NEW YORK – Christopher Browner is a practicing Catholic who additionally identifies as queer. So how does he sq. being queer and Catholic?
“I believe it is a work in progress,” Browner mentioned.
He joined St. Paul the Apostle Roman Catholic Church on the Upper West Side as a result of he and lots of others within the LGBTQ group really feel welcome there. There’s even a bunch known as OSP — Out at St. Paul — that worships on the 5 o’clock mass on Sunday.
Browner by no means questions his religion however typically struggles with its guidelines. The Catholic Church solely acknowledges marriage between a person and a lady.
“Intercourse and relationships are a core tenet of marriage and kids — these are crucial to the Catholic Church in order that clearly comes into battle with one’s sexuality,” Browner mentioned. “I believe it is one thing I am engaged on — and work on on a regular basis.”
Father Rick Walsh is the pastor at St. Paul the Apostle.
“I believe we’re lacking a lot after we say ‘no’ due to what you are doing in your bed room — it is only a disgrace,” Walsh mentioned. “We have all the time been delicate to anyone who’s completely different — our patron is St. Paul.”
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Nonetheless, some within the LGBTQ group haven’t felt welcome within the Catholic Church. Whereas progressives have applauded Pope Francis for calling on clergymen to welcome homosexual women and men with respect and sensitivity, the Vatican is firmly in opposition to clergymen blessing same-sex unions. These blended messages elevate issues in Father Rick’s congregation.
“If the Vatican will not be saying one thing publically that it is OK to be a homosexual individual, to be a lesbian individual, then what good is it for Father Rick Walsh says it is OK? Well, it is OK,” Walsh mentioned. “It actually comes right down to the place are you fed spiritually? And we are saying come right here and you may be fed.”
For Browner, a lifelong Catholic, leaving the church or rejecting his Catholic religion is just not an choice.
“I like my religion and I believe that may be a lovely factor and it’s so vital to me,” he mentioned. “I do not need to go away.”
So he stays, placing his religion within the divine forward of his personal wishes.
St. Paul the Apostle Roman Catholic Church | 405 West 59th Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10019 | stpaultheapostle.org