Dear Cousin Butchie,
I am dating a Catholic dude. My parents aren't delighted that I am gay, and they are actually less delighted that my main crush is Catholic. We have had some discussions about religion, and our future plan would be to adopt a child (maybe two) and form a stable family unit. We haven't discussed what faith we would choose for them. I am always called my sweetheart a "Non-Catholic" by my sweetheart, so I began to call him a "Non-Protestant" to show him how demeaning he was being.
I think you have let on that you are a Catholic, so I would like your opinion on this question... and I would appreciate your take on Pope Francis and his visit to the United States. I will admit that he seems loving and humble and caring, but will he change the Catholic Church for good and show some acceptance of LGBT people?
Also, do you think it matters how we raise our adopted children?
Dear Henry IX,
I think you are rather mature in discussing the religion of the children you will adopt when you are married to your Catholic boyfriend. My real opinion, from what I have seen in my few years of gayhood, is that when two men or two women marry and adopt they will both gravitate to the religion of one partner, or they will become part of the number of "nones" who identify with no faith/religion at all.
Time will tell, and I would guess that you have much more time ahead of you before this question arises.
As for Pope Francis, I am extremely impressed by this man's way of running the Roman Catholic Church. He has kindly but firmly attacked many "sacred cows" in the church. He has emphasized the primary need to become a church with a priority to care for the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized. In the spirit of Saint Pope John XXIII he speaks often of closer ties with other faiths.
Just recently, I read that Pope Francis has been quoted as saying that he would be "delighted to meet with gay and lesbian people in the United States." That one desire, along with his "Who am I to judge" statement enkindle a hope for change in the church. I can say that from all I have read, Pope Francis may not succeed in making all the changes we need, but the issues will all be out on the table and no one will be able to ignore them or made idiotic assertions again. WE ARE NO LONGER "INTRINSICALLY DISORDERED."
Please don't think that your Cousin Butchie is centered only on Pope Francis. The Protestant leaders like Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong and Pastor Tony Campaolo and Brennan Manning (just to name a few) are also great examples of forward thinking in their faith traditions. It's just that Pope Francis, driving in a Ford Echo, putting showers (and barbers) for the poor in St. Peter's Square, cooking his own meals, living in a small apartment, and challenging some of the "big shots" in the Catholic Church is more visible. In fact, I know a rabbi who once said that Francis is the kind of man he wished would join his "tribe."
Please look for the good in each other's religions, and really talk it all out (without any influence from your parents or his).
P.S. If you ever need a Godfather or witness, Cousin Butchie is available with about four hours notice.