditions relied upon for Catholic doctrine are untrue, outdated, and falsely formulated by the relationship to known facts.
• “Then You are a king!” Pilate said. “You say that I am a king, “Jesus answered., “For this reason, I was born and have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to My voice.” Pilate asked, “What is truth?”
• Unfortunately, far too many Catholics in America today feel they are not getting the real truth from the Church.
• Illusory truths are not really truth at all. The illusion of truth happens when people come to believe something is true when it’s not. In fact, they don’t just believe it; they defend it as true. They do not allow the possibility that it might be false.
• Confirmation truth [bias] results from the direct influence of desire on beliefs. When people want a certain idea or concept to be true, they become motivated by wishful thinking and end up believing it to be true. (There Is No Middle: On Political ... - Ramp Capital) They stop gathering information when the evidence obtained so far confirms their views or prejudice.



Discernments for the Future of the Church

The Holy Spirit guides me to report four specific conclusions [discernments] that will move the Roman Catholic Church forward in spreading the Good News of Jesus the Christ and promote the growth of our [clergy and laity] journeying together.
DISCERNMENT ONE: Improve Education and Faith Formation
• Obviously, what has been happening is not working. The Church must recognize that Catholics have assimilated into American culture, influenced more by its rewards, and promises then by the Catholic Church.
• To reengage the lost faithful, we need to communicate a compelling vision of what it means to be a Catholic in this modern world. For the faith to be revived, it must be woven into the fabric of our lives and supported by the community.
• Consequently, appropriate goals and content must be developed which teach and demonstrate all the various faith dimensions existing in American Catholics.
• An intergenerational learning program must be created to produce and strengthen the faith formation and continual development of faith for individuals, families, and the entire Catholic community.
• Generally, people remain engaged when there is social interaction within a parish and meaningful ties to other parishioners.
• The Church needs to demonstrate and provide opportunities to see and live our faith in meaningful ways. Our Catholic Churches are among the very few places where there are three or more generations gathered together for faith-based activities.
• The Church should utilize this concept in its educational programs by providing large group family or intergenerational learning programs, family faith workshops, family faith practices learning camps, family cluster or small group learning programs, family centered lectionary-based scripture reflection seminars, intergenerational retreats and Bible camps, family-centered sacramental preparation programs—the list of opportunities is endless.
• Educational opportunities need to be developed for parishioners to participate together in the formation of faith through the ministries and programs of the Church. Opportunities must be expanded for the whole family to participate together in the education, service, worship, stewardship, leadership, and practice of the Church.
I believe the Holy Spirit recommends that faith formation programs be redesigned, involving the entire community in parish and Catholic life in the process of faith formation and ongoing education. Due to a shortage of priests in many areas, the laity could serve as catechists is an essential element of preserving faith in daily life. On the completion of a basic cause in theology, the laity would be empowered to share their faith and to prepare the faithful for the reception of the sacraments.
DISCERNMENT TWO: Reexamination of Church Traditions and Customs
• Human traditions are not to be elevated above God as Jesus said the Pharisees were doing.
• Unfortunately, there is a tendency for the Roman Catholic Church to hold fast to traditions above God, or love, or the scriptures in some cases.
• When a tradition or custom are found to be contrary to “natural law” and scientific fact, they must be reexamined and corrected in order to truly reveal God’s truths. Custom and tradition without truth are merely ancient error.
• Whether accidental or on purpose, false truths [illusory, confirmational] must be eliminated from Roman Catholic doctrine.
• The Church’s maleness and misogyny are inseparable from its structure—women are subservient to men. Laypeople are subservient to priests, who are defined as being “ontologically” superior by the sacrament of holy orders. Removed by celibacy from competing bonds of family and obligation, priests are slotted into a clerical hierarchy that replicates the Roman hierarchy medieval feudal order. The Church’s stubborn unwillingness to admit errors in its understanding of women is an abomination.
• Thomas Aquinas was the most influential Catholic theologian of the Middle Ages. His influence on Vatican thinking is second to none. His consolidated views on women — drawn from prevailing thinking of his time — has left an almost indelible mark on women and their place in both Church and society to this very day. His conclusions for the exclusion of women from the priesthood as follows: women are the source of all sin [Eve], women are unclean at certain times [menstruation and childbirth], and women are inferior to men in every way.
