Rarely is change in the church proclaimed with any fanfare. The daily Vatican bollettini don’t announce policy changes; members of the Curia aren’t invited to seminars on “new directions” for the church. Catholics are left to discern newness in other ways, like noticing the first hint of a changing season in the subtle alteration of sunlight.
The light’s angle just became a little clearer with Pope Francis’ appointment of 17 new cardinals from 11 different countries, including three from the United States. These appointments should dispel any doubt that a new season is upon us, one that expands our views of the peripheries in several ways: in terms of geography, in terms of what sees are considered important, and in terms of how leaders think about and approach building the church in this era of Francis.
Source:National Catholic Reporter
A Catholic humanitarian agency in India has launched a program aimed specifically at providing services that are more inclusive of and effective for transgender people, indicating both a step forward, as well as how far the Church still has to go.
Caritas India, the official in concern and human development organization of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI), announced its new policy last Monday.
Executive Director Fr. Frederick D’Souza said this program begins “a new school of thought,” reported Vatican Radio.
Source: Bondings 2.0
This summer’s controversy at Ireland’s national seminary over the use of a gay dating app by students has quieted, but it has since inspired many worthwhile commentaries on homosexuality, ministry, and the future of the Catholic Church. Today’s post features excerpts with links provided if you would like to read more.
Earlier this year, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin removed three archdiocesan seminarians from St. Patrick’s College Maynooth overallegations of a “gay culture”there. But he also expressed more general concerns about the “closed, strange world of seminaries,“ and proposed that new models of priestly formation would be needed. Other bishops have rushed to defend the seminary, and a review with an eye towards reform has been conducted.
Source: – Bondings 2.0
In a book-length interview published next week Johan Bonny, the Bishop of Antwerp, proposes a rite for blessing homosexual persons in so-called same-sex “marriages”, divorced and remarried couples, and cohabiting couples formally referred to as couples ‘living in sin’. Archbishop Bonny makes his proposals in a conversation with Roger Burggraeve and Ilse Van Halst published in the book, “May I? Thank you. Sorry: Frank dialogue about relationships, marriage and the family.”
Bishop Bonny proposes that the Church offers non-sacramental recognition, acceptance and blessing of individuals in illicit relationships. He outlines one possibility by asking can he as a bishop provide a ritual to believers who live together and wish each other the best, in the light of God’s presence, similar to parents giving a cross to their children? He argues that a cross is not a sacrament, but belongs to the order of sacred signs and gestures. He wonders if the Church can establish shades between the “nothing” for unmarried couples and the “all” of the sacramental marriage recognising what is “already” is, and simultaneously see what it is “not”?
Bishop Bonny acknowledges that homosexual persons cannot enter into a true sacramental union because they cannot express the deep symbolic link between gender differences and fertility. However, he wants the Church to recognise that homosexual persons who pursue exclusive and lasting relationships. He questions whether the Church should squeeze everything into one model but instead asks whether the Church should evolve a variety of rituals to recognise the “love between homosexuals”.
Source: EWTN News
About 80 LGBT Catholics and their supporters marched near Central Park and listened to speeches at Columbus Circle advocating greater acceptance in the church Oct. 2. The event concluded with participants attending Mass at St. Paul the Apostle Church, a Paulist parish on Manhattan’s West Side.
Speakers included Michael DeLeon and Greg Bourke, a Louisville, Ky., same-sex couple whose marriage equality case was won at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015.
“God does not care who we love, Jesus simply commanded us to love one another, to love our neighbors. There was no specific instruction about the gender, gender identity, gender expression or the sexual orientation of those we were instructed to love,” said Bourke at the rally. The couple were named “Catholics of the Year” by NCR.
The theme for the walk was Pilgrimage of Mercy, echoing Pope Francis. “We are both seeking mercy from our church, and in return we offer mercy and forgiveness to all those in our Church who have not been so gracious to us in the past,” said Bourke.
Source: National Catholic Reporter
A senior judge on Wednesday said homosexuality “will eventually be accepted in Kenya though it would take years”.
Justice Wanjiru Karanja of the Court of Appeal told the Judicial Service Commission that Kenya was a nascent democracy, where tradition and culture were highly valued, and that even old democracies such as the US took centuries to accept such people.
“I don’t want to create the impression that if a Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer case is brought to me, I’d handle it as such, but Kenyans need to be heard. The Constitution provides for the protection of human rights. Let us understand them first,” she said.
Source: Nairobi News
“I was glad I wear glasses or the Synod would have seen the tears.”
Those were the words of the Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba after the Church of Southern Africa’s rejected a proposal to bless the the unions of gay couples.
He was speaking after the Provincial Synod overwhelmingly rejected a move to approve blessings for same-sex couples.
The Anglican Primate, one among few church leaders in Africa to support same-sex marriage, said: “I was deeply pained by the outcome of the debate. I was glad I wear glasses or the Synod would have seen the tears. I wanted to be anywhere but in the Synod hall – I wished I was at home quietly in Makgoba’s Kloof.
“If one of you, my church members, is in pain, then I am in pain too. The pain on both sides of the debate in Synod was palpable and no one celebrated or applauded the outcome
Source: Christian Today