U.S. Bishops’ “Spiritual Worldliness” Harms LGBT Catholics and the Church – Bondings 2.0

From New Ways Ministry “Bondings 2.0” blog, Robert Shine offers proposals to improve pastoral ministry to LGBT Catholics:

Today, I offer three suggestions for the bishops on how to move away from spiritual worldliness to be of greater service to the people of God, especially LGBT people, and others too often excluded from the church.

First, the bishops should reframe for themselves what loving the church means.  Foregoing a dated fixation on institutional power, loving the church could mean supporting Catholics and their communities as credible witnesses to God’s presence in the world….

Second, evangelical fervor must be restored. …..Bishops must ….follow Pope Francis’ example: lead joyfully; create fertile soil in their relationships with Catholics; speak to reality and end their voices’ impotence in preaching Good News; open wide church doors to welcome all, including the presently excluded Holy Spirit who disturbs the complacent and soothes the afflicted.

Third, bishops should renew their self-understanding about themselves and the office of bishop. Bishops must remember their roles foremost as pastors and teachers who accompany the People of God, rather than acting as political authorities….

More at – Bondings 2.0

Pope honors ‘rebel’ priests censured by the Vatican for their commitment to the poor | America Magazine

Pope Francis made a pilgrimage to northern Italy on Tuesday to honor two 20th-century parish priests whose commitment to the poor and powerless brought them censure from the Vatican.

Francis flew by helicopter to Bozzolo, near Cremona, to pray at the tomb of Don Primo Mazzolari. Mazzolari, who died in 1959, was an anti-fascist partisan during World War II who, like Francis, preached about a “church for the poor.”

Afterward, Francis flew to Barbiana, near Florence, to pray at the tomb of Don Lorenzo Milani, a wealthy convert to Catholicism who founded a parish school to educate the poor and workers. He died in 1967.

Source: Pope honors ‘rebel’ priests censured by the Vatican for their commitment to the poor | America Magazine

Hotel Ad Uses Noah’s Ark Story to Welcome All Types of Couples | Advocate.com

Often the Bible is used to justify homophobia, but Axel Hotels is turning that narrative around with its new “Noah’s Ark” commercial, conveying the message that all types of couples are welcome at Axel.

The ad, timed for LGBT Pride Month, shows a variety of same-sex couples, starting out with similar pairs — “bears,” “otters,” “butterflies” — and references the biblical story of Noah, who gathered animal pairs on an ark to escape a cataclysmic flood. The spot then mixes up the couples by gender and type, and it ends with the message “There’s room for every kind of couple at our hotels.”


This is how this Christian woman reacted when her preacher husband told her he was gay

While driving one day in Atlanta, my husband blurts out, ‘I want to live the rest of my life as a gay man.’

I nearly ran off the road.

This sudden admission of his homosexuality was a loose string in a ball of deceit. When I pulled that string, my entire life unraveled.

My husband and prominent church pastor, both of 30 years, lied to me and betrayed me, mocked our marriage vows. He brought the affair he was having with another man into our home and my place of business. I contracted chlamydia from him. The revelations tore our family apart. Embarrassingly, I learned that I was the only person in my inner circle unaware of it. I felt foolish. I stood alone with no one on my side.

But, there was more pain to come.

My darling son, then an underclassman in college, came out as gay. Six months later, he was HIV positive. I needed answers to make sense of my life. Drenched in despair, I turned to God. In seminary, in pursuit of theological cognition, I discovered that faith hate and hypocrisy were the culprits.

More at : Gay Star News

Health care is a right, not a privilege, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Catholic Church is not a fancy medical clinic for the rich, but a “field hospital” that — often literally — provides the only medical care some people will ever receive, Pope Francis said.

“Health is not a consumer good but a universal right, so access to health services cannot be a privilege,” the pope said May 7 during a meeting with members, volunteers and supporters of Doctors with Africa, a medical mission begun by the Diocese of Padua, Italy, 65 years ago.

In many parts of the world, especially in Africa, the pope said, basic health care “is denied — denied!” — to too many people. “It is not a right for all, but rather still a privilege for a few, for those who can afford it.”

Source: Catholic News Service

“Building a Bridge” Review, at Commonweal Magazine

In his much-discussed book The Benedict Option, Rod Dreher makes clear that the widespread acceptance of same-sex marriage constitutes “the Waterloo of religious conservatism.” This is not, Dreher stresses, because such sins are somehow “worse” than any other. Rather, the Waterloo is the insistence on full, public acceptance and approval of these relationships—backed by the force of law if necessary. This means “Christian beliefs about the sexual complementarity of marriage are considered to be abominable prejudice—and in a growing number of cases, punishable.” There is just no cooperative way forward.

Fr. James Martin, SJ, could be said to be the anti-Dreher—and not merely on this topic. Call it the Ignatian Option. Martin’s works have consistently sought to convey the riches of Catholic Christianity in both a style and a language that is as accessible as possible in a pluralist, post-Christian culture. And it is one of Martin’s great gifts that he does not sacrifice sophistication in aiming at accessibility. His books are not “Catholicism lite.” I have used Martin’s Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything in several theology classes, particularly because it is one of those few books that proves appealing and enriching to the whole range of students who take required undergraduate theology courses. And thankfully, Martin’s books consistently avoid unbalanced polemics, especially about ecclesial politics, that (to be candid) are a turn-off to most young people trying to learn more about their faith.

Source: The Ignatian Option | Commonweal Magazine

Cardinal: Francis considers mandating consultation of laity in bishop selection 

One of the members of the Council of Cardinals said the group is considering whether to advise Pope Francis to make it mandatory for Vatican ambassadors to consult with laypeople before making recommendations for possible new bishops in the Catholic Church.

Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias suggested the nine-member group might recommend that ambassadors be instructed to consult with members of a diocese’s pastoral or finance councils before passing on names of who to consider for bishop.

“This is a central matter for the church,” Gracias said in a June 15 NCR interview. “The bishop is a central figure and the choice of a good bishop is very important for every church. If you choose the wrong person, things can be set back by years in the pastoral life of the church.”

The pending recommendation from the Council of Cardinals could mark a significant shift for the church and for the role of Vatican ambassadors, known as apostolic nuncios.

Source:  National Catholic Reporter