Fatherless Churches

From Web Exclusives

Almost fifty years ago, when the Catholic Church unveiled its new rite of Mass in the Sistine Chapel, Cardinal John Heenan, then Archbishop of Westminster, remarked that if the Church used the new liturgy in ordinary parishes it would “soon be left with a congregation mostly of women and children.” In 1967, Heenan could proudly assert that in his country “not only women and children but also fathers of families and young men” regularly attended Mass. . . . Continue Reading »

No Tears for Exodus

From Web Exclusives

Some years ago, I read Alan Medinger’s book Growth into Manhood, written for Christians with unwanted same-sex attractions. Medinger, a giant in ex-gay circles, was the first Executive Director of Exodus International, the ex-gay umbrella group that has grown to almost three hundred ministries in eighteen countries, but announced it was closing operations this week with a letter of apology to the LGBT community widely circulated on the internet… . Continue Reading »

Called to Celibacy Unchosen

From Web Exclusives

The crisis in family life which has convulsed the West since the 1960s has meant that a good portion of the Church’s teaching mission over recent years has been dedicated to outlining a coherent and compelling vision of Christian marriage, and rightly so. But this should not lead Christians to downplay the nobility of the celibate life, which Christian tradition has always held in the highest regard… . Continue Reading »

Can One Be Gay and Christian?

From Web Exclusives

Is it possible to embrace a gay identity and be a faithful Christian? All parties in the recent debate here at First Things agree that lifelong marriage between one man and one woman is the only morally appropriate context for a sexual relationship. But while Joshua Gonnerman, Eve Tushnet, Melinda Selmys, and Wesley Hill all argue that the “gay” label can be appropriated by Christians, Daniel Mattson warns us … Continue Reading »