• The Church certainly needs to update its thinking concerning women based on the scientific facts of today, not the scientific knowledge of the Middle Ages.
• The original study commissioned to the International Theological Commission by Paul VI on the subject of ordination was suppressed, and never officially published. No surprise there. The evidence that women deacons, priests, and bishops were indeed ordained – and understood to be identical to that of their male counterparts – for more than a thousand years is both abundant and incontrovertible. (When the Magisterium Ignores Theology) But successive Popes have apparently found that exceedingly difficult to accept.
• The scriptures show us that there were women that labored with Paul in the teaching, preaching, and spreading of the Gospel. If only the apostles were allowed to preach, then these women must have been apostles. “And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James [the son] of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas [the brother] of James. (ACTS 1:13) These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” This scripture clearly indicates who was in the upper room right after leaving the Mount of Olives following Jesus’ arrest. It shows that the above-mentioned women were present when Jesus gave the apostles the power to forgive sins and commanded them to go forth and baptize and preach the Gospel. There is no mention of any exclusion of those women from that command of Christ; in fact, they were also present in the upper room during Pentecost and received the Holy Spirit.
• Early church councils—Nicaea (325) and Chalcedon (451)—gave direction to the practice of ordaining women as priests. Women were ordained in the West until the 13th century, and even later in the East. We have several liturgies for ordaining women as deacons and even an 11th-century papal letter affirming a bishop’s ability to do so. (“Women and authority in the church - U.S. Catholic”) (Women and authority in the church - U.S. Catholic) What the church has done, the church can do again. The restoration of ordination for women would allow women to be included in the formal and spiritual operations of the Church.
• Were there other women apostles? Other women, who understood themselves, and were understood by others, to be commissioned by Christ in order to spread the word of his death and resurrection? We know of at least one other, one who could be thought of, in fact, as the original apostle: Mary Magdalene. Christ showed himself to the (male) apostles and said to them, “It is I who appeared to these women and I who wanted to send them to you as apostles.” Mary and the others, therefore, are “apostles sent to the apostles,” a title that Mary herself came to bear in the Middle Ages (Latin: apostola apostolorum).
• Early church fathers, even those who had a bias against women in leadership, understood "Junia" to be a female apostle in the early church. Origin (185-284), who is known as the church's first systematic theologian, understood the name to be feminine as did the famous church father, Jerome (A.D. 347-420), who produced the Latin Vulgate Bible. There is also the testimony of John Chrysostom (A.D. 349-407), Bishop of Constantinople, who exclaimed, "O how great is the devotion of this woman, that she should be even counted worthy of the appellation of apostle."
I believe the Holy Spirit demands a reexamination of Church teachings in the light of current scientific knowledge and understanding, especially in regard to the abominable treatment of women in the Roman Catholic Church. The Holy Spirit is disgusted and ashamed of the discriminatory and misogynistic behavior of the Church and demands rectification of this injustice immediately, not five-hundred years from now. The Holy Spirit recommends that the Church admit the truth, accept the true equality of women, and ordain them as deacons, priests, and bishops in the Roman Catholic Church. The Church must undo the damage inflicted on women that runs counter to science and counter to the love of God. The Holy Spirit recommends that women be elevated to full membership in the Roman Catholic Church through their ordination as deacons, priests, and bishops.
DISCERNMENT THREE: A Partnership of Laity and Clergy in Church Structure
• The earliest evangelists often address letters to the laity and emphasized the duty of every Christian, without distinction, to work for the good of the Church according to their individual abilities. In the first centuries, the common faithful took part in the election of presbyters and bishops and spoke in synodal meetings.
• When it comes to “journeying together” side-by-side, the Church has an abysmal record. The basic difficulty lies with the Catholic clergy’s unwillingness to have anything to do with the laity. None of the ordained want to walk with us. Sadly, the clergy has abandoned the laity; and now, the laity is abandoning the clergy. We’re not wanted so why bother to attend.
• The message that the essence of faith is the call to “ordained ministry” as a priest, rather than a call to the laity, degrades “lay ministry” into something one is called to when God doesn’t call you to something important. Unless one is ordained, they are invisible to the Church.
• Leadership in an institution that has committed sex abuse crimes for centuries needs to be reformed and radically restructure. Church reform must be structured in a way that ends a system that led to the sexual abuse of hundreds of thousands of children and women.
