Glimpsing the end of suffering… Continue reading
Looking back on it now, the 1973 movie “The Exorcist” is laughably cheesy.
Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you probably know the story. A demon possesses a twelve-year-old girl named Regan. Under demonic control Regan spews pea green projectile vomit on a priest, turns her head 180 degrees, levitates, and does unseemly things with a crucifix.
Silly and over the top as it seems now, that movie freaked my sixteen-year-old self out. Newly in possession of a driver’s license, I had driven my friend Rick and me to the theater. At my insistence, Rick joined me in repeating the Hail Mary all the way home.
As a priest, I got a few calls to do an exorcism. You might not know this, but there is a rubric in the Book of Occasional Services instructing priests what to do with such requests. Call the bishop!
I used to be grateful for that rubric. Now that I’m a bishop, not so much. In our tradition, there are no official manuals for restoring order to spiritual chaos or for bringing wholeness to disintegrating souls. Continue reading
A homily preached at the Requiem Mass for the victims of Orlando.
Pulse is a nightclub. People go to nightclubs to dance, to have some laughs, to meet people. Pulse also served as a haven of acceptance for the LGBT community.
LGBT rights have come a long way since Stonewall: the riots in Greenwich Village generally credited with the beginning of the gay rights movement. Nevertheless, the LGBT community is a minority. Some in our culture view gay, lesbian, and transgender people with contempt. They still face discrimination and the threat of violence for being who they are.
That’s why Pulse served as a place of refuge. In this one place, members of the LGBT community needn’t keep looking over their shoulder and checking their peripheral vision for either physical or emotional danger.
Last Saturday night the club extended the offer of sanctuary to another minority as well. It was Latino night.
This was designed to be a carefree evening. Free from the tensions and silent judgments that minorities routinely face in the context of the non-gay, non-Latino majority in much of American society.
Pulse was not supposed to be the site of a massacre. And yet, in the early hours of Sunday a single gunman killed nearly fifty people and wounded more than fifty others with an assault rifle.
This was an attack on the LGBT and the Latino communities. It was an attack on America. It was an attack on humanity itself. Continue reading