In the last week, two cyber-brushes with my churchly past left me feeling anxious and claustrophobic.
One was in a comment exchange with a Catholic guy who participates in the Courage program, a 12-step model for keeping Catholic homosexuals celibate. As XCath readers know, I am pretty clear that the RC teaching on sex, once you accept its assumptions, is pretty clear and pretty consistent. I can sorta understand gays who continue in the Church and just quietly ignore their dissonance with this issue; after all being Catholic --as my continued interest shows-- often feels genetic. But the idea of choosing to sit in a room with other homos and accepting the judgment that our capacity for full-on connection with other men is disordered and then trying pathetically to refrain...it makes me feel as if all the air has suddenly gone out of the room. I know there a few high profile "same-sex attracted" Catholic bloggers who seem energetic and ok with themselves, but they would not be me. Thinking of the whole Courage thing really makes me feel as if someone turned out all the lights and is trying to strangle my soul to death.
The second moment was coming upon a newsletter about my old Dominican priory. Though I loved the Order in a lot of ways, I can't say that I always enjoyed living with all the other friars. Some of them, even then, I found hardly tolerable. (And they returned the favor, by the way). Hearing about their current carryings-on, and especially a very laudatory piece about one of the very strangest of them...again, that claustrophobic feeling.
Like some people, some things are best appreciated from a discrete distance.