JS: I knew John J. McNeill and I disagreed with him a lot and he talked about “gay” people having to come to an impasse where they accept themselves as born gay and at the same time they would have to see God as sadistic. He made that quote.
JM: Say that again.
JS: I’ll give you the quote.
JM: He said that if you accepted yourself as born gay…that’s interesting.
JS: He said –
“Since most gay people experience their homosexual orientation as a part of creation, if they accept Church teaching, they must see God as sadistically creating them with an intrinsic orientation to evil. Most gays would prefer to see the Church teaching as wrong, rather than believe God is sadistic.”
JS: What I am worried about what you are doing Father is that when you say people are born gay, I‘m worried that you are leading gay people to the same predicament, which is if the Church is saying my orientation is intrinsically disordered and you talk about this – the deepest part of a person – you are leading them to the same predicament. Do I accept Church teaching or do I not?
JM: Well my experience is that most people I would say do feel that they were born that way, and also feel that God loves them, so for them, most that I come into contact with, that’s not a tension. Particularly younger people, they just accept the fact that they were born that way.
JS: But then they question the teaching.
JM: They do. I think. Yeah, they do. But I think that basic thing for me is to start, and this is why I started with this in the book, and I didn’t want to talk about the other stuff, was that I think its more important for them to begin with, to accept themselves as loved.
JS: But Father, sooner or later, these people, because I had to confront what the Church taught, and I said: Can I accept this or can I move on and go to the Anglicans; and some people have done that. The guy at Fordham, has made that decision…
JM: Patrick Hornbeck.
JS: Buts that’s a decision that he has made and he said he cannot be the gay man I want to be in the Catholic Church.
JM: Yeah. I think, my sort of focus is more on people who are just kind of beginning and don’t even feel God loves them…
JS: You are going to give them a false sense of hope.
JM: No I mean the person who wants to commit suicide because they are fourteen years old and don’t think God loves them, that’s my audience.
JS: Father, I am just going to push back. They are going to have to confront the Catechism sooner or later.
JM: They will.
JS: And I’d rather have them do it sooner than become comfortable in the Church and say I have found a community in the Church that accepts me, but the larger, as you say, the institutional Church…
JM: Id rather they confront God’s love for them sooner.
JM: I think one proceeds…
JS: You can do both. I was involved with Courage and they introduced both to me at the same time: God’s love, God’s acceptance and the truth…
JM: I’ll think about what you said.