On Being Gay and Catholic


To the Editors of The Crimson:

"Can one really be gay and Catholic?" Greg Gonsalves asks in Wednesday's [Feb. 13] Crimson. One can indeed. Tom Watson is not the only Queer Catholic on this campus, and on behalf of all of us I'd like to address Mr. Gonsalves' outrageous accusations.

Unlike the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis, groups Mr. Gonsalves claims are analogous to the Catholic Church, the Church was not created with the express purpose of destroying human life. In fact, exactly the contrary is true. Many of its purposes match those of Queer Nation and ACT UP: freedom for the oppressed, healing for the sick, love for the outcast, truth for all people.

I would not want to abandon the community of Queer people, even though I don't always agree with other Queer people, and even though people like Mr. Gonsalves may try to tell me what to do. In the same way, I am not going to abandon the Catholic Church, which is a source of strength and peace for me, and a way of worship that I love, simply because I don't always agree with its policies and because people like O'Connor try to tell me what to do.

Abandon, no. Fight--yes! And fight in many different ways. I support ACT UP's protest against the Church's politics (though I do not support the desecration of the Eucharist) wholeheartedly. I also think that Tom Watson and I and other "out" Queer Catholics have done much more in the Harvard Catholic community to foster understanding and acceptance than ACT UP's protest has. Activism on an interpersonal level is an essential part of attaining our goals, just as much as rallying and marching.


Yes, stop Cardinal O'Connor! Yes, stop all the self-righteous bigots (Catholic and non-Catholic) who are responsible for the physical and psychological violence done to Queer people, PWA's, and women every day!

But although O'Connor and self-righteous bigotry exist in the Church as they do everywhere, neither is central to the Church's existence and meaning; in fact they are directly opposed to the true heart of the Church. The accusations levelled at the Church as a whole should be aimed at particular individuals, and I will gladly fight those individuals. This is not O'Connor's Church. This is our Church, the Church of Jesus who brings freedom and healing and justice, and who is undoubtedly on our side.

One final note: The "apology" Tom was forced to sign was a travesty. Far from having much support, it has opened a rift in the Catholic community at Harvard, a rift far more serious and responsible for more "spiritual pain" than ORGASM's unfortunately ambiguous poster.

Before you level accusations of murder at the CSA, Mr. Gonsalves, you should know that a sizeable majority of the active members of the CSA did not support this idiocy. People in the Catholic hierarchy may be behind the times, but many of the Church's members are in the vanguard, and we are fighting as hard as we can to stop people and policies (connected with our religion or not) from continuing their lying and their hatred. Virginia C. Ravenscroft '92   Member, CSA and BGLSA

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