The Orthodox Church’s move on women deacons is a baby step forward | National Catholic Reporter

It’s welcome news, though it is short of any goal favored by feminists, whether Orthodox or Catholic. Patriarch Theodoros II and the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria have decided to reinstate the order of deaconesses in the Greek Orthodox Church.

Granted, this is not a full acknowledgement of the equality of women and men, but it is a step in the right direction. And it’s a step from which the Catholic Church can learn. Indeed, Pope Francis expressed interest in this prospect in 2016, when he appointed a committee to study the matter. (It’s not clear where that committee is today in its deliberations.)

More:  National Catholic Reporter

Australia votes to allow same sex marriage: ‘What a day for love, for equality, for respect’ | The Independent

Australia‘s Parliament has voted to allow same-sex marriage across the nation, sparking celebrations and declarations of “a day for love”.

The House of Representatives passed a bill to change the definition of marriage to simply “a union of two people”, instead of a man and a woman, after the country overwhelmingly endorsed the move in a public ballot last month following a bitter and divisive debate.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull proclaimed a “day for love, for equality, for respect” as Australia became the 26th country in the world to legalise same-sex ceremonies.

Source: ]The Independent

S African Archbishop stresses “accompaniment” for gay Catholics

Asked about the Church’s stance on homosexuality, Brislin said gay people have always been part of the Church and continue to be. “It’s very distressing to hear that gay people sometimes don’t feel at home in the Church. The Church should be home for gay people.” He said he believed the Church did not accompany people sufficiently and does not have enough of the personal touch in people’s lives.

“The fact of the matter is that in our parishes we have gay people who come to church and who are very good Catholics and who try to live the best life they possibly can.”

Referring to a study conducted by the South African Institute of Race Relations which concluded that there was no conventional ‘family’ in South Africa, the archbishop said it was important that the Church does not “stand in judgement of people, even if they are in irregular [divorced and remarried] relationships”. He said that the Church must always encourage people to live the best lives they possibly can. He said that if people can put their circumstances right, the Church must help them to do it. “My fear is that we sometimes just judge people and we say we can’t help. Pope Francis, on the other hand, says we should be accompanying people and walking with them.”

Source: Spotlight Africa

LGBTQ people welcome? Then say so! – PCN Britain

PCN Chair, Adrian Alker, calls on all churches which claim to be inclusive, to say so publicly. He shares a parishioner’s letter which could be adapted by any church member to persuade their church council to take action.

LGBTQ people welcome? Then say so!

The United Kingdom has become a remarkably more tolerant and inclusive nation in matters of its citizens’ sexual orientation than we might have envisaged twenty years ago. A Tory government introduced changes in the marriage act to allow same sex marriage. The support of LGBTQ people and the fight against discrimination can be seen throughout the mainstream media, in employment legislation, in greater sensitivity in schools, at FA football grounds and other sporting venues…

Yet in the established Church of England and in other Christian denominations there is still much work to do if the inclusive love of God, seen in Jesus, is to be experienced as a reality for all people who might look to church communities for help, support and affirmation.

More: – PCN Britain

‘Our collective shame’: Trudeau delivers historic apology to LGBT Canadians – Politics – CBC News

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a historic apology to LGBT Canadians in the House of Commons today, saying sorry for decades of “state-sponsored, systematic oppression and rejection.”

Speaking to a packed and emotional chamber, Trudeau expressed shame, sorrow and deep regret to the civil servants, military members and criminalized Canadians who endured discrimination and injustice based on their sexual orientation.

“You are professionals. You are patriots. And above all, you are innocent. And for all your suffering, you deserve justice, and you deserve peace,” he said.

Source: ‘ CBC News

« Que nos rêves deviennent réalité » | Global Network of Rainbow Catholics

« Être homosexuel est catholique? » À beaucoup de gens cela semble une contradiction. Quatre membres courageux du Réseau Mondial des Catholiques Arc-en-ciel (GNRC), un réseau international de catholiques LGBT, parlent de la situation des personnes lesbiennes, gays, bisexuelles et transgenre dans leur pays d’origine l’Ouganda, la Slovaquie, l’Inde et le Chili.

More: Global Network of Rainbow Catholics

Trauordnung für homosexuelle Paare in reformierter Kirche |

Die Evangelisch-reformierte Kirche hat eine Trauordnung für schwule und lesbische Paare beschlossen. Unter theologisch-ethischen Aspekten stehe eine gleichgeschlechtliche Partnerschaft genauso unter dem Zuspruch Gottes wie die Partnerschaft zwischen Mann und Frau, hieß es am Freitag auf der Gesamtsynode der Evangelisch-reformierten Kirche im niedersächsischen Emden.


Church of Sweden recommend gender neutral pronouns for God

The Church of Sweden has urged its clergy to use gender-neutral language when referring to God, refraining from using terms like “Lord” and “He” in favour of the less specific “God”.

The move is one of several taken by the national Evangelical Lutheran church in updating a 31-year-old handbook setting out how services should be conducted in terms of language, liturgy, hymns and other aspects.

The decision was taken at the end of an eight-day meeting of the church’s 251-member decision-making body, and takes effect from May 20 on the Christian holiday of Pentecost.

Source: Premier

The theology and spirituality of Open Table – A person-centred approach – A brave faith

OPEN TABLE – an ecumenical Christian worship community which offers a warm welcome to people who are: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer / Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA) and all who seek an inclusive Church – began at St Bride’s Liverpool in June 2008, meeting once a month for a communion service.

Since July 2015 we have been growing beyond Liverpool – now there are eleven active Open Table communities reaching up to 200 people a month, and we are in touch with more than forty other churches who are exploring this ministry in their communities. One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is

‘What is the theology / spirituality of Open Table?’

More:  – A brave faith

Transgender Day of Remembrance: Time for Catholics to Speak and Act – New Ways Ministry

Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance,  a time to pause to think about the many transgender people beaten and murdered over the past year, and for many years previously.  Close to 350 transgender people around the world were killed because of their gender identity since last year at this time.  25 of those who died were in the United States of America.  These are only the cases that are reported to authorities who keep a record of these statistics.

Regardless of what personal, political, or religious beliefs teach you about gender identity, these are horrific statistics which bespeak a disregard for human dignity.  Catholics, whose doctrines teach us to respect human dignity, without regard to a person’s state in life, should be outraged.  Catholic  leaders should be speaking out about this epidemic of disregard for human life.

Last year on this day, Bondings 2.0 posted a page of resources for Catholics to educate themselves and their faith communities about transgender issues and people.  You can access that page by clicking here.

More:  New Ways Ministry