A startling reality | Julie Nichols


Since becoming an affirming LBGTQIA+ Catholic practitioner, many people of faith have questioned and even rejected me for it. I can understand questions.

But what I cannot understand is the callous rejection and rejection of LBGTQIA+ lives, especially LBGTQIA+ children.

My journey to becoming an outspoken LBGTQIA+ Catholic practitioner has not been easy. Many events and experiences have painfully opened my eyes to a reality I previously did not understand due to my ultra-conservative religious background. In short, the exponential rates of suicide and permanent harm of LBGTQIA+ people and their families are not fruits of the Spirit, nor consistent with consistent living ethics or any genuine faith. After researching mainstream science for a year while working a year in LBGTQIA+ religious trauma recovery, I finally came to understand some horrifying realities as a practitioner. The Church has badly mishandled this issue for two millennia, both inside and outside the Church. I am not saying that the Church should organize LBGTQIA+ marriages, although I admire the steps taken by the German and Flemish bishops. I say large parts of the Church have exponentially increased the rate of suicide, harm, marginalization, torn families apart, and destroyed LBGTQIA+ people and neurodiverse families for 2000 years. Until very recently, parents of LBGTQIA+ children and Neurodiverse children had to choose between the right to life of their child or the stay in the Church. The Church is finally waking up to this grim reality, must reform and repent of the untold damage caused to marginalized populations.

In order to follow science, I have gone to great lengths as a practitioner because lives depend on it, and the sanctity of life is not a negotiable tenet of faith for me. Nor is it a negotiable tenet of faith for the Catholic Church. Having taken an examination of conscience, studied the double effect in Catholic teaching, worked in religious trauma recovery, and followed the science of all the major medical associations in the world, I agree with the statement of the Hogg Foundation which is also in alignment with the sciences.

“The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health declares that every word and action of love, affirmation or acceptance can mean the difference between life and death for LGBTQ people.”

My first post summarized the journey I took to become an affirmation practitioner. As I stated in my article co-authored with Father James Martin, “Overall, the church must act to reconcile with the LGBTQ community and provide safe and assertive pastoral ministry that aligns with the current science. Everything else will continue to endanger and disrupt the lives of LGBTQ people and their families.”

You can read both articles here. Accepting and including LGBTQIA+ people and their families does not mean “accepting an alternative lifestyle”. It’s about life, death, human dignity, keeping the nuclear family intact, and true family values ​​to make room at the table for everyone.


Op-ed: Affirming that young LGBTQIA+ people are pro-life

Here are some Catholic teachings from my Patheos article titled “I Choose Life” for trads who want to use sexual doctrine as a weapon to destroy LBGTQIA+ individuals and families. If they want to get technical with Catholic teaching, advocating for LBGTQIA+ acceptance and inclusion, we follow Catholic social teaching that honors the sanctity of life and the dignity of the human person, the appeal to family, community and participation in keeping the family intact, which includes the LBGTQIA person. I follow the directive of Pope Francis in his encyclical Amoris Laetitia and the Catechism of the Catholic Church to give appropriate pastoral care to the LBGTQIA person. It would include him in the life of the Church and the family because it is life and death, and I am Jesus’ second greatest commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves.

So other mainstream Catholics can call me a Catholic cafeteria all they want, but to exclude and reject the LBGTQIA person is to destroy the person and their family to which they belong, and that’s less a Catholic teaching than allowing the LBGTQIA+ person to be a practicing person. homosexual in a committed lifetime relationship included within their family that is life or death. Most people can’t manage a single life without permanently hurting themselves and exponentially increasing the suicide rate. Practicing lifelong celibacy is a unique and rare vocation that usually occurs in consecrated religious life, although not always. Debating someone’s right to life and human dignity is non-negotiable. The sanctity of life and human dignity always come first in the Catholic Church. God doesn’t make junk, and neither does He make mistakes.

I choose life.


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