Ex-Jesuit's Book Links Dissident Theologians To Homosexual Movement

Author: Paul Likoudis


By Paul Likoudis

The role of "small faith communities" and the "new biblical scholarship" in institutionalizing the homosexual agenda in the Catholic Church is clearly spelled out in a powerful book written by an ex-Jesuit who left the order after he fell in love with a fellow Jesuit.

The book, Dr. Robert Goss' , published by Harper San Francisco last year, is a tour de force, providing incontrovertible evidence of the link between dissident theologians and the rise of a militant homosexual movement in the Church, one committed to overthrowing the Church's 2,000-year moral and doctrinal tradition.

In his heavily annotated book, Goss, who holds advanced degrees in Scripture studies from the Jesuit Weston School of Theology and Harvard University, shows how such contemporary Catholic scholars as Hans Kung, Raymond Brown, Andre Guindon, John Dominic Crossan, John Meier, James Drane, Paul Hollenbach, Xavier John Seubert, Mary Hunt, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Leonardo Boff, Jon Sobrino, and dozens of others-many of whom remain "in good standing" with the American hierarchy-are dismantling orthodox theology while reconstructing a new "queer theology" that affirms the sexual experiences of homosexuals, lesbians, and bisexuals.

Though all of these scholars write from different perspectives and have different agendas, Dr. Goss shows how each in his own way is demolishing Catholic teaching on Jesus and His Church in order to rework Catholic moral teaching into an "inclusive," " non-patriarchal, " " non-sexist, " "liberating" form of Christianity which can celebrate gay and lesbian sexuality-indeed, which affirms it as superior to heterosexuality which is said to have been culturally imposed.

The "fundamental identity" of God's children as heterosexual, insists Goss in numerous passages, is "based on an erroneous reading of Scriptures and a faulty view of sexuality based on natural law" (p. 13).

The starting point for the dismantling of traditional Christian moral teaching begins with the new biblical scholarship which denies or calls into question orthodox belief that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin.

"This notion," writes Goss, "was transformed into the antisexual rhetoric as Christianity evolved in the Hellenistic world." As Christianity spread through the Greek world, Jesus was divinized, he charges, and made asexual. This was essentially a political ploy to shore up the collapsing world of patriarchy, the family, and the Church. For nearly 2,000 years, Christ's maleness and the maleness of God were used "to justify rampant ecclesial and social misogyny. "

Now, led by feminist scholars, the meaning of Christ is being "widened" to "include feminist social practice," and Christ is no longer male but female, Christa, a symbol of erotic power which "will transform a world that includes our own personal lives in relation. "

Following feminist theology comes "queer criticism" which "radically questions contemporary heterosexual or past asexual constructions of christological discourse. It unpacks sexual oppositions that have been glossed over in totalizing truth claims of Christian discourse. It uses feminist reconstructive practice against misogyny as part of its discourse. It employs its own critical-practice against homophobia, but it also constructs queer bodies, queer selves, and queer sexuality. In feminist and queer critical practice, the erotic self is embodied over and against the apathetic self. The recovery of bodily connectedness and the affirmation of the erotic goodness of the body provide a corrective to the Augustinian severity that has long dominated Christian discourse....

"Queer criticism recognizes christological discourse as historically constructed through misogyny, antisexuality, and homophobia. A queer Christology starts with Jesus' practice and death and reconstructs the claims of Easter within queer critical practice."

Jesus' death had nothing to do with dying for sin, asserts Goss, but was a political act because Jesus threatened the political order represented by the Jewish aristocracy and Roman overlords. Easter represents God's "liberative praxis," which challenges all forms of oppression, domination, and exploitation, allowing His people to experience new forms of freedom and solidarity.

Thanks to feminist and liberation theologians, homosexuals can claim a "gay-sensitive Jesus. " Some theologians are now positing a homosexual Jesus, who loved Lazarus.

