DETROIT, Dec. 31, 2015 ( This story appeared in the Burlington Times News on Sunday, January 3, 2016)
Because their Catholic faith is against same-sex marriage, Bryan Victor and Thomas Molina-Duarte made their wedding vows this summer before a Protestant minister in a Detroit Episcopal church.
Those in attendance included many family members, including Victor’s uncle, who is a Catholic priest and Macomb County pastor. The Rev. Ronald Victor did not officiate but was there because, he told his nephew, the Catholic Church “needs more examples of gay holiness.”
When Victor and Molina-Duarte attend Mass every Sunday, the couple go to an east side Detroit Catholic church, where Bryan Victor’s mom and dad join them in the pew. In their shared Catholic faith, Victor and Molina-Duarte find spiritual sustenance. And at their parish, they’ve also found acceptance.
“We remain in the church rather than leaving,” said Bryan Victor, 30, a Wayne State University doctoral student in social work. “The reason is that it’s my faith. It’s one of my guides. It’s how I treat people. It gives me a deep sense of community.”
The practice of his Catholic faith, said Molina-Duarte, 29, a leadership coordinator for the Highland Park Ruth Ellis Center, which serves many LGBT youth, “is right and life-affirming for me.
“If it challenges things,” said Molina-Duarte, “that’s more of an afterthought.”
But the Catholic Church is being universally challenged from the pews to the pulpit, by the evolving ways society and many everyday Catholics include and welcome LGBT people.
It was a year of triumph for the LGBT community because the U.S. Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal throughout the country. Yet gay Catholics still wrestle with their church’s condemnation of homosexuality as “disordered” and the church’s prohibition against same-sex marriage.
Pope Francis has signaled a more inclusive tone toward LGBT people, through his words and actions, even as his open-arms position……
—-for more of this long story, see http://www.heraldonline.com/living/religion/article52431625.html