Can the Catholic Church ‘Evolve’ on L.G.B.T. Rights?
New York Times
A growing number of Americans now broadly support equal rights for gay, lesbian and transgender people. It’s tempting to view this as inevitable, but less than a decade ago many Democrats, including Barack Obama, didn’t even publicly support same-sex marriage.
The speed at which L.G.B.T. rights became a mainstream issue, including for many religious denominations, represents nothing less than a dizzying cultural transformation. What does this revolution mean for the Catholic Church, an ancient institution that thinks in centuries, and holds a view of human sexuality at odds with the shifting cultural winds?
We forget that about 40 years ago, the Catholic church held Vatican II, a conference that reversed dozens of long-held traditions, making the Catholic church more relevant to people's lives. Major changes included mass in the local language instead of Latin, transfiguration as a spiritual phenomenon rather than a physical transformation into real human blood and flesh. Placing a greater emphasis on the teachings of Jesus, and reducing the prominence of Paul. The even approved the New Jerusalem Bible as a translation that Catholics could read for themselves.
From 800AD to around 1500, Catholics believed that only the Pope could decide who was fit to be King. On a few occasions, Kings, and nobility were stripped of power, usually as a political favor. The Inquisition tortured people into confessing to heresy, then tortured them into naming innocents as fellow heretics. Nearly 5 million, mostly women, were burned at the stake as witches, enabling their lands to be seized, often from the widows of land-owners.
Even 60 years ago, Catholics supported racist views. Even up until about 50 years ago, the church permitted only missionary position and for procreation only. Yet 1200 years ago, they encouraged "sex with spirits" (masturbation).
Even into the 1950s, many Catholic girls were sexually abused by their mothers to "harden their hymen", by rubbing it to make it thicken to the point of requiring surgical procedure to "break" it. Many of these women experienced extreme pain and trauma when attempting to have sex with their own husbands. The church once forbade the dissection of humans, or even mammals. And when actual observations of animals refuted the writings of Thomas Aquinas, the church forbade such studies. Many of these horrible belief's and practices were not officially reversed until Vatican II.
Many Catholic parishes have "Dignity" groups where gay Catholics and their families could worship together, usually in the evenings. Many of these groups have married couples who are significant donors to the parish. Perhaps it's time for a Vatican III conference, or at least a realistic review of the Church's long held traditions. Perhaps also some research into the Hebrew and Aramaic scriptures and the actual wording of long-held verses used to persecute gays, lesbians, and transgender people.
Keep in mind that Hagar was Sarah's LOVER, not just a servant.
In Esther - a Eunuch plays a critical role - a heroic role in saving the Jews.
In Acts - the first Gentile ever baptized - was a Eunuch.
In a time when there wasn't the surgical skills to perform Gender Confirmation Surgery, transgender boys would often request to be castrated, especially if they were born with un-descended testes.
The Kings of Babylon and Greece used boys castrated before puberty as prophets, oracles, and seers - this would have included Daniel, Shadrak, Mishak, and Abednego. The Oracles of Delphi and other Greek and Roman cities were virgins, never to know men, and many were probably castrated boys.
Most transgender girls know they are transgender by the time they are 3-4 years old, they often insist that their assigned gender is wrong. This probably happened in biblical times as well.
Transgender girls start their transition by taking blockers - chemical castration. The same medications used to castrate sex-offenders.
The Pope is probably looking at this issue from many viewpoints, and struggling with trying to reconcile the biblical and spiritual foundations of homophobia and transphobia - realizing that they are contrary to scription, against the political and economic realities and pressures of thousands of parishes all over the world.