A vision for the Catholic Church

By Matthew Gorczyca

I sat in mass recently and was completely blown away by the homily, which is a reflection on the readings and Gospel offered earlier in the Mass. However, this homily wasn’t given by a priest but by Lu Firestone, Interim Director of Campus Ministry, a woman.

While I was completely enthralled by Lu’s words, I couldn’t help but think that this was a woman speaking; a woman who had managed to blow me away with the thoughts she was sharing, something many priests I have encountered have not been able to do.

I, as a Catholic, have long felt I understood the Catholic Church’s stance on many things because I grew up in the Church. I have taken classes on the Catholic perspective in the present day and I truly feel that while many people have a laundry list of problems with the Church, I never really felt in conflict with it.

But after Sunday’s mass I simply wondered, what if women like Lu were allowed to be priests and their reflections could be heard with every homily? Do I think that would be a bad thing? Absolutely not, especially since Lu and many women like her have been guiding forces in my own faith journey. Not to mention it was the many women who were the strongest believers in Christ when He walked this earth. So why should we deny ourselves the opportunity to be truly moved at every Mass by simply hearing reflections from a male priest?

My mind kept jumping to other things that many people have problems with regarding the Catholic Church. The biggest seems to be the issue of same-sex marriage. A few weeks ago I wrote an opinion piece finally making my mind up on the issue of marriage equality and now I’m going to venture into the context of the Catholic Church and say that the Church needs to make an adjustment when it comes to allowing same-sex couples to marry.

When I think of marriage, I think of love. I think of two people trying to build each other up, possibly creating a family and working together to be stewards of God. What I don’t think of is necessarily what sex the two people are, because quite frankly I believe that marriage is not based specifically on the two individuals but rather the love they share for one another. So does this mean that same-sex couples can’t love as fully as heterosexual couples? I think arguing that there is a difference is ridiculous.

Furthermore, I just don’t understand how an institution that follows the mission of Jesus Christ, a mission that includes being in solidarity with the marginalized and to treat others as we would want to be treated, can be an institution of hierarchy and exclusion.

I know that God is not male or female, and he is not heterosexual or homosexual. So if God is universal, why can’t the Church that represents him be more universal and inclusive?

I am proud to be Catholic, but I know that the Church now is not living in our modern world, but is stuck centuries past. Moving forward and embracing the diversity in our world will only make the Church one that God himself would be proud of.

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