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Homoseksualizm w katolicyzmie – enemy territory czy błogosławieństwo?

Z okazji wyjazdu do Austin nie mogłam niestety wysłuchać kolejnego wykładu z serii The Sacred and the Sexual, o których to wykładach wspominałam jakiś czas temu. Na stronie jednak prelegenta, Jamesa Alisona, znalazłam parę jego wypowiedzi – i myślę, że przynajmniej częściowo o tym samym właśnie mówił u nas na uniwersytecie. Wydały mi się interesujące, bo jest to  spojrzenie katolika, niewątpliwie bardzo entuzjastycznego, na kwestię homoseksualizmu. Spojrzenie spokojne i przemyślane, acz nie pozbawione wątpliwości i, nieraz, bólu.

Bycie homoseksualistą w Kościele katolickim nie jest sprawą prostą, pisze autor. Z różnych względów – homofobii przedstawicieli Kościoła, ich niezrozumienia biologii osobników homo sapiens, plus kwestii nawarstwienia się pewnych poglądów, które właściwie należałoby w trybie pilnym zweryfikować. Zweryfikować w dodatku nie w duchu podejrzanego wg Kościoła relatywizmu, ale raczej posłuszeństwa Bogu. I Kościołowi też.

Karkołomne zadanie? Nie. Nie może być karkołomne coś, co wynika z podstawowej i naczelnej zasady chrześcijaństwa, czyli miłości do ludzi i Boga.

Ale zadanie jest trudne. Trudne – na razie, trudne – w dzisiejszych czasach. Bo autor wyprzedza nieco nasze czasy i pisze sporo o przyszłości w teraźniejszości, jeśli można to tak określić. A w wielu sprawach, które porusza, nie ma niczego specjalnie odkrywczego. Teoretycznie. Bo teoretycznie to wszystko powinno być normalne i naturalne, zwłaszcza w Kościele religii miłości. Jak widać jednak gołym okiem – szczególnie w niektórych krajach – normalne nie jest; jest za to nowe i szokujące.

W tekstach Jamesa Alisona wyraźnie widać zachwyt nad miłością Boga do ludzi, miłością, która wszystko zwycięży – uprzedzenia wobec osób homoseksualnych też. Bo są oni kochani przez Boga dokładnie tak samo, jak heteroseksualiści, nie mniej. Wiadomo oczywiście, że wielu gejów i lesbijek ma w nosie to, co zwykł mówić na ich temat Kościół, szczególnie, że rzeczy te bywają zwyczajnie podłe. Ale warto zauważyć, co czasem negują niewierzący homoseksualiści – geje i lesbijki są w Kościele. Zmagają się oni często z okropnymi rzeczami. Każde z nich prowadzi ciężki bój, jeśli serio traktują swoją wiarę. I oczywistym jest, że w tym boju cały Kościół powinien ich mocno wspierać.

No, I don’t want to pretend that being an openly gay Catholic is something easy or obvious. It isn’t. For a start, merely the fact of your wanting to read a letter like this at all is a sign of how many obstacles you must have overcome already. You may have faced hatred and discrimination in your own country, from family members, at school, at the hands of legislators eager for cheap votes, through shrieking newspaper headlines that sear your soul, and in the glare of which you are speechless in your own defence. And you’ve probably noticed that at the very best, the Church which calls itself, and is, your Holy Mother has kept silent about the hatred and the fear. While all too often its spokesmen will have lowered themselves to the level of second-rate politicians, lending voice to hate while claiming that they are standing up for love. The very fact that, through and in the midst of, and despite, all these hateful voices, you should have heard the voice of the Shepherd calling you into being of his flock is already a miracle far greater than you know, preparing you for a work more subtle and delicate than those voices could conceive.

Oczywiście – każdy przechodzi podobną drogę, nie tylko osoby homoseksualne. Trudno wypowiadać mi się, jakie dokładnie uczucia czy odczucia mają wierzący o tej orientacji. Ale dzięki byciu przedstawicielką płci uważanej w Kościele przez wieki za gorszą i dyskryminowanej, mogę to i owo jakoś sobie wyobrazić.