• The consistent cover-ups of these crimes, acknowledgment without criminal charges, and the treatment of sexual crimes as anomalies stems from a powerful structural system of clerical hierarchy, exceptionalism, and infallibility.
• The perpetuation of this institutionalized “rape culture” must be eradicated totally from the Roman Catholic Church. Currently, there is too much narcissism and exceptionalism in the position of the clergy. This structure impowers the priesthood to be above the law, to live beyond the secular world, and to exist in an exclusive “old boys” club of unmarried men
• The Church is us; we are the Church. It is important to note that what has happened repeatedly since Vatican II is that while the principles were accepted in theory [that doctrinal statements need to be based on the relevant evidence and expertise] such a principle has in fact been disregarded whenever the findings run counter to ingrained beliefs and opinions of the hierarchy and more so when such findings would threaten the current power-structure of the church.
• Clerics (bishops and priests) are often trained to think they are set apart from and set above everyone else in the church. Their word is not to be questioned. Their behavior is not to be questioned. Their lifestyle is not to be questioned. They rule over the church as if they were feudal lords in a feudal society. That is often how they see themselves — lords of the manor, complete with coats of arms, titles of nobility and all the benefits that go with "superiority." (“Tackle clericalism first when attempting priesthood reform ...”)
• In “The Catechism of the Catholic Church," the book-length presentation of the teachings of the church prepared under the papacy of John Paul II, the documents of the Second Vatican Council are either downplayed or interpreted through a conservative lens. In too many places by too many faculty, moral theology is presented in a legalistic framework in which everything is black or white.
• "Wherever they study, seminarians need to be in classes where challenging questions are asked and where they interact with the people they will someday minister to and with." (“The Catholic Church's US seminaries need reform”) It is harder to be clerical and patriarchal when some of the women in your class are smarter than you are.
• "It would help if the laity had a say in who serves them as priests." (“The Catholic Church's US seminaries need reform | National ...”) The lack of lay involvement in the screening of candidates for the seminary and ordination in most dioceses is not good for the church.
I believe the Holy Spirit recommends the reforming of the medieval structure of the Roman Catholic Church to involve all the faithful laity in the mission of Christ. The Church is truly “the new people of God” and more emphasis must be placed on the human and communal side of the Church rather than on the institutional and hierarchical aspects. The laity are holy and are able to speak and act in God’s name, without distinction. What the Roman Catholic Church does not need is a clergy elevated throughs “ontological difference” placing them in a permanent place above the faithful laity. If the structure of clericalism is not dismantled, the Roman Catholic Church will not survive, and will not deserve to.
I believe the Holy Spirit recommends that clerics need to have a better and more effective formation program. Screening of priests needs to weed out not just child molesters, but those who are incapable of developing into compassionate priests. "The formation program should be challenging intellectually but also develop pastoral skills necessary to not only minister to people in need but also empower the laity to take ownership in their communities." (“Sight Magazine - ESSAY: THE CATHOLIC CHURCH'S US ...”) Seminarians should intern for two years in a large parish and two years in a small parish, with the laity involved regularly in their evaluation.
DISCERNMENT FOUR: The Economy of God Must be Elevated Through Oikonomia
• Jesus did not command His disciples to go into all the world and judge all creation. He did not send them to use the sacraments as a weapon against the faithful followers of Christ.
• The Church should pursue the mission of Christ, but it should leave the judging of people to Jesus at the last coming. In John 5:22–23, Jesus says, “Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.”
• Even Judas was present at the last supper and received the grace of the first Eucharist celebration channeled through the sacrament. “When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. "And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." (Luke 22:15-22)
• The Roman Catholic Church should not be denying anyone the opportunity to receive God’s special graces through the sacraments and the sacraments should not be used as a bludgeon against any pre-judged laity.
• God bestows grace to the unworthy, but the Roman Catholic Church blocks or denies God’s grace to certain people who have been judge as undeserving by Church doctrine and tradition.
• Can the Church say that in our current time all things in heaven and on earth are finished and remain in a permanent state of “rest and continuance” unchanging forever? When viewed over time, doctrine has changed, been modified, and totally eliminated. It appears that re-examination of particular doctrines have resulted in different views resulting from longer and deeper reflections on scripture and the advancement of philosophical and science.
