Retired Catholic priests call for abolishment of celibacy | Hear Our Voices

‘What moves us is the experience of loneliness – as elderly people who are unmarried because our office required this from us, we feel it vividly on some days after 50 years on the job’

By Lucy Pasha-Robinson

The Catholic Church should end the celibacy vow, a group of senior priests in Germany has said.

In an open letter, the group of 11 high ranking clerics said every man should have the right to choose to take the vow or not.

The retired clerics were ordained in Cologne in 1967, and wrote the letter as part of a review of their 50 years in the Catholic church.

“We believe that requiring that every man who becomes a priest to remain celibate is not acceptable,” group member Franz Decker told DW.

“We think, every Catholic should be allowed to choose if they would rather be celibate or not, regardless of whether they want to work as priests or not – just like in the Protestant Church or the Orthodox church, really, every church but the Catholic Church.”

The group argue celibacy causes many modern priests to suffer from seclusion and believe the men have little to gain from church-imposed solitude.

“What moves us is the experience of loneliness – as elderly people who are unmarried because our office required this from us, we feel it vividly on some days after 50 years on the job… We agreed to this clerical life because of our jobs, but we didn’t choose it,” the group wrote.

Source: Retired Catholic priests call for abolishment of celibacy | Hear Our Voices

Commission on sexual abuse strengthened by pope’s appointment of O’Malley to C.D.F. | America Magazine

In a highly significant move, Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley as a full (board) member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (C.D.F.).The Vatican made the announcement at noon on Saturday, Jan. 14, and highlighted the fact that the cardinal-archbishop of Boston also serves as president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors that Francis instituted in 2014.The cardinal’s appointment as a member of the C.D.F. means there is now a direct link between the commission and C.D.F., which has the central role is dealing with all cases of the abuse of minors by clergy, as well as bishops who are negligent in their duty to protect children. It ensures that the C.D.F. and the commission will be able to work more closely together, while fully respecting their distinct and very different roles.

Source:  America Magazine

Trump’s rise and GOP economics may shift Catholic Church’s priorities

With the election of Donald Trump as president and a Republican congress threatening to privatize social services or do away with them, the U.S. bishops may be changing their list of priorities from moral issues such as abortion back to social issues like economic justice and immigration.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – For much of its long history in the U.S., the Catholic Church was known as the champion of the working class, a community of immigrants whose leaders were steadfast in support of organized labor and economic justice – a faith-based agenda that helped provide a path to success for its largely working-class flock.

In recent decades, as those ethnic European Catholics assimilated and grew wealthier, and as the concerns of the American hierarchy shifted to battles over moral issues such as abortion and gay marriage, traditional pocketbook issues took a back seat.

Now, however, with the surprise election of Donald Trump and the Republican sweep of Congress signaling a new era of free-market and anti-immigration policies, the U.S. church and its bishops may be set to recalibrate their priorities.

Source: Trump’s rise and GOP economics may shift Catholic Church’s priorities

‘We Want Real Change’: Gay Lobby Groups Join Forces To Fight For LGBT Inclusion In The Church | Christian News on Christian Today

The fight for LGBT inclusion across the UK Church is to get a boost as two groups that have for decades lobbied for change merge.

Changing Attitude and the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) announced on Friday that they will be joining forces.

“We’ve been working closely with Changing Attitude for some time now and we have so much in common, and so much to gain from working together,” said LGCM’s chief executive Tracey Byrne.”We both bring wisdom and experience to our work, and Changing Attitude’s deep understanding of the Church of England is complemented by LGCM’s insights from across and beyond the denominations. We want to see all that energy, commitment and vision combined to bring about real and lasting change.”

Source:  Christian Today

Australian Catholics Help Start Ecumenical LGBTI Group – Bondings 2.0

Despite Australia’s ongoing debate over marriage equality, there have been several positive developments in Catholic LGBT issues recently in the land “down under.” Today’s post highlights one of those major developments.

ev-logo-1-e1483341716491Australian Christians have founded the interdenominational group Equal Voices to promote reconciliation between LGBTI communities and churches, reported Buzzfeed. The first meeting will occur at the end of this month, with a more formal launch in April.

Equal Voices seeks to be a networking and resource group based on values such as boldly proclaiming Christ’s love for all people, honoring same-gender relationships, and promoting listening and learning.

Source: Bondings 2.0

“Gay bishop an inspirational pioneer”: Coren

On Saturday in Toronto in front of more than 1,000 people three new bishops were ordained in the Anglican church of Canada. It speaks to the relevance and progressive nature of the denomination that two of the bishops were gifted and highly able women.

But it was the third person, Kevin Robertson, who was the most controversial figure in this glorious, profound ceremony — because he is the first openly partnered gay man to be made a bishop in Canada, and there are some who find that extremely difficult to accept.

These latest members of the episcopacy were elected back in September and those who voted for Robertson, and many who did not, would agree he is an accomplished priest and will likely be an outstanding bishop. But for those who object to his ordination it is, bewilderingly, his sexuality that is the dominant issue.

Source: Toronto Star

This married lesbian couple have been hired to be co-pastors at a Baptist church

What’s better than having an LGBTI religious leader of faith at your progressive church? How about two?

A historic church in Washington DC has named a married lesbian couple, Sallay Sarratt and Maria Swearingen, as their newest co-pastors.

Calvary Baptist Church in northwest DC announced the hiring during morning worship on 8 January, where they were approved by the congregation.

Source: This married lesbian couple have been hired to be co-pastors at a Baptist church