Felician Sisters Host Pro-LGBT Speaker at Madonna University

by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  September 15, 2017   

Copeland's unapologetic citation: "On Easter, God made Jesus queer in His solidarity with us"

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LIVONIA, Mich. (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Felician sisters in Livonia, Michigan, are hosting a pro-LGBT speaker at Madonna University who wants the Church to change her language and views on homosexuality.

The once traditional Felicians are hosting Dr. Shawn Copeland at their own Madonna University on September 20. In 2009, Copeland wrote Enfleshing Freedom, which calls into question the Church's language about homosexuals and homosexuality. Copeland weaving in citations writes:

In an effort to discipline eros, have we disregarded "God's proto-erotic desire for us"? ... so too a "queer" Christ heals the anthropological impoverishment of homosexual bodies. ... Only an ekklesia that follows Jesus of Nazareth in (re)marking its flesh as "queer" as his own may set a welcome table in the household of God.

In her book, Copeland cites pro-gay advocates extensively and without apology. One such citation reads:

For gay and lesbian Christians, Easter becomes the event at which God says no to homophobic violence and sexual oppression. ... On Easter, God made Jesus queer in His solidarity with us. In other words, Jesus 'came out of the closet' and became the 'queer' Christ. ... Jesus is queer by his solidarity with queers.

This isn't the first red flag that's been raised about the worrisome trends, assailing the once faithful sisters' community in Livonia. Last week, Church Militant reported on the demise of this community of sisters that has been heavily influenced by the pro-LGBT Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) ever since the Livonia sisters merged with other not-so-faithful Felician provinces located in the United States and Canada. The LCWR has been censored by the Vatican for their dissenting theology, especially regarding homosexuality.

In 2012, faithful Felician sisters with the Livonia province tried to fight back against the dissident LCWR leadership who brought in pagan rituals, a pro-LGBT agenda and dissident speakers. A letter was sent that year to the general chapter of Felicians gathered in Rome by concerned Felician sisters from Poland and Livonia. One of the issues the letter addresses was the promotion in their community of pro-homosexual agendas without any attempt at converting homosexuals. Copeland is but one more example of this ongoing problem present in the community.

Crowley rightly objects to the peculiar application of crucified living (enforced abstinence) to the (sexual) fulfillment of gays and lesbians.

Copeland, a professor of theology at Boston College, does say she's not proposing that Christ is homosexual, but she claims Christ must be accepting of homosexuals along with their homosexual lifestyle. "If Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of God, cannot be an option for gays and lesbians, then He cannot be an option," she states rhetorically. She then responds, "An adequate response to this concern requires a different Christological interpretation, one in which we all may recognize, love and realize our body as Jesus' own flesh."

The bottom line for Copeland is she doesn't like the Church's language or viewpoint on homosexuality. In her book, Copeland questions not only the language of the Church but the perspective behind the language. "Church teaching repels gay and lesbian (anti)bodies to the periphery of the ecclesial body and may well disclose just how afraid the Church may be of the body of Jesus of Nazareth," writes Copeland. "Moral theologian Stephen J. Pope calls the magisterium's teaching about homosexual orientation 'powerfully stigmatizing and dehumanizing.'"

In her book, Copeland makes clear her position. "Paul Crowley affirms the meaningfulness of the Cross not only for gay and lesbian people but for all Christians," she writes. "Crowley rightly objects to the peculiar application of 'crucified living (enforced abstinence) to the (sexual) fulfillment of gays and lesbians."

Copeland's talk, funded by the Felician sisters at their own Madonna university, coincides with Catholic College Night, an event held the same night as Copeland's talk and sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Council 7304 at St. Patrick's in Brighton, Michigan, is hosting the Catholic College Nights event, which is separate from but coincides with the pro-gay talk by Copeland at Madonna the same night. Faithful Catholics are asking that the Knights use their influence with the sisters and the university to have Copeland's talk canceled so that young, impressionable Catholics are not led into sin by anti-Catholic discourse.


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