Hundreds shut out of sole session on gays at World Meeting of Families

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At the World Meeting of Families, Ron Belgau, center, and his mother Beverley Belgau, right, described to a packed room what it was like for them dealing with Ron's same-sex attraction." Photo by Madi Alexander

At the World Meeting of Families, Ron Belgau, center, and his mother Beverley Belgau, right, described to a packed room what it was like for them dealing with Ron's same-sex attraction." Photo by Madi Alexander

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PHILADELPHIA (RNS) The sole session on homosexuality was given short shrift at the World Meeting of Families by a last-minute venue change to a much smaller space.

  • Larry

    How hard is this to understand? The Catholic church hates gays. They actively discriminate against them where they can get away with it and lobby to attack their civil liberties elsewhere.

    The whole idea that a church can be reformed from within using education and compassion is a fools errand.

    Churches don’t revise their prejudices unless forced to by circumstances and embarrassment. The Vatican took 20 years after the Holocaust to renounce anti-semitism. Now they falsely pretend their doctrines played no part of it.

  • Richard Rush

    “The Catholic church hates gays. They actively discriminate against them where they can get away with it and lobby to attack their civil liberties elsewhere.”

    Well, yes, but remember, they wrap it all up with a veneer of ChristianLove™. That must count for something, right?

  • Greg1

    I commend Belgau on his decision to focus his life on this earth towards eternal life, instead. What did our Lord say? “Whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:39. Thank you Belgau; you have chosen eternal life, over a life of sin in this world. You are a great example, one to follow.

  • bqrq

    “…..Ron Belgau, the sole openly gay man allowed to make a presentation here, took the microphone and, with his mother Beverley, described how he follows a “traditional Christian sexual ethic” that says homosexual activity is sinful….”

    “….Thank you Belgau; you have chosen eternal life over a life of sin this world….”

    Good words

  • Stephen

    First of all the Catholic Church does NOT hate gays…just the sex part of it which they call intrinsically disordered. Now I am gay, Catholic and guess what…I don’t believe in calling same-sex couples “married” (in my opinion it’s a subset of marriage – you don’t call a cubic zirconia a diamond even though it has all the same properties do you?) and I don’t believe that gay sex is right either. It’s wrong and before you go saying that I haven’t had any…I did, in many ways and through it all, something inside me said (not even putting religion into the picture) that this just isn’t right and I’m at peace with that. Do I have same sex attraction, yes. You can’t help how you feel.

  • Larry

    They don’t hate gays, they just try to demean them, attack their civil liberties, and urge them to deny emotional bonds that are essential to sane living.

    “Now I am gay, Catholic and guess what…”

    …you chose to buy into a religious/cultural belief which considers you less than a person, seeks to discriminate against you, and urges you to attack those like yourself. Either you are making stuff up or you have decided to fall in with a very damaging set of beliefs which actively demonize you. I can’t say you have made a particularly wise or sane decision. But religious belief is not about acting in wise or sane ways.

  • Richard Rush

    “I commend Belgau on his decision to focus his life on this earth towards eternal life, instead.”

    In other words . . . You commend Belgau on his decision to waste the only life he has by focusing on an entirely imaginary eternal life. How nice.

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  • Greg1

    Stephen, you are to be commended for your stand and commitment to our Lord. And of course because the Holy Spirit has moved you to “understand” that it isn’t “right” as you said, Larry will call you an ignorant hater. So be it. I am Catholic too, and am reading an excellent book called “Peace will have the last Word,” by Sister Emmanuel Maillard, and I would recommend it. There is a short story in there called Temptation Brought into Light, and in it a married women met a man who she could not get out of her mind; she was tempted very aggressively for long periods of time. Then one day she went to confession, and discussed the temptation with the priest, and afterwards receive “absolution.” And from the moment the absolution was given, all the temptations stopped cold. She learned through that experience, how the Devil operates, and especially, how the sacraments of the Church, are encounters with God. Keep up the fight!

  • Gail Ledesma

    So, the only good gay man is one who’s never allowed to love both emotionally and physically a person to whom they are attracted and toward whom they feel deep love. Wow. That’s denial of one of the greatest joys in life. I don’t think that’s what God wants.

  • Call To Action has been honored to support the LGBTQI Catholics at this event. It has not been easy for them to hear the hatred and exclusive mindset of many in the hierarchy. Yet, the laity have given us hope and supported us along the way. We are most grateful!

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  • Ted

    Self hatred is nothing to be proud of. God created us, and loves us, just as we are. This is true no matter how many badly translated proof texts are sanctimoniously thrown in our faces, simply because we want a place at God:s table, too.

    God doesn’t make junk.

  • Ted

    The notion that priestly absolution is some form of magic spell that “cures” homosexual attraction is a ridiculous debasement of Catholic faith.

  • Greg1

    Priestly “absolution” has nothing to do with “magic.” Every Catholic priest has received his “priesthood” from a bishop who is in a direct chain, or line of succession, from one of the 12 Apostles. Ordination in the Catholic Church as been passed down, or conferred from Apostle, to bishop to bishop to bishop, all the way down to the bishops of our day. They are not magicians, but rather men with the authority of the apostles regarding preaching, and conferring of the sacraments. What happens in the Sacrament of Confession, is the priest weighs the repentance of the sinner, then confers “absolution” to the person. And because of the authority of the priesthood received from the bishop by that priest, the Holy Spirit operates in that sacrament, which cleanses the soul of all wretchedness, and sin. This was a promise made by our Lord, and is in the Gospel, “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.” John 20:23.

  • Richard Rush

    In other words, bqrq, you are saying, “Thank you Belgau for choosing to please Christians by conforming to our edicts over a life of love and fulfillment for yourself in this world.”

