More Than a Monologue: Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church - Vol. 1

By Christine Firer Hinze; J. Patrick Hornbeck II | Go to book overview

Introduction
CHRISTINE FIRER HINZE AND
J. PATRICK HORNBECK II

Fordham University


Listening to Voices of Our Times

In the autumn of 2011, four institutions of higher education hosted a series of conferences on sexual diversity and the Roman Catholic Church. Two of the venues— New York’s Fordham University and Fairfield University in Connecticut— were Catholic universities in the Jesuit tradition; the other two— Union Theological Seminary in New York City and Yale Divinity School— were nondenominational divinity schools where Roman Catholics comprise a substantial proportion of the student body. The series, entitled “More than a Monologue,” featured in total nearly fifty speakers and attracted more than a thousand audience members; many more followed the proceedings online.1 The high levels of interest generated by the series reveal that the contemporary conversation about sexual diversity within the American Roman Catholic community is vibrant; it is also complicated, sometimes tense, and often fraught with anger, pain, and hesitation on all sides.

This volume, along with its companion, Inquiry, Thought, and Expression, seeks to keep alive this difficult yet rewarding dialogue.2 It contains expanded and updated versions of remarks that speakers delivered at all four of the More than a Monologue conferences; it also includes a number of new voices, chosen because of the pastoral, academic, or personal perspectives that they bring to the topic of sexual diversity in and around the Roman Catholic tradition. While the conferences focused largely on the experiences of people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ), among other terms, the experiences of heterosexual persons in encountering and responding to sexual diversity are equally important. Their voices, too, were represented at the conferences, and essays by authors who describe themselves as heterosexual appear in both books.

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