I just got home to Jersey from Wisconsin where my partner's family lives. I even went to midnight mass with my partner's Catholic clam on Christmas night. Now call me crazy, but afterwards as I recalled the salient points of the service, I was surprised how much common ground there is between at least one Catholic priest and myself, a liberal queer activist.
During the sermon, Father Ed voiced his concerns with poverty and homelessness, the death penalty, war, and HIV/AIDS. He also stressed the need to love one another ("....now more than ever......") and of finding common ground. The tenor of the service was pragmatic, not at all the rigid dogma I expected.
In short, Catholic mass was a refreshing and joyous celebration of my own progressive values. I went begrudgly to the mass in the first place, and to be honest, I was grateful a thunderbolt did not go off when I walked inside, sodomite that I am. (wink)
Knowing about the generally misogynist and homophobic attitude the Vatican espouses, I feared the Catholic experience would be completely inconsistant with my values. For one mass' worth, i was wrong.