I wish you could meet my family. Our children—and their spouses and children—enrich my life and my husband’s life in countless ways.
We have five children, three of them married, and two young grandchildren. Of the eight adults, caring professions are the norm: a social worker, an adolescent psychologist, a children’s librarian, an essential medical worker, an educator. Others work in analytics, marketing, and sales.
They are all good-hearted, generous people. Some of them are artistic and creative. Some are analytical. Some are outgoing, others introspective. Some volunteer to make Christmas possible for hundreds of children every year. Others volunteer at women’s service agencies. They are fierce proponents of justice and human rights. All have welcomed rescue dogs as forever members of their families. Some are conservative, while others land on the liberal side. All of them are the kind of smart, thoughtful, loving people anyone would be proud to call their children.
And don’t get me started on the grandkids! They’re the smartest, cutest, most clever kids you ever saw. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
I love them all fiercely, proudly, and unconditionally.
In many ways, we’re like every other family out there. We’re certainly not perfect. We fight, reconcile, and grow stronger in our family bonds. We’ve held together through highs and lows, through marriages and divorces, deaths and new lives. We celebrate the good times and mourn the bad. We love each other. We’re probably very much like your own family.
I wish you could meet my family. The people I just introduced are bisexual, gay, straight, and transgender. Single, married, divorced, remarried. Stepfamilies. A surrogate to a same-sex couple. Would you still like to meet my family?
Did the doors of your mind slam shut after you read that paragraph? I hope not, because my children and their spouses are the same people I described at the start of this article. They’re still smart, caring, wonderful people. Did you picture them as the Catholic Church says they should be, or as they really are?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls some of my children “intrinsically and objectively disordered.” But I doubt God sees them that way. The Bible says we’re all made in God’s image and likeness. Years ago, bumper stickers proclaimed that “God doesn’t make junk.” My family members are not junk. They have a right to be the people they were born to be.
The Church’s behavior on the subject of sexual ethics is muddled, to say the least. Repeated actions and revelations about clergy sex abuse—as well as the cover-ups from the higher-ups—have tarnished Catholic leaders’ reputation and severely compromised their credibility. I wish Church leaders would look at my family members through God’s eyes and see the beautiful souls within. I wish they would recognize their beautiful physical selves as well.
But you—the reader—what do you think?
I wish you could meet my family.
Would you welcome them? Or would you turn away?