Detroit Catholic Couple Provide Example of 'Gay Holiness'

Bryan Victor and Thomas Molina-Duarte
Bryan Victor and Thomas Molina-Duarte

While the Roman Catholic Church continues to oppose same-sex relationships, many LGBT Catholics have not given up on the church and continue to offer their relationships as examples of love in action — like the couple profiled today by the Detroit Free Press.

“We remain in the church rather than leaving,” said Bryan Victor, profiled along with his husband, Thomas Molina-Duarte. “The reason is that it’s my faith. It’s one of my guides. It’s how I treat people. It gives me a deep sense of community.”

Molina-Duarte added that practicing Catholicism “is right and life-affirming for me. If it challenges things, that’s more of an afterthought.”

But the couple’s very presence in the church may serve to challenge Catholic teachings. The church expects people with same-sex attractions to remain celibate and does not accept same-sex unions, so when the men were married this summer, it was in an Episcopal church.

The guests included Rev. Ron Victor, a Catholic priest who is Bryan Victor’s uncle. While he would have faced discipline by his church if he officiated the ceremony, he attended because he believes the Catholic Church “needs more examples of gay holiness.”

“They are two very holy guys,” the priest added of the couple. “I do see their union as being sacred and sacramental, in the sense that it reflects God’s love.” He was disappointed he couldn’t officiate, he said, and he believes many Catholic priests would be open to conducting same-sex weddings but are afraid to speak up about it. And he said his attitudes toward gay people became more accepting because of his close bond with his nephew.

Bryan Victor, a doctoral student at Wayne State University, and Molina-Duarte, who works for a social service agency, were both brought up Catholic, then went through a period of estrangement from the church when coming out. But they bonded over their shared faith while dating, and now they are part of the congregation at St. Charles Borromeo, a social justice–oriented Detroit Catholic parish where they say they’ve been welcomed.

“I am sustained and nourished by the church,” Victor told the Free Press. “I’m sharing my gifts and talents within the church.”

Read the full story here.

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