When Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 48 others inside a prominent gay night club in Orlando, Florida, a year ago this week, the city’s Catholic bishop, John G. Noonan, denounced what he called a “massive assault on the dignity of human life.” The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishopslamented the “unspeakable violence.” The Vatican’s press office released a statement decrying “such terrible and absurd violence.” Among these sincere expressions of grief, not one recognized the fact that this assault on human dignity and this horrific crime had targeted gay people specifically.
Even as nearly every bishop in the country missed an obvious opportunity to express solidarity with LGBT people in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting, those in the church hierarchy who did respond clearly — including Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich — offer cautious hope that the nation’s most influential church can chart a better path forward when it comes to affirming the human rights of LGBT people.
The first step in what will be a slow healing process is for Catholic leaders to acknowledge the church plays a role in wounding LGBT people by using dehumanizing language.
Source: National Catholic Reporter
NEWARK — The word “pilgrimage” usually evokes visions of far-off, exotic places, but for some 100 gay and lesbian Catholics and their families,a pilgrimage to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart here on a recent Sunday was more like a homecoming.
The doors to the cathedral were opened to them, and they were welcomed personally by the leader of the Archdiocese of Newark, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin. They were seated on folding chairs at the cathedral’s center, in front of the altar in the towering sanctuary, under the blue-tinted glow of stained glass.
“I am Joseph, your brother,” Cardinal Tobin told the group, which included lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics from around New York and the five dioceses in New Jersey. “I am your brother, as a disciple of Jesus. I am your brother, as a sinner who finds mercy with the Lord.”
The welcoming of a group of openly gay people to Mass by a leader of Cardinal Tobin’s standing in the Roman Catholic Church in this country would have been unthinkable even five years ago. But Cardinal Tobin, whom Pope Francis appointed to Newark last year, is among a small but growing group of bishops changing how the American church relates to its gay members. They are seeking to be more inclusive and signaling to subordinate priests that they should do the same.
More: The New York Times
Praised for offering mercy and hope to many in her 35 years of teaching, writing and service, ethicist Mercy Sr. Margaret Farley was honored by women theologians June 8 at the Catholic Theological Society of America convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Farley received the Ann O’Hara Graff Memorial Award for her scholarship and liberating action on behalf of women in the church and broader community. The award is named for the late feminist theologian.
Accepting the award, Farley cited O’Hara Graff’s commitment to both ideas and action —”theology and acts of mercy”— in calling for continuing work to address women’s inequality in the church and in society.
“We have not gone far enough,” said Farley, professor emerita of Christian ethics at Yale University Divinity School and a Sister of Mercy. “We still hear the cries of women, through the centuries and today.”
Source: Sr. Margaret Farley at theological meeting: ‘We have not gone far enough’ | National Catholic Reporter