Posted by: mollyrossiter | February 23, 2009

Young Catholics tapping into theology

Sex and homosexuality and their places in the church are not necessarily what you’d think of as the main topics for scheduled religious discussions. Having said discussions in a bar over drinks may not be what you’d expect, either.

For the young adults coming together for Theology on Tap, however, that’s just what they’re doing.

“You wouldn’t expect a Catholic group to start with something like ‘Homosexuality and the Church: Not that there’s anything wrong with that,’ but that’s what we’re doing,” said Mark MacDonald, 40, who with his wife, Missy, is among the oldest of the 30-something crowd. “The goal is to have things that are provocative on purpose to get people in here.”

This is only the second time around for Theology on Tap’s four-week session  in Cedar Rapids, but it’s been around for a while: it was founded in 1981 in Chicago to “bring young adult Catholics together for spiritual growth and ministry.”

The group is generally open to 20- and 30-somethings in the area and meets in a bar or restaurant. The March sessions, which are at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, are at the Piano Lounge, 208 Second Ave. SE, in Cedar Rapids.

MacDonald and his wife were part of the first session and are now helping to coordinate the upcoming meetings.

“I thought it was great,” he said. “It was neat to see young people that were basically passionate about their faith but also passionate about being young people. You don’t often see the two coincide.”

He was impressed, too, with the fact that the group could be out socializing “in a ‘normal’ way” while still talking about heavy religious topics.

“I think the neatest thing about Theology on Tap is that it brings in different points of view and exposes you to different thought processes,” he said. “It’s very interesting to hear what people think.”

Although the discussion centers around faith and faith-centered ideals, MacDonald is quick to point out that Theology on Tap is not a bible study.

“That would be less appealing to a lot of people,” MacDonald said. “It’s more about what do people think about different things.”

Topics for discussion in March are: “Homosexuality and the Church, ‘Not that there is anything wrong with that,'” March 5; Your truth, my truth and nothing but the truth, March 12; Be fruitful and multiply? The Church and sex, March 19; What the hell is Purgatory anyhow? Heaven knows: Your tour of eternity, March 26.



  1. Will you blog some of the conclusions from your discussion?
    I have been pondering on the relationship between Christianity and Homosexuality and would be curious to hear from a Catholic group.

    More of some thought here

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