In Zambia, transgender and intersex issues take center stage | Religion News Service

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.

More: Religion News Service

CATHOLIC LGBT HISTORY:  Parish Blessings for Lesbian and Gay Couples 

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.’ “

More:  New Ways Ministry

Are Anglicans and Methodists really about to unite after 200 years of schism?

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

Source: Christian Today

‘Why does the church hate gay people?’ Boston bishop seeks to listen to young people | America Magazine

A crucial question, deserving serious reflection:

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:

Source: America Magazine

Frankfurt Church leader supports plan for same-sex blessings

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?”

Source: Catholic New Agency

Fresh call to ban ‘gay conversion therapy’ – BBC News

“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.

Source:BBC News

The Ultimate Rebels: Queer Catholics | Advocate.com

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.

Reviving the Role of Conscience in Catholic LGBT Discussions – New Ways Ministry

Recently, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, Germany, discussed the teaching on with a German magazineand he specifically applied the teaching to homosexuality. Crux reported on the interview:

“German Cardinal Reinhard Marx has stated that decisions about sexual morality must be discerned according to a well-formed conscience, respecting “the interplay of freedom and responsibility.”

“The chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference said in a new interview that a person ‘has to be guided into the full reality of the faith and heed the voice of the Church. It is not sufficient to say that one knows by oneself whether something is good for you, or not. That would not constitute a conscientious decision-making process in the context of the Gospel.’

“Speaking to the German magazine Herder Korrespondenz, Marx affirmed that this also applies to homosexuality.

A ‘truly comprehensive assessment of the severity of guilt’ is not possible without looking at the individual’s conscience, without looking at his reality, at the concrete circumstances.”

Source:– New Ways Ministry

Uganadan Lesbian Advocate to Speak at Catholic International Women’s Day Event – New Ways Ministry

A lesbian Catholic from Uganda and a former president of Ireland who has supported LGBT equality will be featured at a Catholic event marking International Women’s Day this March, .

Ssenfuka Joanita Warry will be a keynote speaker for the Voices of Faith’s (VOF) “Why Women Matter” event hosted at the Jesuit Curia in Rome. Warry is not only a lesbian Catholic, but the executive director of the feminist LGBT advocacy group Freedom and Roam in Uganda. A VOF press release said of her:

Ssenfuka Joanita Warry

“[Warry] understands the tragedy that can happen when the Church excludes persecuted groups rather than joining them in seeking protection, dignity and justice. As a lesbian Catholic woman she leads the fight for LGBT rights in Uganda, a country where same-sex relations are punishable by life in prison.”

Warry is also the chairperson of the LGBTI Catholic Club and a board member for Sexual Minorities Uganda, the largest network of LGBT organizations in the country. She was recently elected to the leadership board of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics this past November.

More: New Ways Ministry

Oldest Catholic university in the US says it will provide LGBT dorms for students · PinkNews

The oldest Catholic university in the US has introduced LGBT-only dorm for its students.

Georgetown University, which was established in 1789, has decided to team up its traditional ethos with its progressive values and offer LGBT accommodation options for residents who desire it.

After initially rejecting proposals from the campus LGBTQ+ Inclusivity Policy Team to provide alternative accommodation for queer students, the university decided to approve the demand for the halls and offered their “congratulations” to the team that fought for it.

“Our Catholic and Jesuit values call on us to engage with ‘respect, compassion, and sensitivity’ with our LGBTQ community,” said the campus’ Vice President, Todd Olson.

More:  PinkNews