SPRINGFIELD – As the world’s Catholics prepare for Lent’s 40 days of spiritual repentance, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield is issuing its own message of apology and renewal – to current and lapsed Catholics, to parishioners wounded by church closures, to victims of sexual abuse by priests and to LGBT Catholics alienated by the Church’s stance on gay rights.
In his pastoral letter issued on Ash Wednesday, the Most Rev. Mitchell T. Rozanski wrote that the church, inspired by the approachable tenor of Pope Francis’ papacy, is rededicating itself to evangelism – including the welcoming-back of Catholics who no longer feel represented by the Church.
Source: Springfield Bishop Rozanski asks for forgiveness, calls for those alienated by Catholic Church to return in pastoral letter | masslive.com
The Anglican Church slapped down its American branch last month, punishing it for authorizing same-sex marriages.The church has been riven for decades over issues of female ordination, the ordination of gay clergy and, now, same-sex marriage. The issue is so incendiary that it threatened to tear the global church apart. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the head of the church, is credited with preventing a complete implosion.Yet even in the seeming backlash to gay marriage, one of Canada’s top Anglicans says he sees signs of progress.Rev. Peter Elliott, the dean of Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Vancouver and the Number 2 Anglican in the region after the bishop, has been at the heart of this debate for years and the local diocese — for historical reasons called New Westminster — is (in)famous for its progressive stand on the topic. The diocese offers a blessing for same-sex marriages, but solemnization of marriages is a national decision and the Canadian church is expected to vote this year on the topic, potentially opening a new front in the long battle.
Source: Anglican churches across globe at different stages in dealing with LGBTQ rights
In Cameroon, a recent resurgence of anti-LGBTI rhetoric from the Catholic Church has come in for criticism from the Douala-based advocacy group Alternatives-Cameroon, which fights Aids and supports human rights for sexual minorities. In this press release, Alternatives-Cameroon asks Pope Francis to intervene:
Cameroon: The Catholic Church continues to preach hate
Media releases and speeches from dignitaries of Cameroon’s Catholic Church in recent weeks have become even more radical with respect to homosexuality. The latest example came during the meeting of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon, held in Batouri on Jan. 12, 2016, during which churchmen prescribed “zero tolerance” for homosexuality.
Source: Plea to to Pope: Restrain Cameroon’s gay-bashing Catholics | 76 CRIMES
Portugal’s parliament has overturned a presidential veto on a bill legalising adoption by same-sex couples. The motion was supported by the ruling Socialists and their far-Left allies. Conservative President Anibal Cavaco Silva will have to sign the bill allowing same sex adoption into law before his term ends in March.
The president last month vetoed the gay adoption bill on the grounds that parliament passed it in November without having promoted a wide-enough national debate and citing doubts that it would promote the wellbeing of children. His refusal provoked sharp criticism from human rights groups and politicians alike.
Under the constitution he now has eight days to sing the bill into law.
Source: Portugal overturns presidential veto on gay adoption | euronews, world news