Homosexuality remains controversial

DWAYNE FONTENETTE Contributing Writer

Homosexual sex is the sad consequence of rejecting God. This was the statement released by the Catholic Church in its 1976 “Declaration On Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics.”

The Vatican’s teachings on homosexual sex haven’t changed over the last 36 years, but the tone of the church’s messages has. Gay men and women at Loyola grappled with the church’s views on homosexuality when The Maroon published “Gays question their place in the church” on Dec. 10, 1976.

Ellen, a 24-year-old gay Catholic, shared her concerns with the Catholic Church’s teachings with The Maroon in 1976.

“After you’ve finally come to accept your homosexuality, and begun to live with it, you’re faced with a feeling of isolation,” she said. “Isolation not just from the rest of straight society, but from your very own church. Where are you to turn? The church says you’re a sinner.”

Al, a gay 19-year-old Loyola student, left the church in response to its stance on homosexual sex, according to the 1976 article.

“I left the church when I got out of high school,” he said. “You’re not given an alternative in the church. You’re just taught to fit the mold or get out, so I got out.”

Loyola’s Director of University Ministry, Kurt Bindewald, said that gay people are welcomed by God and that people shouldn’t “mistake the messenger for the message,” regarding church doctrine. The church exists to help Catholics develop their faith, and their faith must be in God, he said.

“There are opportunities for people who are gay to serve” in the church, “just like anyone else,” Bindewald said.

The Loyola community demonstrated this tolerance when Loyola University President the Rev. James C. Carter, S.J. gave the Student Government Association approval to charter Gay and Lesbian Outreach at Loyola, according to the Oct. 25, 1991 Maroon article, “SGA charters gay and lesbian group.”

“An ‘aye’ or ‘nay’ voice vote revealed that out of the 29 members present, only three or four congresspersons voted to reject the charter,” the article said.

Loyola SGA’s charter approval of the gay and lesbian group is reflective of the tone change within the church and the church community.

Gay people have a right to be welcomed into the Catholic Church, according to a statement released in 1998 by the National Council of Catholic Bishops.

The statement said that gay men and women are children “of God, gifted and called for a purpose in God’s design.”

Dwayne Fontenette can be reached at [email protected]