And yes, you will have to interpret it, you will have to decide whether I who am addressing you as “you” am able to do so only because of some slip-up, some crack in the system, or whether there is something of the Shepherd in this unauthorised voice which is speaking to you, something of the Shepherd, whose voice you know, and of which you are not afraid. I can lay no claim to being a channel of that voice myself. None of us can. We can hope to be used, or to be in preparation for being used. However only those who each of us addresses can perceive who it is, what mixture of voices it is, that comes singing through our airwaves.

But the God who is revealed to us in Jesus could not possibly treat that small portion of humanity which is gay and lesbian to a double-bind in the way the Church has come to do. Could not possibly say “I love you, but only if you become something else”; or “Love your neighbour, but in your case, not as yourself, but as if you were someone else”; or “Your love is too dangerous and destructive, find something else to do””.

Trudno się nie zgodzić.

Bo głęboko wierzę, że jeśli protestuję przeciwko homofobii w Kościele, jeśli uważam ją za grzech (a nie jestem w tym osamotniona), to wynika to z mojej wiary w miłość Boga do ludzi tudzież w sens miłości bliźniego.

Neither do I know, nor do you know, whether my refusal to believe that God could possibly treat gay and lesbian people in the way that the village elders and the local court say he does, is a refusal born of faith in a love which will turn out to be true, or is simply a sign of my delusional flight into unreality.

James Alison ma swoją teorię na temat – dlaczego homoseksualizm i homoseksualiści są tak, a nie inaczej, traktowani przez wielu przedstawicieli Kościoła.

So, to my first point. In the last fifty years or so we have undergone a genuine human discovery of the sort that we, the human race, don’t make all that often. A genuine anthropological discovery: one that is not a matter of fashion, or wishful thinking; not the result of a decline in morals or a collapse of family values. We now know something objectively true about humans that we didn’t know before: that there is a regularly occurring, non-pathological minority variant in the human condition, independent of culture, habitat, religion, education, or customs, which we currently call “being gay”. This minority variant is not, of course, lived in a way that is independent of culture, habitat, religion, education and customs. It is lived, as is every other human reality, in an entirely culture-laden way, which is one of the reasons why it has in the past been so easy to mistake it as merely a function of culture, psychology, religion or morality: something to get worked up about rather than something that is just there.

However, if we are faithful to the Church’s teaching and reject relativism, then we must interpret the definition as really depending on something being true, as evoking an underlying truth claim that is being defended here. After all, the claim that something is objectively disordered suggests that there is something objectively ordered behind it, as it were, starting from which we can detect the disorder. The truth claim behind this definition is that all humans, by the mere fact of being human, are intrinsically heterosexual and that there exists an unique proper expression of sexual love for humans, that within marriage which is open to the possibility of procreation. It is from this presupposition of the intrinsic heterosexuality of all humans and the corresponding goodness of marital sexual love that it can properly be deduced that those with a homosexual inclination are objectively disordered, that they are in fact defective heterosexuals, and that any sexual relations between such people must be judged lacking according to the degree to which they fall short of those between married heterosexuals.

Well, what has emerged with ever-greater clarity over the last twenty or so years is that the claim underlying the teaching of the Roman Congregations in this sphere is not true. It is not true that all humans are intrinsically heterosexual, and that those who appear not to be heterosexual are in fact defective heterosexuals. There is no longer any reputable scientific evidence of any sort: psychological, biological, genetic, medical, neurological – to back up the claim. The discovery that I talked about earlier, backed with abundant evidence, is that there is a small but regular proportion of human beings – somewhere between three and four percent – across all cultures who are hardwired to be principally attracted to members of their own sex. Furthermore there is no pathology of any psychological or physiological sort that is invariably associated with this sort of hardwiring. It is not a vice or a sickness. It is simply a regularly occurring minority variant in the human species.

Powinien zostać ekskomunikowany za takie teksty? A przynajmniej spalony przez powieszenie na stosie? :-P

Alison uważa, że wszystko to jest dobrą wiadomością dla osób homoseksualnych (tych oczywiście, którym na tym zależy, jak sądzę).

I won’t go on too long here about the rather obvious reasons why it is good news for gay and lesbian people. Suffice it to say, that it makes an enormous difference to someone’s personal sanity and all round healthiness if you discover that you aren’t a mistake, a cruel joke. If you are used to being told that your feelings are all wrong, sick, distorted, and your attempts to tell the truth about your life are so many delusions and lies, then the relief that is felt when you find the truth is very well brought out in the famous Hans Christian Andsersen story The Ugly Duckling. Anyone who has undergone this relief will resonate with these words of Pope Benedict from his most recent Encyclical Caritas in Veritate: „Each person finds their good by adherence to God’s plan for them, in order to realise it fully: in this plan, each one finds their truth, and through adherence to this truth, becomes free (cf John 8,22). To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are therefore exacting and indispensable forms of charity.”

