Yesterday, the Vatican, or the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, pronounced that priests cannot bless gay unions because they are considered a sin, as they are not objectively ordered or words to that effect.
As a gay man and a former Catholic priest, I am saddened, a little angry, but not surprised. Growing up Catholic, I was taught that being gay was a sin and intrinsically disordered. As I wrote in my story, pronouncements like that contributed to my low self-esteem, even before I came out. As a priest, it was hard to be part of a church that would not celebrate and honor love between two people of the same sex, whereas time and again, I would see opposite gender couples taking marriage casually.
What further saddens me is that Pope Francis, a pope who has been loving and accepting of gay people, approved of the statement. Again, I say I am not surprised. A number of church teachings, along with theological writings and scriptural interpretation, have led him and others in leadership positions to a narrow view of God, and humanity in relationship to God.
As a gay man, married to a wonderful husband, not only do I not believe that I or my marriage are a sin, I believe they are richly blessed. In fact, having been married for more than two decades now, my relationship with my husband has helped make me a better person. If I had been married while I was a priest, the ministry I did with couples especially would have been so much more rich and real.
To LGBTQ people who choose to remain Catholic, I send you my love and support. Know that you/we are all blessed people, and blessed by God, as we chose to be born into our current lives knowing that we might face discrimination, even from religious leaders who are called to be vehicles of love and acceptance.