The other day I saw a tweet from Dignity USA that referred to the opinion article by Michael Pakaluk that recently appeared in The Pilot, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston. I read the article and was almost sick to my stomach.
Dignity asked people to write to the newspaper, so I did. What follows is the content of my letter, slightly modified to correct errors made because the letter was written in a state of anger:
We can only counter the kind of wilful ignorance and distortion of the truth reflected in Michael Pakaluk’s article “Children in the custody of same-sex couples in parochial schools,” which was recently published in The Pilot, by ensuring that the real truth about homosexuality and gay relationships reaches everyone, including Mr. Pakaluk’s son. Mr. Pakaluk’s article will only serve to affirm the homophobic and heterosexist views of people like him. Others, gay and straight, Catholic and non-Catholic, who have had the simple human wisdom to enlighten themselves by taking advantage of the wealth of scientific material on these issues that is freely available, will see Mr. Pakaluk’s article for what it is.
As for the editors of The Pilot, shame on you for allowing the benighted and uncharitable views of “Professor” Pakaluk—God help the young people who are being “educated” by this man—to be published in a newspaper that professes to be Catholic and thus reflective of the sole commandment of Jesus to all of us through his apostles: “Love one another as I have loved you.” If this article has anything to do with Christ’s love, then I humbly confess that I do not know what love is.
If Mr. Pakaluk’s article reflects the Roman Catholic version of truth and morality, I tearfully declare that I am ashamed to be Catholic. If Mr. Pakaluk’s views on homosexuality—that it is a lifestyle, that it is a sexual disorder, that it is inherently eroticized and pornographic—are what he is teaching his son as truth and morality, his teaching is the very antithesis of these values and may God help his son seek the truth on his own.
I thank God for the courageous people, gay and straight, who have in the last 40 years removed—even if not yet fully—the shroud of ignorance, humiliation, and fear that kept LGBT people from taking their rightful place as full members of society and from being who they really are. How sad it is that the Catholic Church, which should be the shining beacon of love toward which all people are drawn, struggles so desperately to replace the shroud.
I sincerely hope that Mr. Pakaluk’s son does not turn out to be gay. What loving child of God would want this boy to experience the “lifestyle” of confusion, self-loathing, and loneliness that so many gay young people are forced to endure because of the ignorance of their parents and of their Church?
The editor of The Pilot, Mr. Antonio Enrique, has issued a statement, apparently in response to the general outrage Mr. Pakaluk’s article has sparked. In it he says, “Pilot readers are accustomed to reading differing views on many complex social issues. Our Catholic laity is well educated and can make up their minds on whether they agree or disagree with a particular opinion.” One can only wonder if the “differing views” have been presented in The Pilot and if the paper has contributed to what Mr. Enrique considers “well educated.”
Mr. Enrique also states that The Pilot is “a vehicle to promote conversation and better understanding of the different positions on issues of interest to Catholics within the bounds of the teachings of the Catholic Church.” From this statement it would appear to me that such conversation would be pretty one-sided and therefore, by definition no conversation at all.
I challenge Mr. Enrique and The Pilot to promote a conversation in its fullest meaning and a full understanding of the different positions on issues of interest to Catholics by publishing an opinion piece that reflects a view of homosexuality—held my many Catholics in the United States and elsewhere—based on both the overwhelming body of scientific evidence and the real lives of millions of LGBT people throughout the world.
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