October 12, 2005

John McNeill Lectures at Dignity/Chicago

Windy City Times

By Amy Wooten

Although disappointed by latest reports coming out of the Vatican about the expected document banning gay priests from being ordained, theologian and author John McNeill urged LGBT Catholics to keep hope recently during a lecture sponsored by Dignity/Chicago.

McNeill, who is also a psychotherapist and a former Jesuit priest, spoke about how LGBT people should deal with the homophobic Church hierarchy. After hearing the news about the expected ban, McNeill told the audience he experienced sadness and rage. Not only, he said, is it a “fatal blow” to the Church, but the Vatican is scapegoating a whole category of people to establish its lost prestige due to sexual abuse scandals. “There is a painful awareness of holy men who will feel betrayed and abandoned by the Church,” he said.

LGBT people should respond by realizing that the Vatican’s actions have “nothing to do with God or the teaching of Jesus Christ,” McNeill said. Instead, he continued, purging gays from the priesthood is simply a political move to scapegoat gays, despite all the advice the Vatican has received from psychologists and others that gayness is not a cause of sexual abuse. In addition, homophobic documents coming out of the Vatican attempt to invoke self-hatred, self-destructiveness, and a fear of God among LGBT people.

“Do not waste one ounce of energy on the negative attachment to anger with the Church,” McNeill said. “Commit every ounce of energy to the positive ministry of love.”

Posted by kshaw at October 12, 2005 06:12 PM