LGBTQ Magazine

Newman Canonized, and Talk of His Love for Ambrose St. John Rocks the World of Macho-Heterosexist Clerics: My Thoughts

Posted on the 14 October 2019 by William Lindsey @wdlindsy
1/ It has long been a tactic of homophobes to claim that one cannot identify people in the past as gay when they did not identify themselves that way, even when they spoke or wrote about same-sex relationships in their own lives. This tactic wants to invisibilize gay people.— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) October 14, 2019

As Cardinal Newman is canonized, and as even any mention of his longstanding homoerotic love relationship with Father Ambrose St. John, with whom Newman requested that he be interred, roils various sectors of the Catholic world, here are some of my own thoughts in tweets from the last several days:
2/ Newman fell to pieces when St. John died. This is attested by numerous sources. He stipulated that they be buried in the same grave.
To deny that this was a loving same-sex relationship is fatuous. Whether the relationship was sexually intimate, we don't know.— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) October 14, 2019

3/ That it was there, we do know. And there's a great deal of cruelty — towards queer human beings — embedded in the pretenses and lies about how we just don't have evidence that Newman and St. John loved each other in "that way."— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) October 14, 2019

4/ Denying a group that has been invisibilized and demeaned a history, historical role models, is utterly cruel. This denial also twists history to be something it simply is not — a retrojection of the homophobic present into a past that often faced the reality of same-sex love.— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) October 14, 2019

1/ The amount of energy some young Catholic priests spend these days drawing lines to declare some human beings outsiders to grace — queer ones above all: astonishing. When welcoming, including, loving are central to the gospel….— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) October 14, 2019

2/ How have they ended up with such a warped, anti-gospel and anti-Jesus, understanding of their Catholic faith, one wonders? And what insecurity underlies their need to define themselves over against queer people with all their macho heterosexist bragging?— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) October 14, 2019

3/ So insecure, that they want to take a man quite obviously not a macho heterosexist he-man, Cardinal Newman, and pretend he fits their model and that it's absurd to think about his longstanding love of Ambrose St. John as an indicator that he was gay….— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) October 14, 2019

4/ The amount of energy some Christians expend today on informing a targeted group of human beings that they don't belong, aren't wanted, while hungry people need to be fed, sick people healed, strangers welcomed: it's astonishing. How has this perversion of the gospel happened?— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) October 14, 2019

1/ When we talk about honest recognition of Newman's longstanding relationship with Ambrose St. John, we're really talking, in some ways, about the privileged, secretive boys' club of clericalism. This kind of talk does little to build bridges to queer people outside the club.— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) October 13, 2019

2/ More important than honesty about the fact that Newman and St. John had such an intense and longstnading relationship is honesty about the unmerited privilege that members of the Catholic clerical club who happen to be gay have, when compared with lay Catholics whoa re LGBTQ.— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) October 13, 2019

3/ Talk INSIDE the clerical club is one thing. Talk with people OUTSIDE that club, who want to discuss its shortcomings, the injustice of how things are arranged in the Catholic church, is something else again. It's the latter conversation that might really build bridges.— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) October 13, 2019

4/ If it ever took place ….
If those with power and privilege on their side, who belong to the exclusive club, ever admitted their unmerited power and privilege and reached out to those on the outside, soliciting honest conversation with them ….— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) October 13, 2019

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