• If a doctrine is presented in a more meaningful and accurate way, it doesn’t mean that it is no longer the same doctrine. The Church must realize that re-examination or doctrine and development of the same are methods of an even richer proclamation of revealed truths as well as a valuable means through which the church may support and defend these truths.
• The Economy of God is to distribute Himself, to dispense Himself, as the "household goods" to His chosen people, as members of His household, to "possess" and "enjoy.
(1 Timothy 1-4}
• The way that God manages the “household” in the fulness of time reflects God’s love in maintaining Church stewardship by keeping God’s people as part of the household.
• Through God’s economy ("oikonomia") it is possible to deviate from the strict law, without creating binding precedents, in cases of necessity and in cases when the application of positive law would be contrary to the purpose of the law." (Oikonomia in Eastern Orthodox canon law | David Heith ...)
• More compassion and mercy are needed to understand and cope with modern society and life. Thus, the fundamental meaning of the word oikonomia in the context of canon law designates the obligation of church leaders to decide ecclesiastical questions in accordance with this Divine plan, "house-building" for the salvation of the world. (Meyendorff, ibid, p 160.
• Should someone remain married if their spouse is physically or mentally abusing them? What about infidelity or the abandonment of their marriage vows? Perhaps love, mercy and understanding should be offered to the divorced. They should not be punished for their mistake or short-comings by being deprived of the sacramental grace required for salvation.
I believe the Holy Spirit recommends that all Catholics be admitted to the sacraments without judgement. God made all humans in his own image and loves us all unfathomably—every single one of us regardless of gender, race, nationality, personality, sexuality, political opinions, or age. Would God find some people a little too sinful for his liking? Of course not. God hates sin, but he loves sinners. The Church has no right to turn anyone away from God’s sacraments!
• The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that men and women “with deep-seated homosexual tendencies” should be “accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity” and that “(e)very sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” (CCC # 2358)
• What the Church really teaches about “discrimination” pertaining to “LGBTQ” was developed at length in the document “Some Considerations Concerning the Response to Legislative Proposals on the Non-discrimination of Homosexual Persons” published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on July 24, 1992.
• There are many things Catholics are commanded to do, including loving one another, honoring one another, accepting one another, being at peace with each other, serving one another, and forgiving one another. There are no exceptions for people who don’t look like you, talk like you, think like you, or behave like you. (“Is diversity a biblical goal? | Voice”)
• The current Roman catholic view of LGBTQ persons is hurtful, harmful, hideous, and horrendous! Who Is the Catholic Church to judge? The mission is to preach the good news without distinction, discrimination, or prejudice.
• Regarding “natural law,” science has unlocked the puzzle of human homosexuality. It turns out the LGBTQ persons have been right all along—they were born that way. Current research solves the evolutionary riddle of homosexuality, finding that "sexually antagonistic" epi-marks, which normally protect parents from natural variation in sex hormone levels during fetal development, sometimes carryover across generations and cause homosexuality in opposite-sex offspring.
• Epi-marks constitute an extra layer of information attached to our genes' backbones that regulates their expression. While genes hold the instructions, epi-marks direct how those instructions are carried out - when, where and how much a gene is expressed during development. (Study Finds Epigenetics, Not Genetics, Underlies Homosexuality)
• When epi-marks are transmitted across generations from fathers to daughters or mothers to sons, they cause reversed effects, such as the feminization of some traits in sons, such as sexual preference, and similarly a partial masculinization of daughters.
• While there is no single “gay gene,” there is overwhelming evidence of a biological basis for sexual orientation that is programmed into the brain before birth based on a mix of genetics and prenatal conditions, none of which the fetus chooses. What God creates is natural and normal, unchangeable, and morally legitimate.
• It is normal to be gay. It’s OK to be gay. It’s neither good or bad to be gay, like having red hair or being tall. It’s just something you are. You’re no better or worse for it. Being gay is part of God’s natural law. The fact that homosexuality happens at all testifies to its nature as created by God.
I believe the Holy Spirit recommends that LGBTQ persons be admitted to Roman Catholic membership with full participation in all aspects of the Catholic faith, including the sacraments, as part of the “natural law” of God without discrimination to or distortion of their sexuality. The Church has allowed mold to grow on the bread of life and the wine of salvation to sour.