What a stupid lie. I mean, why would you ever be "pretending"? It’s not something they write down, but if you’re gay, Catholic, and want to stay in the church — you’re supposed to become a priest. Or a brother. Same thing lesbians who don’t want a fake marriage. Old ladies at bingo will say things like "The Monsignor … he’s such a nice man … and you know … celibate." It’s one of the little hypocrisies that keeps the whole thing running. Keeps people in the tent. Gives them an outlet. You’d never fake being gay if you’re frocked.
Hypocrisies aren’t what they used to be.
See, there didn’t used to be little cameras. Or internets. Or interest in keeping Church honest from without. You were either in the parish, invested locally, had an interest in the *nudge*nudge*wink*wink*, or you weren’t, and didn’t. If you had a gay priest, or an alcoholic archbishop, or a pederast Brother, you dealt with it. You cleaned up after them, chuckled behind their back, kept your kids away etc … and still respected the office.
And the kicker: you agreed he could still lecture you on being clean, sober, straight, and respectable. You let him teach your kids. Because that way, your kids were taught. And you had a place to go on Sundays and people who would talk to you. And the community had an anchor.
Now? Kids can get into college without attending morning chapel. Girls can reasonably expect to earn money and raise kids (or not!) without the Church’s help. Welfare didn’t just create a system – it replaced one. Several. Many people still love religion or love church … but they don’t need it anymore. And if they find they’re stuck with a liar or a criminal, they can leave. If the hirearchy didn’t have a doctrine against birth control, they’d have to make one up.
Now they’re stuck like General Motors are stuck with the Japanese. All the ways in which the Church indulged itself, all the unresolved contradictions, all the hypocrisies … are up for review in the clear light of choice.
I don’t see how you get past the gay thing. Some people are gay. But if God has a plan for them, then the Church really doesn’t. Except to have no love, lie about who you are wherever possible, don’t get married, don’t be a priest, don’t be active in the community and … I dunno … try not to breathe so loud! The rule defies reality. It defies charity, wisdom, truth, and all that other stuff the Church otherwise says is important. Worse, it defies actual Church practice. Which practice the Church engaged in … so it could get away with defying reality.
Worse, this is human reality we’re talking about. Limbo? Change some words in some books! Copernican solar system? Evolution? It’s millions of years or miles distant. Revise some theories. At some point. This? They can’t re-write this one 200 years later. They can’t ease into it. This effects what lots of people do, right now.
Victor Hugo had this great essay on the monasteries of his time. His conclusion was ‘yes, you preserved our knowledge. Yes, you taught our children. Yes, you took the shamed, the homeless, the orphans and gave them something. The West needed you. We no longer do. Now stop imprisoning our best minds and forcing them to be virgins. Stop bankrupting our countries. Again, thank you. Now have the grace to die with some fucking dignity.’
… Okay, so that last was Stephen Dorff in Blade. The first one. Back before they let Dane Cook play a vampire hunter. Fucking Dane Cook. Jesus.
Does the vampire thesis now apply to the whole Church?
Sad, but possible.