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Episode 16: A Pastoral Response to Pride Month

“Remember the Gospel is good news in your life. We shouldn’t be afraid.” In this episode of Encounter Grow Witness, Fr. Steve Pullis and Beth Spizarny discuss the ministerial approach to addressing LGBT issues. They remind us that we must be attentive listeners who are willing to ask questions — but most of all, we must be people of faith who want to share the good news of human sexuality with our brothers and sisters in joy. Listen in as they give practical and spiritual footholds to living as faithful stewards of truth and compassionate members of our society.

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Show notes:
(00:22) Fr. Steve Pullis and Beth open this episode with a discussion about summer activities, and childhood memories of summertime. They mention that June is the month the Catholic Church celebrates the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the world, June is known as ‘Pride Month.’ Our hosts discuss that the topic of LGBT issues is a difficult topic but that as the global discussion continues around human sexuality continues, it’s important that Catholics enter into those forums and bring the truth that sets us free.

(06:16) Identity: the identity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. “We need to deeply understand and know the merciful love of Jesus… I am loved so intimately by the Lord Jesus.” Beth reminds us that all sharing of truth and evangelization must be an overflow of our relationship with the Lord. Fr. Steve tells us that we must be moved by God’s heart, this heart that was ripped open on the Cross for us. “I need to be converted, or I’m just playing a part and pretending.”

(16:33) Courage: Fr. Steve is a chaplain for this national outreach for those experiencing same-sex attraction. Courage is a Catholic, community-based group which is present in the Archdiocese of Detroit. Fr. Steve reminds us that the paradigm of the discussion around same-sex attraction has dirasctly changed in the last decade. Fr. Steve points to the importance of understanding ourselves in our fullness, body and soul. “My body reveals the truth of who I am.” Beth reminds us that our body’s are not meaningless- they reveal something to us about ourselves. She highlights that the world’s narrative is that our body’s are meaningless. Theology of the Body can help us understand how important our bodies are.

(29:58) Reality: Fr. Steve makes the point that basic truths have been handed down to us about science, math, and history. And we wouldn’t be stable if we question permanent things. Our identities as men and women are permanent things. Together, Fr. Steve and Beth talk about practicals of how to engage in the discussion about the LGBT paradigm.

(36:00) Sharing the truths of the Gospel: “We’re just gonna mess up sometimes.” Fr. Steve encourages us to be at peace when we don’t have all the answers. Beth and Fr. Steve make the point that listening and asking questions is the best thing we can do when we’re having difficult conversations. The discussion moves into making a distinction between sexual attraction and transgenderism. They echo back to the power of reality, and how difficult it is to believe in a narrative that says, “fundamentally, your body is bad and wrong.” Fr. Steve reminds us, “The Gospel is good news.”