Collect for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity

O God, the protector of all that trust in thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: increase and multiply upon us thy mercy; that, thou being our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not the things eternal; grant this, O heavenly Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Sometimes You Really Need a F***ing Break From This Stuff

CW: Sexual abuse, homophobic imagery

It has been a grueling few days.

The day before yesterday, I went with a friend of mine to the Waterfront Marriott in Baltimore. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is meeting there, and my friend was asked at the last minute to help provide music for the Mass; I went along to look after my friend's baby during the evening Mass. Being surrounded by bishops was itself something of a trial for both of us: my friend had been horribly mistreated while working for the Archdiocese, badly enough to need therapy (and badly enough that the Archdiocese footed the bill for said therapy). For myself, the revolting, myopic conduct of the bishops over the sex abuse crisis had me seriously wondering whether I'd get hauled out of the hotel if I just spat in one of their faces. (I didn't, so I guess we'll never know.)

Yesterday, I went to the same place with a different friend, the lovely and talented Eve Tushnet. The Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests held a press conference outside the hotel that evening, and she and I went in support. SNAP had apparently sent a letter to Cardinal DiNardo, the current president of the USCCB, asking him to come out and meet them. Neither he nor any representative of the episcopal conference was in evidence. The little group, about half a dozen people, read stories of their own experiences of abuse; the one that hurt the most to hear was from a man singled out and groomed by a priest whom his family adored, until one night when he and the priest were having dinner alone together. The young man was excited to have such an important, attentive friend. Then the priest drove them to a secluded area and assaulted him. After some groping, the young man told the priest to stop. Eventually the cleric complied, telling him angrily that 'I thought you were ready for my special attention,' and that he was a disappointment to God.

I tried to take today slow and easy, to detox from all this. And then, for no reason, in a group devoted to discussing Aquinas, this:

The Nazi Party imprisoned, tortured, and killed gay men. And yes, some of the early Nazis were gay; that is, until Hitler betrayed them, having them murdered en masse on the Night of the Long Knives, up to and including the man who had been maybe his only real friend, Ernst Roehm. But sure, we're a bunch of fucking Nazis because we put a rainbow on something.

I am sick to death of all of this.

I can't write any more right now. Pray for me, and for the people who behave this way.


  1. Always be brave enough not to join in with mass political movements.

  2. Gabriel,

    As a Side A bi Episcopalian who finds plenty to appreciate in this blog, one of my biggest frustrations watching the behavior of many in the conservative church is the feeling that the majority of theologically conservative straight people don't care whether queer folks live or die.

    Maybe that's an unfair assessment, but this *is* what it feels like on a visceral level --

    "Yes please, dear queer liberal, accept traditionalist teaching on sex and marriage.

    Conservative Christendom.

    P. S. If you do, we'll still trash-talk you, language-police you, treat you like everything but a child of God, and question your motives if you refuse to throw the wider LGBT community under the bus."

    And yes, I'll certainly pray for you, and for folks who act like that meme-poster.


  3. Gabriel,

    I owe you an apology. I shouldn't've piled my anger as an outsider on top of your own.

    Peace and grace to you always, my brother.

    And a little something Pentecost-themed: :)

    1. I don't think you owe me an apology at all! Solidarity's a good thing, after all, and dealing with anger together can be part of grieving together. But if you still feel that you should apologize, I accept it readily. No harm, no foul.