  • Richard Rush

    Greg1, your talking about priestly absolution as if it were a real thing is almost amusing. You cited nothing to refute the reality that it is magic, fantasy, myth, fallacy, and superstition. It’s just one small piece of a clever system designed to have dominion over people’s thinking and behavior, . . . and including the seizing of money from them to assure the system’s continuance in perpetuity.

  • Shawnie5

    Please elaborate on the “badly translated” passages. This is where everyone always gets fuzzy and evasive.

  • Jack

    Richard, the truly magical thinking is that the entire universe, with its breathtaking beauty and stunning order and complexity, sprung into being all by its lonesome.

    Literally anything is more believable than that. You might as well believe that dandelions can morph into horse-headed skunks reciting Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

  • Jack

    How dare one person praise another person for agreeing with him or her on something!

    Isn’t that what people do all of the time?

    It would be odd if they didn’t.

  • Jack

    There’s nothing in Stephen’s post that sounds dishonest. If he were dishonest, he’d have gone much farther than he did. All he’s telling us is that he is practicing a life of celibacy in spite of temptations. Assuming I’m right and he’s being honest, he is doing the same thing as most heterosexual Catholic priests do when they remain chaste.

    Larry, I would think it would anti-gay to imply, as you seem to be doing, that gay people are less able to commit to celibacy than straight people. Do you have the same ugly stereotypes about gays and sex as racist bigots do about black people and sex?

  • Jack

    Ted, how is it “self-hatred” for Stephen to make the choice that he did?

    The essence of being a human being is our ability and desire to make literally myriads of choices in which we sacrifice one thing for what we believe is a greater thing. All of us as people do it routinely in many arenas of life. Students forego sleep for study. Dieters forgo rich foods for healthier foods. Athletes forgo comfort and ease for rigorous training. Parents forgo coming and going as they please for being their for the children they’re rearing.

    What Stephen is just another form of what we all do in many areas. Yes it is extreme, but no more extreme than priests — heterosexual or homosexual — who do likewise.

    There is no way you can live a noble or decent life without making some sacrifice of some kind along the way. Stephen has chosen his.

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  • Billysees

    This should have been presented here, as it should be presented everywhere, as a great reminder of how the whole world should treat LGBTs —

    They “must” be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.
    …..Catechism of the Catholic Church (quotes mine)

    1. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another…..Romans 14:13

    2. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God…..Romans 15:7

    3. …all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble…..1 Peter 3:8

    4. Be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone….Titus 3:2

    It would’ve been great if the Pope had mentioned that in his comments.

    It should be ‘plastered’ across every billboard around the world.

  • Richard Rush

    Jack said, “Richard, the truly magical thinking is that the entire universe, with its breathtaking beauty and stunning order and complexity, sprung into being all by its lonesome.”

    Jack, the truly magical thinking is that a god with breathtaking power and stunning intelligence, knowledge, and skills, sprung into being all by his lonesome.

    A classic question that people seem to prefer expending as little time as possible contemplating is, Where did God come from? A common answer is essentially that God is eternal, and thus has always been there. And then they quickly change the subject. I think all the answers to this question I’ve heard are designed to avoid serious consideration of the question.

    If you cannot believe that life on earth could have developed via evolution, how can you possibly believe that an infinitely more intelligent, knowledgeable, skilled, and powerful God came into existence spontaneously, or by a form of evolution?

  • Jack

    Richard, the problem with your reply is that you are asking us to believe that on the one hand, I-Phones and automobiles, space stations and skyscrapers, couldn’t possibly have arisen by themselves, but that the infinitely greater complexities and wonders of the universe could.

    And your problem in no way is solved by asking who created God. The problem is that at some point, when looking at origins, we arrive at eternity, and we already know that the universe itself isn’t eternal.

  • Jack

    Richard, I replied with a post of similar length but it wasn’t posted.

    My ultimate point is that the “who created God?” retort is problematic because it only works if the universe or some material process behind it is eternal and we already know it isn’t.

  • larry

    Said the man who openly supports discrimination against gays. You are already pre-disposed to think of openly gay people as some form of social inferior. One deserving of religious inspired maltreatment. So naturally you will side with one who supports further poor treatment against his own.

    He is not just practicing a life of celibacy, he is advocating it is the only way for gay people to live. Not a personal choice, but a stance well in line with the way the Catholic Church despises gay people. This is something to be pitied, not congratulated.

    I am assuming since this is an online discussion, either he is trolling or a very pathetic person who has bought into a belief to treat himself and others badly.

    “Do you have the same ugly stereotypes about gays and sex as racist bigots do about black people and sex?”

    Obviously you do, After all a gay person is not capable of a consensual loving adult relationship to you or the Catholic Church. It is just about sex.

  • larry

    Not at all. It shows how little creationism adheres to the logic and structure of its own arguments. If one is using the argument that everything has a creator, then to fail to apply it to God, is to deliberately ignore the structure and basis of the argument presented.

    Creationism is based on lying. All creationists must lie about their faith to support its contentions. They have to pretend to accept evidence and forms of discovery/discussion that they really don’t unless it brings them to a pre-determined answer. A creationist is not interested in truth or methods of divining it. Only in validating a given answer using whatever will work at the moment.

  • larry

    Because he is advocating that all gay people follow along in his self-destructive delusion. That his self-imposed refusal for an adult relationship is somehow normal and expected of hay people.

    That is simply pathetic (if true, which is still debatable).

    Your support of Stephen is simply out of your personal animosity to gays living as human beings. You constantly advocate for discrimination against them. So naturally this fits in with that narrative.

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