Blessings for same-gender couple may be permissible, said a leading German bishop and advisor to Pope Francis.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising made his remarks in an interview over the weekend, reported Crux. The cardinal said that pastoral care which accompanies people in their concrete circumstances is the “fundamental orientation,” one promoted by Pope Francis. Marx said such care must include lesbian and gay people. Asked whether he could imagine blessing a same-gender couple, Marx replied:
“Yes, however there are no general solutions. That would not be right, I think. It’s about pastoral care for individual cases, and that applies in other areas as well, which we can not regulate, where we have no sets of rules. That does not mean that nothing happens.
An Irish Cardinal has forced a major international conference on women’s rights to move from the Vatican as he objected to former president Mary McAleese, who is the keynote speaker at the event.
Dublin-born Cardinal Kevin Farrell, who is overseeing the Vatican’s preparations for the World Meeting of Families in Ireland in August, attempted to block Dr McAleese from addressing the ‘2018 Voices of Faith’ conference, which will take place on International Women’s Day on March 8.
Correspondence seen by the Irish Independent reveals a stand-off occurred between the conference organisers and Cardinal Farrell over his withholding of approval not just for Dr McAleese but two other speakers as well.
The Irish Independent understands that Dr McAleese’s views on gay rights is the reason the prelate objected. She has previously spoken about how son Justin, as a devout young Catholic, was bullied because he was gay.
The president of the German Bishops’ Conference has declared that, in his view, Catholic priests can conduct blessing ceremonies for homosexual couples.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx told the Bavarian State Broadcasting’s radio service that “there can be no rules” about this question. Rather, the decision of whether a homosexual union should receive the Church’s blessing should be up to “a priest or pastoral worker” and made in each individual case, the German prelate stated.
Speaking on Feb. 3, on the occasion of his 10th anniversary as Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Cardinal Marx was asked why “the Church does not always move forward when it comes to demands from some Catholics about, for instance, the ordination of female deacons, the blessing of homosexual couples, or the abolition of compulsory [priestly] celibacy.”
Marx said that, for him, the important question to be asked regards how “the Church can meet the challenges posed by the new circumstances of life today – but also by new insights, of course,” particularly concerning pastoral care.
LUSAKA, Zambia — The rejection and suffering of Zambia’s intersex and transgender communities must end, and anyone who stigmatizes them is a sinner, said Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) Chairperson Bishop Paul Mususu.
EFZ is the largest mother body of Christian denominations, churches, mission agencies, and individuals in Zambia, with more than 225 registered affiliates.
Mususu added that churches should rise up to defend the plight of intersex people because they are created by God, and there is nothing criminal about their existence.
“I want to propose the recognition of a third sex in Zambia. Let intersex be included on all documents, starting with birth certificates, to avoid subjecting the intersex community to so many procedures, discrimination, shame, and emotional torture,” he said.
The recent news that at least two German bishops have called for looking into the possibility of church blessings for legally married lesbian and gay couples holds great promise that a dream long held by many may actually become reality. The quest for such blessings has been going on for a long time, and I was combing the New Ways Ministry archives, I learned about a case where a Catholic parish in California had actually been doing such blessings, until a small group of conservative parishioners protested to the local bishop.
On January 15, 1999, the Gay and Lesbian News Page of www.yahoo.com, carried a story entitled “Petition Sets Parishioners Against Priest’s ‘Friendship Blessings.’ ” The story explained:
“A Catholic priest’s ‘friendship blessings ‘ are not the perfect blend-ship in the eyes of some parishioners, who are asking the diocese for his removal.
“A Pleasanton, California parish priest who has authorized the blessing of three lesbian and gay couples and who says he will continue to do so is under investigation by the Diocese of Oakland following athe filing of a complaint against him by 15-20 church members. The Rev. Dan Danielson of St. Augustine’s parish has not officiated at any of the ceremonies himself, but the petition calling for his removal charges him with ‘the performance of homosexual weddings.’ “
It’s crunch time for the Church of England and the Methodist Church.
They are facing a crucial decision this year – the CofE in February and the Methodist Church, assuming all goes well, in July. They have to decide whether their churches can share ministry, to the extent that an Anglican priest could minister in a Methodist church or – more to the point – a Methodist minister or ‘presbyter’ as many like to be described, could minister in an Anglican one. It’s a big deal; both are thinly spread, particularly in rural areas, and an arrangement like this could be very helpful.
crunch time for the Church of England and the Methodist Church. They are facing a crucial decision this year – the CofE in February and the Methodist Church, assuming all goes well, in July. They have to decide whether their churches can share ministry, to the extent that an Anglican priest could minister in a Methodist church or – more to the point – a Methodist minister or ‘presbyter’ as many like to be described, could minister in an Anglican one. It’s a big deal; both are thinly spread, particular
When an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Boston asked the nearly 200 students in a high school confirmation class what questions they had for him earlier this month, two themes quickly emerged. First, they wrote him, why did you want to become a bishop? Second, why does the church hate gay people?
The first one was easy, Bishop Mark O’Connell told them, since very few priests set out to become bishops.
But the second question, which he said comes up frequently when he meets with young people, was more difficult for him to answer, not because church teaching is unclear to him, but because the language the church often uses fails to resonate with a generation that increasingly sees kindness as the highest virtue. An experience he had with a student following the listening session earlier this month led him to post a message on Twitter to encourage other bishops to listen to the concerns young Catholics have about fraught issues of gender and sexuality:
A German bishop’s proposal that the Catholic Church could provide blessing ceremonies for gay couples, as well as divorced and civilly remarried couples, gained support at a Church conference in Frankfurt this weekend.
Earlier this month, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode suggested that the Church develop a ceremony for blessing same-sex unions during an interview with Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung.
“We need to think about how we can differentiate a relationship between two same-sex people,” said the bishop, who is deputy chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference: “Is not there so much that is positive, good and right that we have to be fairer?”
“Conversion therapy” is harmful to mental health. Also, A US court has ruled it is fraudulent advertising, on two counts (homosexuality is not a pathology, so therapy is inappropriate, and also ineffective, because orientation cannot be changed).
The government is facing a fresh push to ban “conversion therapy” aimed at changing gay people’s sexuality.
The Church of England has been calling for the highly controversial practice to be outlawed, after its ruling body voted for a ban last year.
Ministers condemned the “therapy” but have refused to meet Church campaigners to discuss the issue.
Now, Tory MP and church commissioner Caroline Spelman has vowed to set up a meeting with the minister in charge.
If you are an LGBTQI Catholic, you are a movement. I admit this sounds counterintuitive. Aren’t movements about a lot of people, not just an individual, creating some kind of impact or momentum toward a desired good or response to injustice? So let me explain.
At a recent holiday gathering, an attendee who identifies as a Catholic gay man spoke about how he thinks the Catholic Church is moving in a positive direction. He even identified some local church leaders as examples of individuals with whom he has had deep conversations about gay sexuality and inclusion in the church, and he named a local archdiocesan LGBTQI outreach organization as an example of progress.