"Sacred Paths," a Commentary by Reverend Vern Barnet

June 17, 2007

Author: Vern Barnet

Source: Camp


Same-sex behavior and relationships bedevil many Christian groups. “God is love,” says 1 John 4:8, so I use the term “bedevil” to highlight the difference between a religion of love in theory with the practice of discrimination supported by some churches. Society is enriched by mutually consenting adult relationships, and God’s grace is extended by partners caring for each other.

One of the glories of the Catholic Church is its tradition of teachings of social justice. But its anti-sex hangover from Augustine has been manifested in our time by the hierarchy’s cover-up of abusive priests, besmirching the many honorable priests who devote their lives in love to their parishes. The problem the church has with sex is clear when most Catholics disagree with the church’s prohibition of the contraceptive pill. Most uncoerced Catholics also favor promising stem-cell research, which might develop therapies for diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injuries, and dozens of other conditions, but locally the church leadership has sought to advance theological propositions as if they were science.