Just before our arrival Ireland legalized same sex unions. When we reached Dublin, Rainbow flags were everywhere. They were all down the main road of the city, hanging from businesses and from apartments. The day we were to leave it was going to be Gay Pride Day there. Then when we arrived at the airport we were greeted with many newspaper headlines that exclaimed such things as, "U. S. Gay."
I was not home in time to have Sunday Mass with the people of St. Sebastian and so have not had a chance to share with Sebastianites yet the thoughts of their pastor. In a way I am grateful for that. It was way to much to process quickly.
A couple days into this new reality my first bit of advice before anything else is this: Remain calm.
Yes, this is a very serious concern. It is precisely because it is a serious concern that it is necessary that we remain calm. Above all, do not make this an emotional issue. Nobody wins that way.
In the 2,000 year history of the Church, we have been through similar things before. (Consider Ireland's history!) We have been through similar things in our own time with the legalization of contraception and abortion that became protected rights under the law. And you know what, the Church has survived for 2,000 years.
We have enjoyed an extraordinary time of acceptance. That is now coming to an end. Abortion providors and same sex couples are walking in the front door of the courthouse and the 10 Commandments are being taken out the back. And we will be Okay.
And it has not been all roses and chocolates for us anyway. Catholics were long barred from social clubs, higher paying jobs, higher politcal offices, and from living in certain places. This parish was built where it was because the neighborhood fought the original desired location where a Protestant church now stands because in the 20s they didn't want Catholics living here. Things improved. Then they got worse.
The point is: If you want to be Catholic you will survive. There is a lot of important work to do but you will survive. We will be fine. Even if (and especially if) you are put to death for your beliefs, you will be fine. This is not all there is. This is not the endgame.
So now let's starting thinking and praying and begin by placing yourself in the mind of Christ.