Are There Closets in Heaven?

Posted by Censor Librorum on Feb 27, 2008 | Categories: Arts & Letters, Lesbians & Gays

Carol Curoe and her father, Robert, hope that their book about their personal struggle to reconcile her being a lesbian with his staunch Catholic faith will be a conduit for healing for other families. The book, “Are There Closets in Heaven? A Catholic Father and Lesbian Daughter Share Their Story” was published in fall 2007.closets-in-heaven.jpg

A November 2, 2007 article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune described how the Curoes were “uninvited” to appear at St. Francis Cabrini Church to discuss the book. The event was moved to another location after a few conservative bloggers encouraged their readers to flood the Archdiocese of Minneapolis with complaints.

Carol sees the book as a tribute to her parents, especially her father. She knows how difficult it was for him to support her while adhering to the teachings of the church. His approach: Whenever an issue arose, he would step back and try to see it from his daughter’s perspective.

Carol and her partner have two sons who are being raised Catholic because “it feels right.” When she was growing up, “being Catholic was the reference point for our lives” she said. But she also acknowledges a philosophical difference from public statements of the hierarchy. “I have to acknowledge that the leaders at the top of my church don’t think it’s OK for our sons to have two moms. And I want my sons to know so that they’re not surprised when they run into people who feel that way.”

The Curoes have received a mountain of mail from people who have found strength and hope in the book. “Not just gays. And not just Catholics,” Carol said. “We’ve heard from Jews who married outside their religion and women who got pregnant before they were married. This is just my story, but it resonates with anyone who experienced a split between child and parent.”

The Curoes is a wonderful story how, despite differences, their relationship was the most important thing. “They focused on keeping the lines of communication open,” said Carol of her parents. “In the end it was all about keeping relationships strong.”

Contrast the attitude of the Curoes on family love and communication with the “Faithful Rebel”, one of the bloggers who urged them to be banned from speaking in a Catholic parish:

“This whole thing is a disgrace. Such an event has no business taking place in a Catholic Church. Ms. Curoe opposes Catholic teaching, and she admits openly that she attends a Catholic Church only because it accepts her degenerate lifestyle…”

“Ms. Curoe advocates that the Church actually accept her sin. She wants the Church to encourage her to violate its teachings and the teachings of Scripture. The issue, of course, is not about whether or not the Church should love homosexual persons. That is a given. The question is about whether or not the Church should accept her sin and allow her to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ while openly proclaiming her allegiance, not to the teachings of Jesus Christ, but to the fulfillment of her own disordered passions. That is what is not possible.”

After reading his rant I thought – if I were a young Catholic woman, which one of these men would I want as a father? The man who would sit down and talk with me and listen, even if he didn’t agree or condone my life or actions–like Mr. Curoe. Or a man like Faithful Rebel, who would deliver a pious lecture for his benefit, and then kick me out on the street.

Which one has the better family values?

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