You give it back, instantly.
I made the mistake of reading the statement once, twice, several times, and like the good Catholic boy that I was, tried to understand the wrath and anger I felt inside, to muffle it with compassion, to believe in good faith. I read it again today, and still it didn’t measure to the pain and outrage that Orlando has seared into our collective soul. In this time of grief, reading it felt like swallowing a burning piece of coal.
You tell them to keep it.
Because they were right that Orlando was a hate crime, that nothing justifies hatred and murder of LGBT people, but alas, these right words were penned by the wrong people.
Because the Omar Mateens who hurt LGBTs were not born as bigots. They were raised to become one – by their parents, their communities, by their religion, by people in authority. By bishops who know how to pen the right words, who can tuck their own disgust of two men kissing under the phrase, “while we may have reasons to disagree with sexual preferences, or reprove certain forms of sexual activity,” to remind us LGBTs of our sinful ways.
You tell them to revise, because it’s not truthful.
There are just too many inconsistencies in the statement. You can’t say that “no one should be treated with disgust” while calling our relationships “as perversion of the common good.”
The statement also kept referring to LGBTs as humans when the Catholic leadership has always treated us as sub-human: who we are is a pathological condition that can be cured, our identity just a “preference” that can be reversed.
Because the Catholic leadership has no moral ascendancy to urge schools to address bullying against LGBTs when they keep telling LGBT teachers to tone it down, to become invisible, or when they go around warning that LGBTs are out there to recruit children, a bad influence to the youth.
You can’t call out abuse and violence against LGBTs when you have consistently, without failure, blocked pieces of proposed laws in Congress that give LGBTs the equal right to be protected from abuse and discrimination.
You tell them to revise, because you can’t condemn Orlando if you don’t understand that the aggression begins when you push LGBT people into the closet.
You tell them rewrite.
Because outrage without atonement is not solidarity. It only relieves their conscience of guilt, but adds no comfort to the grieving, no justice to the dead.
You tell them to rewrite, and this time to begin it with, “We are sorry.”
(Photo from http://www.cbcpnews.com)