Sexuality and Salvation Part II
Fr Bernárd Lynch recently received the Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad from President Michael D. Higgins on November 21 in honour of the work he did as a priest to those with AIDS/HIV. For fifteen years, he was Theological Consultant to Dignity New York – an organisation for LGBT Catholic and their friends. He worked tirelessly with the people around him, many of whom died. During this time, he himself thought that he was going to die.
Last week he talked about how the Church’s attitude towards gay men was incredibly harmful and hurtful for those men who died. In this piece he expands on that to talk about how teachings around sexuality in the Church are more generally harmful for women in particular and sexual minorities. He says that in many ways the negative attitudes towards gay men stemmed from an inherently negative attitude towards women’s sexuality and how gay men were seen sexually as being like women and were thus diminished.
He also goes on to point out some of the ideas within the Church which he feels are unhelpful in allowing people to deal honestly and openly with the full reality of sexual desire, such as a virgin mother and a celibate Christ. He also worked for many years as a therapist to priests and said that in his experience only 5% had the gift of celibacy and that the others were living a veneer that was painful to them. He explains more to Miriam Gormally.