At least this had been amusing news. Could we see Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres married? In real life? Or, Bini-bining Gandang Hari and Aiza Seguerra? I think not. Was the statement meant as bait for the next Vice Ganda stand up joke? These beloved priests just don’t get it.
This reminds me. When I was in the convent, the rule of the Order is it’s a mortal sin to eat in commercial establishments without permission from the Superior. I broke the rule once. I and two others, after having been permitted to go out for an errand and only for this, visited a local drug store for our necessities. When we stepped out, a couple of brothers were outside. We stopped to chat. They invited us for snacks at a nearby fast food chain. They knew about the rule – we told them once. But they shrugged it off. The three of us – we looked at each other and our eyes said fine, let’s have a go. Actually, we were dying for food of the ‘outside world’ because ‘inside’ our diet was very simple and organic. The only time we had meat was Sunday, the Lord’s Day. Besides, we thought, these were brothers who were spiritually and theologically more superior than us. Food restrictions did not apply to them – they needed all the food considering their days were full with studies and one can’t study well on an empty stomach. Since they were paying for the food, their rule extends to us. Having convinced ourselves of these justifications, we went with the brothers and had our fill of glorious food we missed. Food of the ‘outside world’ had never tasted sinfully good. When we went back, Guilt was there at the doorway, beaming us in. The Order we returned to wasn’t the brothers’ after all and its rules apply as far as those under its roof were concerned. Thankfully, confession was in a couple of days. Confession was once a week. When my turn came, I knew what the priest’ reaction was like. He laughed. Fast food a mortal sin? If I wasn’t inside the convent, I’d laugh too. But I was. So the confessional became an exchange of me going, you don’t understand, it’s a sin. And the priest, says who? It’s not. It is. It’s not. You don’t believe me? But, it’s my Order. In the end, of course, he had to give me the absolution. When he went out he was shaking his head, still amused. I thought, maybe he was thinking how petty confession with us was. Priests like to joke that nuns are innocents.
But maybe they are too. In territories they don’t have first hand and lengthy experience in. Detached from the experience, it is easy to throw words about, like they’re OK with gay men marrying lesbians because supposedly
the capacity to consummate the union is there. The anatomy is there. The possibility of conception is there.
My god. What they don’t realize is, a couple has to be compatible to be able to procreate in a manner that is satisfactory to both. But how could gay men consummate the union hence procreate with lesbians when their sexual orientations do not match with those of lesbians; in fact, it runs in opposite directions. To coerce them to consummate the union is to court violence.
Maybe what the good former Archbishop meant was bisexuals?
My point is, priests and the religious are just among the many individuals and groups that make up a society, the country, the world. Just as secular people cannot truly fathom the religious life because they are not living that life, so do the religious when it comes to the married and sexually-active life. This implies that one can’t dictate to the other but rather should work together – the experience and understanding of life becomes more complete and deep that way.
Life – it’s shit and what not – oftentimes can’t be contained or explained by a simple yes and no or left and right. Life is more than a yes or a no, the left or the right. I see it this way: if God hadn’t tolerated or had been patient with us or let go of His/Her standards of perfection, we’d all have been struck by lightning the first time we erred. But we’re not, we’re still here, alive, which means there’s someone who’s really being patient, kind, and lovingly waiting for us. When the view is this, one becomes grateful and such gratefulness makes one capable to embrace the whole world too. It therefore goes against the grain that Church leaders, in theory more prayerful hence are more aware of grateful, should be the first to cast the stone.