Marine, 26, lives in Lyon and is a practicing Catholic. She is also a lesbian. For the report on the theme “Young people and gods” by Martin Weill, broadcast on Tuesday March 22 on TMC, she agreed to testify during a key moment: when she came out to Father Julien, the priest of her parish she has known for several years. Accompanied by Martin Weill, Marine explains: “It’s a real personal markdown above all, and I hope it can be useful to other people who might recognize themselves. Maybe we can get things moving” . An optimism that unfortunately will not last. While Martin Weill waits for her on the steps of the church, Marine enters this so familiar place about which she is more and more torn.
To broach the subject with Father Julien, Marine begins by saying that she is “in a relationship with girls”, before continuing: “The questioning of my faith has arrived recently, not necessarily finding my place within the church. I call myself Catholic, believer, practicing and homosexual, and I always wonder how it is perceived by a man of the church”. The priest remains relatively vague in his response with elements that may seem contradictory. “What makes membership in the church is first of all baptism. It is a gift from God and no one can take it away,” he begins by saying. Before then evoking the coherence between faith and heterosexual carnal union.
And since it is a question of carnal union, Marine continues by asking her priest what he thinks of the fact that it is said that homosexual relations are against nature. Again, his answer a little evasive. Father Julien responds without taking a particular position, or at least that’s what he thinks. Because some of his remarks clearly give some indications. He tries to tell Marine that in a parish, everyone is a sinner, so it doesn’t matter if he considers it a sin. But he does not stop there, and then compares homosexual relations to adultery and then explains to Marine that one must “not let oneself be locked into one orientation or one choice”.
A real heartbreak between his faith and his sexual orientation
Once out of the church, Marine explains to Martin Well that “emotionally, it’s hard to do that”. The 26-year-old is more than ever torn between her faith and her sexual orientation, which she obviously did not choose. “It’s not that I actually lock myself up, it’s that it’s like that. I don’t even know if we can talk about choices. It’s my life and I want to be with a woman period. And I also want to combine my personal life and my faith, and I think I have the right”. While wanting to keep her faith, Marine is aware that she could find it increasingly difficult to call herself a believer. With tears in her eyes, she summarizes the injustice and the frustration she feels in the face of the reaction of the church, which is still so retrograde despite the passing centuries. “It’s a little heartbreaking to still hear these words, even though I knew I was going to be confronted with this. I gave a lot to religion, and they are telling me ‘well what, you’ you’re not supposed to be here'”.
Reports by Martin Weill © Capture / TMC