Ale twierdzi także, że cała kwestia homoseksualizmu, dyskusje nad nią w łonie Kościoła są prawdziwym błogosławieństwem dla wszystkich. Ogrom nowej (raczej nowo akceptowanej) wiedzy o człowieku, jego życiu, kondycji, zmaganiach, dojrzewaniu, różnych aspektach człowieczeństwa – to nie jest coś, obok czego można przejść obojętnie. I może to również heteroseksualistom pomóc stać się pełniejszymi, bogatszymi duchowo i mądrzejszymi ludźmi.

However, what I would like to do here is stand back a little from our tendency to opportunism, and try to sketch out part of the shape of this discovery about the human condition in such a way that we can see that, like all such discoveries of things that are true about being human, this is good news for all of us as humans. Later on I’d also like to show why it is a piece of good news for us as humans that is going to be particularly good news for us as Catholics.

Just so, we are only now beginning to be able to tell what are some of the knock-on effects of having discovered that what we call being “straight” or “heterosexual” is not the normative human condition, but a majority human condition. This means that while it is true that human reproduction is intrinsically a two-sex matter, and that the vast majority of humans are heterosexual in orientation, it is not true that humans are intrinsically heterosexual. If there are some humans in whom, as a normal and non-pathological minority variant, the emotional and the sexual elements of their lives are not linked to any possible reproductive element, then the link between the possible reproductive element and the emotional and sexual element in those in whom these elements are linked is of a somewhat different sort than was previously imagined.

Dlaczego więc jest tak źle, skoro jest tak dobrze ? Alison twierdzi, że to dlatego, że Kościół, chrześcijaństwo w ogóle, jest tak naprawdę w powijakach. I dużo się jeszcze musi nauczyć.

[…] we may well still be in the early stages of the Church’s history, and Christianity still a young religion. And we have discovered an area of genuine human anthropology about which Church teaching is a complete vacuum.

No, instead we find ourselves facing up to the fact that we have discovered something objectively true about being human which is going to re-write our maps.

Given that all Church teaching in this sphere has depended on, been a deduction from, the Church’s teaching about marriage, and has depended on the presupposition of the intrinsic heterosexuality of all humans, it is fair to say that the Church has nothing at all to say about a reality of which its teachers were entirely ignorant. It is properly speaking true to say that, appearances aside, the Catholic Church has no teaching at all about homosexuality.

Co mają więc robić zainteresowani wierzący homoseksualiści?

This seems to me to be the challenge for us now, and as I say continually, it seems to me to be a fun challenge: are we going to dare to be Catholics, not in rivalry with our office holders, grateful that they’re there, aware that they’re pretty stuck, but delighted to be beginning to take on board the contours of the new discovery about being human that goes with the term “gay”? Are we going to allow ourselves to be empowered to discover ways in which God is much more for us than we had imagined, that God really does want us to be free and to be happy, and to rejoice in what is true as we are stretched toward and stand alongside the weakest and most vulnerable of our sisters and brothers wherever we may find them? Are we going to allow ourselves to discover the potential for Catholicity that is opening up alongside the discovery of the new richness in Creation that shimmers within the little word “gay”?

Pięknie. Tylko skoro Kościół tak naprawdę nie dysponuje  w  t e j  c h w i l i  żadnym nauczaniem na temat homoseksualizmu, sporo musi sie nauczyć, a jego liderzy są nieco konserwatywni, to co ma zrobić wierzący/wierząca gej/lesbijka  w  t e j  c h w i l i? Młyny Boże mielą powoli podobno. A życie człowiek ma jedno. James Alison odpowiada:

One way or another, let me tell you what I have discovered in my years underground in enemy territory: you are not alone, and His promises are true.

Hmmm…

No, ale skoro jest i księdzem katolickim i gejem, to chyba wie, co mówi.

(Cytowane fragmenty pochodzą z artykułów Jamesa Alisona: The Fulcrum of Discovery or: how the “gay thing” is good news for the Catholic Church oraz Letter to a young gay Catholic)