Once again the Vatican has astounded me by its obsession with the gay community throughout the world. Pope John Paul II has once again issued yet another call for war against a gentle and peace loving people by accusing the community of “an aggressive attempt to legally undermine the family.” The Pope issued this repetitive call to arms only days before the day in which the Christian world celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is a time for reflection on the love that God shown the world through the birth of His Son on that day over 2,000 years ago. It is a time for peace, love, and compassion towards our fellow human beings. Instead of using this message to convey the true meaning of Christmas, this Pope and the jackals that run the Vatican have chosen once again to attack, instill hate, threats, and predictions of doom. The Pope stated that “Attacks on marriage and the family, from an ideological and legal aspect, are becoming stronger and more radical every day. Who destroys this fundamental fabric causes a profound injury to society and provokes often irreparable damage.” Why can’t the Vatican answer the simple question of how the movement towards the legalized marriage of same-sex couples in any way endangers an institution that is fraught with problems? The gay community is “attempting to undermine the family?” How? How does the loving commitment of two people who are by “nature” gay, in any way undermine the family? Does it cause divorce rates to go higher then they all ready are? Does it cause a shortage of grooms or brides? What “fundamental fabric of society” is being damaged? Families are created, not destroyed. Pope John Paul the First, saw the great benefits to same-sex couples in a variety of ways including the ability to “Create families and give loving homes to children who were housed in orphanages.” Does this Pope prefer to see children stay in a loveless institutional environment rather then enjoy the loving care that a gay couple can give such a child? Is this the fabric of society that the Pope so frets about? Has the Roman Catholic Church become so morally bankrupt that it would rather sacrifice the lives of not only adults, but children to a less then happy, loveless existence, because of ignorance and biblical mistranslations? Why isn’t this Pope as vocal about the sex abuse scandals of his Priests? What about war? What about the responsibility of feeding the world’s hungry? What about Aids? What about clothing the naked? What about the commands of Jesus? The Roman Catholic Church is fueling bigotry, discrimination and death by its constant impassioned calls for a Jihad on the gay community. What utterly disgusts me so, is that the Roman Catholic Church is full of gay men in all positions within its structure. They are Priests, Bishops, Archbishops, Cardinals and Popes. Just as Pius X was responsible for collaboration with the Nazi and Fascist movements and the resulting loss of life, so is this Pope responsible for the death of gays throughout the world. The Anglican Church is heading down a similar path with its obsession with Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. Now, Bishop Robinson has offered to reduce his role at the Lambert Conference. In other words, because the Bishop is gay, he is willing to take a lesser role as a Bishop then he normally would if he were straight. While I think his offer is commendable in an attempt to bring the Anglican bigots to the table, it is nonetheless an offer that should be refused outright by the Archbishop of Canterbury. There is even some concern that Bishop Robinson might not be invited to the conference at all! It is past time for two things to happen. Contrary to the desires of the universal church to become one again, I feel it is time to just go ahead a split the churches. If the conservative, right-wing elements of the Anglican Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodists, the Lutherans, can’t live with the full inclusion of gay people within the lives of each of their churches, then it is time to split apart the churches. Let the conservatives have there church, and let the liberals have their church. This will end most of the bickering, threats, and conflict that is now raging on in many churches over the issue of gays in the clergy and in the pews. Let the Anglican church split in two; it would be good. Let the Roman Catholic Church split in two; it would be good. It would be good because a certain amount of peace could be regained by the conservative churches to be free to conduct their beliefs in the way they want, instead of the way Jesus would want. The catholic gay community does have an alternative. The Old Catholic Church has the same valid sacraments and Apostolic succession as does the Roman branch, but without much of the bigotry. We offer the same catholicity that the Romans do, without a tired, old, corrupt central government trying to rule the lives of the world’s people. Divorced? You are welcome in the Old Catholic Church. Any baptized Christian can receive communion in an Old Catholic Church. Not in a Roman church! As for gay Anglicans, you are welcome also within the folds of the Old Catholic Church. But should you wish to try and stay with your church, then withhold your weekly contributions until you are given a full place at the table. Why should the African Bishops be able to dictate to American Anglicans who they can elect as their Bishop? African Bishops should keep their prejudices in Africa instead of trying to export their venom and hate as Rome does. It is time for the gay community to unit on many fronts including political and organizational, but especially on the religious front. This is the primary cause of our oppression. There is a left-wing Christian movement that needs to become as strong as the right-wing movement. Only you can make that happen!
Archbishop Bruce J. Simpson, OSJB, is the author of “The Gay Face of God” and “If He’s Queer He Musta Done It”. A Vietnam Era Veteran, former Police Officer of the Year, a Federal Agent, a Federal Magistrate, an armed bodyguard to Saudi Royalty, a senior Federal Government executive, and recipient of awards from the Vice President of the United States and the Secretary of Treasury.
While studying at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary and Theological College at the Catholic University of America, he decided that his own conflict of conscience would not allow him to go on to ordination in the Roman Catholic Church. He was ordained a deacon in the Old Catholic Church in 1995, a Priest six months later, and was called to the Episcopacy in early 1999. On January 30th, he was consecrated a Bishop of the Catholic Church. In 2002, he was consecrated sub-conditione by a Roman Catholic Archbishop, three times removed from Pope Paul the Sixth.