It’s really just that simple. If you are wondering how or why that can be, it is because ignoring truth or teaching things contrary to truth is lying, and lying is a sin. To compound the sin, persecuting people or groups of people is always sinful. Also sinful are prejudice and spreading rumors about others. When the persecution, prejudice, and rumors are based on a falsehood, it makes them worse. When those mistakes, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, continue to be justified by the very people who continue to promote them, perhaps the truth is that in institution is broken beyond repair.

The Vatican announced yesterday that they cannot perform gay marriages or bless same sex unions because gay relationships are “intrinsically sinful.” Roman Catholic doctrine sees sin as being twofold: Sin is, at once, any evil or immoral action which breaks God’s law and the inevitable consequences, the state of being that comes about by committing the sinful action. Sin can and does alienate a person both from God and the community. They also believe that God “created” everything that exists – which includes LGBTQ people. Science has revealed, repeatedly and for some time now, that sexual orientation is not a choice. Most religious organizations have come to the same conclusion. In the Roman Catholic Church, however, gay people are only welcome if they are celibate – a requirement for clergy, too, and you can ask any Roman Catholic how well that works.

Even for people who believe that God literally dictated scripture, the undeniable truth is that humans take that scripture and from it develop doctrine. The Catholic Church would have us believe that the Holy Spirit protects them from error in developing that doctrine. If that was really true, I have to ask why that same Holy Spirit didn’t protect thousands of children from the sexual predators that same Church ordained? Why didn’t the Holy Spirit protect the Catholic Church from ordaining sexual predators? The answer to those questions is that it doesn’t work the way they would have us believe.

These same, tired justifications lead the same Catholic Church to treat women as inferior around the world by refusing them ordination because Jesus and the people the Church declared were the only Apostles were all men. It allows institutional racism within its ranks, most clearly shown by the fact that only within the last six months was the first African American bishop chosen to be elevated to Cardinal. When we become self-deluded to the extent that we believe we are protected from making mistakes, we paint ourselves into a corner wherein we cannot change our minds when new facts are reveal. To do so would be tantamount to saying the Holy Spirit made a mistake. Pride prevents them from admitting the Church itself was in error when it claimed that they couldn’t make mistakes and used the Holy Spirit as justification.

So, if you are an LGBTQ person or a member of any of the other groups the Roman Catholic Church has chosen to be second class human beings, why are you still there? What need to you have to be humiliated, excluded, conned, placed in a corner, marginalized, discriminated against, and lied to and about? Is this Stockholm Syndrome? The truth is that it is unhealthy for you to remain where you are mistreated. You may feel that the benefits that you derive from being a member of a community make up for the fact that you aren’t treated well. They do not. There are other communities that will treat you as you deserve to be treated – with dignity and respect.