THE GALILEO RECONCILIATION COMMISSION:DISSENTING WITH LOVE - GRC/DL
by Tom Luce http://leastharm.weebly.com 6/5/13
I have a proposal calling for changing church doctrine on homosexuality. As far as I can tell it hasn't been tried before, but it deals with the same sad and violent problem of dissent in the church. The moment has never been so right and because I'm personally involved as a homosexual I'm ready to die trying. It's a proposal to create "The Galileo Reconciliation Commission, Diseenting with Love, the GRC-DL, --not a place to debate the morality of homosexuality, but a sacred time/space where people will with authority figure out ways to disagree with love and to do the least harm to one another in the process. It involves the whole communion of the faithful throughout the Catholic church, a commitment from all to avoid one more Galileo moment. No more silence, neo-medieval persecution. A simple matter of love.
- 75 yrs old;
- ordained a Catholic priest in 1963 in Rome during Vat II with theology degrees from the Gregorian U;
- 13+ years a faithful celibate and a rule-abiding adolescent in preparation for my vocation. I still value celibacy as I have come to a more realistic valuation of married love.
- 1970, married/excommunicated/lost total church standing;
- M.Ed Counseling, MA Foreign Languages to support my family
- 43yrs still faithfully married, 3 children, 3 grandchildren;
- At age 62 self-declared-outed as same gender oriented - SGO (to avoid wrong connotations from the "g" word) during Vermont's deliberation on same sex marriage legislation;
- a lifetime of fighting for social justice in the US, Central America, Haiti and in the church.
Oh, I know, "silence" is the new way. Birth control? Divorce? But no. Suffering from the teaching about homosexuality, I can tell you, cannot be silenced over, closeted, tolerated. Governing dissension as families--"no politics, religion, or sex" at dinner table-- is an unconscionable coverup causing so much violence--suicides, murders, discrimination. What is going on today is just as bad as in medieval times. But isn't the Christian way that love trumps all? So the approach with the GRC:DL is "THE LEAST HARM". When dissenters accept each other in mutually good faith, love has to take over and will dictate that each side will do "THE LEAST HARM" to one another. No bad mouthing, especially in religious blogs not to mention in papal pronouncements (Benedict XVI's in Jan. '13), excommunications, not even firings, nothing that gives the slightest excuse for the irreligious to kill or imprison us.
Right at the beginning I have to turn the focus on ourselves and on our allies. If we're to believe that a majority of practicing Catholics are o.k. with SGO (same gender orientation) and marriage, we are still closeted and unable to exert a moral force sufficient to obtain the establishment of "The Galileo Reconciliation Commission:Dissenting with love?" GRC:DL. Theologians, priests, bishops are excommunicated, silenced still. To this day I believe the defenders of SGO marriage do not speak out because they are beholden to the current ironclad, nasty rules against speaking out. The same is true, of course, about so many other subjects, just to mention one, birth control. So to use my personal experience. I was convinced that the church was obligated to provide married priests if we were ever to get anything substantial to offer to our sisters and brothers struggling with marriage. I announced my belief that priests should be able to marry. That was and still is one of those conscientious convictions we're told about being primary, but that usually gets us in trouble. I was robbed of my vocation, the church lost another servant, I lost retirement and health benefits. No discussion, lots of surmising that we were just immature and interested in sex. I thought that the thousands of us who did this in the '70's would by sheer numbers and conviction create such a moral force that change would find a way to happen. Not. But now is another day.
What if the implementation of "The Galileo Reconciliation Commission:Dissenting with love?" GRC:DL were simply, unrelentingly, lovingly pushed in parish structures, diocesan structures, international/catholic structures? Yes we would have to be organized--a costly process to be sure. We would have to be ready for "ecclesial" disobedience, non-violent direct action. But if our numbers are so strong, I think even the most warlike of our catholic sisters and brothers, up and down the ladder (not at all a true analogy if we follow the Christian, communion, collegial model) would be forced to "love" us. No more of the false dichotomy foisted on bishops or priests, love us but hate the sin. We simply achieve a Galileo milestone and declare the doctrine in dissent. We spend our time trying to figure out what "THE LEAST HARM" is for both sides and hopefully the killings/suicides/persecution of LGBT will diminish markedly. I honestly don't know what it is we do to lessen the harm we allegedly perpetrate against the other side. Maybe it would be forming campaigns to help married heterosexuals to prevent/avoid divorce; to raise money to stop the persecution/seduction of minors by the multi-billion dollar porno business? There are such illustrious programs dealing with the trafficking of children. We could contribute to real challenges to married life that we are accused falsely of perpetrating in addition to being a holy people nurturing life just like heterosexuals.
More on our own obligations. We have homework to do, getting the body of teaching published about a life of pursuit of sanctity within a committed, spiritual/bodily relationship. No we cannot let ourselves be defined by the stereotypes of "gays", but we do have to make clear what we believe is involved in married relationships, that we are just as committed as heterosexuals to a holy life directed to the good of all society; that we aren't "narcissistic" and pleasure obsessed.
So when does a "doctrine in dissent" resolved? Well if you know of any way that doesn't depend on power plays, threats, and sheep-like obedience, you're onto something valuable. All I've seen of what we talked about in the '60's in Rome about communion ecclesiology is more of the same regarding dissent. Take it or leave it. No, the GRC:DL is not a democratic, majority-rules, process. But a loving, discerning, truth-seeking process weighing the best in research, and, perhaps, most significant, the testimony of honest, reliable individuals. I'm putting my life on the line and I hope that everyone else as conscientiously convinced will do so as well. Whatever it was that brought the truth of the solar system to lead Pope John Paul II to apologize 390 years later and after untold murder and mayhem over dissent is what "The Galileo Reconciliation Commission, Diseenting with Love, the GRC will do in much shorter time and with no more evil persecutions.
Really, taking out petitions to convince bishops to rehire fired LGBT's and making them feel guilty for not loving us enough would be more effective if we were calling on both sides to loving dissent and suspending all harmful treatment. Remember it is not just the hierarchy but members of the faithful who are convinced of this deadly doctrine. We have to work together.
Onward with "The Galileo Reconciliation Commission, Dissenting with Love, the GRC-DL!
Please let me know if you will respond to this call. Write me at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Check out my blog at <http://leastharm.weebly.com. Thanks!
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