"Many queer Christians feel comfortable with the affection that Jesus had for Lazarus, for Mary Magdalen, and for the beloved disciple. They feel at home with the affectional ease of Jesus with both men and women. Jesus broke many of the gender patterns and hierarchies of patriarchal power. Thus, the gay and lesbian community has raised the question of Jesus' sexual intimacy, claiming Jesus as one of their own," writes Goss.


Unfortunately, for Goss, standing in the way of the liberating insights of the new biblical scholars is Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which continues to use the Bible as a "weapon of terror against gay men and lesbians."

In chapter 4, "A Queer Biblical Hermeneutic," Goss provides a thorough review of the "new biblical scholarship," and how it supports a "queer Christology" and a rationale for homosexuality; first by arguing that there is nothing in the Bible which can be used as a "text for terror" against homosexuals once those passages-i.e., in , or the Epistles of St. Paul-are understood in light of contemporary exegesis.

But "it is not enough to dismantle homophobic biblical interpretations. Biblical texts can enhance the queer battle for truth and the struggle for liberation. A queer critical reading of the Scriptures transforms texts into narratives of resistance, releasing powerful motivational elements in our struggle against homophobic oppression."

In chapter 5, Goss calls for stepping up the confrontation with Church leaders. "Critical confrontation of ecclesial oppression is an essential strategy in queer Christian practice." Confrontation works where dialog does not, forcing Church leaders to see that the "homosexual experience is moral.

Crucial to the development of a new, inclusive Church is the creation of Queer Christian Base Communities.

Small faith communities, Goss explains, are "a new way of envisioning and expressing a Christian presence among oppressed exiles. Base communities become nurturing alternative forms of community practice that challenge homophobic power relations in churches and in society.... By witnessing to the gospel of God's preferential option for the oppressed, they replicate Jesus' action and indicate God's saving initiative....

"It is time to create hundreds and thousands of gay/lesbian affirming base communities of faith that practice God's justice. It is time to break the grip that homophobia/heterosexism exercises upon the discourse and practice of churches. It is our moment to radically challenge churches to practice God's solidarity with the oppressed.... Gay and lesbian believers must no longer submit to the belief that their relationships do not reflect God's love and justice. Making love and doing justice have become synonymous for gay and lesbian people."

In addition to confronting the Church, gays and lesbians have to liberate God "from ecclesial practice. God is neither heterosexist nor homophobic....

"Queer Christians refuse to leave Jesus Christ, the Bible, and the social practices of church under ecclesial fundamentalistic control. Queer theological practice refuses to leave God in the hands of the homophobic or misogynistic power class of clerics."

Instead, God must be seen as "erotic power." To Goss, God is "transgenderal and panerotic," the symbol of sexual liberation. "God is reconceptualized and experienced as the shared erotic power that liberates lesbians and gays from sexual alienation, homophobic oppression, gender domination, closetedness, oppression sickness, and abusive violence."


The bottom line of , which has sold approximately 8,000 copies, according to the publisher, is that homosexual sex is a sacrament, a higher spirituality reflecting a more intimate understanding of God.

Its basic thesis is that since homosexuals enjoy greater sexual pleasure than heterosexuals, their understanding of God is more complete. Since that is so, homosexuals have a mission to bring the Church into a new awareness of the power of homosexual love.

Goss offers a pleasure-oriented theology based on the historical/critical method of biblical studies, and a horizontal model of church whose members are united by common experiences of pleasure.

Indeed, the pursuit of sexual pleasure is the new religion of the new theologians, and just about the only moral problem faced by the practitioners of the new religion is whether or not to "out" closeted Church leaders.

Goss spends more than a page analyzing the dilemma, and concludes that if a secret homosexual, such as the prominent president of a major Catholic institution, is supportive of the gay community, then he should not be "outed"; however, the secret homosexual bishop, who is not supportive of homosexuals, should be "outed."

This article was taken from the August 24, 1995 issue of "The Wanderer," 201 Ohio Street, St. Paul, MN 55107, 612-224-5733. Subscription Price: $35.00 per year; six months $20.00.


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