If you have not heard of Nancy Ledins, who passed away in July at age 84, her story is very much worth reading if you are concerned with Catholic LGBT issues.
Nancy Ledins leading worshipLedins, then presenting as a man, was an ordained Roman Catholic priest for ten years. A member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, she left the priesthood in 1969 to get married to a former woman religious. Eventually the couple divorced around the time that Ledins transitioned in 1979.
In news accounts and profiles of Ledins after her transition, the perennial question of whether she was still a Catholic priest arose. Reporter John Dart of the Los Angeles Times explored this question in 1980. He wrote at the time, as reported by the Charlotte Observer this year:
“‘[Ledins] might be the first woman priest in Roman Catholic history in a technical sense. . .since she never sought to be returned officially to lay status, has never been summarily notified of such by the church and, by the usual understanding of church law, is still a priest – though not a legally functioning one.’”
The National Catholic Reporter’s (NCR) coverage agreed with this assessment, saying the first woman priest came about not through a bishop but through a surgeon. Incidentally, Ledins’ had her gender-confirming surgery on Holy Thursday when the church celebrates the institution of the priesthood.
Church officials never formally responded to Ledin’s situation, and Ledins has never challenged that silence. She told NCR that though technically ordained, “there is probably a canon somewhere that spells my demise as a priest” if she tried to celebrate the sacraments. Still, on the 55th anniversary of her ordination, Ledins prayed:
“‘Lord Father, my special thanks for the gift of ordination and ministry over the years. . .And thank you for letting me be here. Amen and amen. Alleluia.’”
How a Woman Became a Dominican Priest, and Teacher of Moral Theology
Hundreds of pro-gay church leaders crossed the Nashville Statement’s “line in the sand” by rejecting it as heresy, and issued counter-manifestos claiming homosexuality is holy.A group of over 300 pro-gay Christians and LGBT advocates have endorsed and published a counter manifesto called Christians United in direct response to the Nashville Statement.
For years, I cared what anti-gay Christians thought about me. Deeply. I spent countless hours arguing the finer points of scriptural history and interpretation with them – especially the “clobber passages” – those six or seven passages that they claim unequivocally condemn homosexuality. I cared so much that I created an Whosoever, an online magazine – back in 1996 with the mission of arguing against anti-gay Christians and equipping my fellow LGBT Christians to do the same. I even wrote a book, Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians, to help others who deeply cared about what anti-gay Christians believed and said cope with the ongoing battle for our right as LGBT Christians to actually exist.
Now, two decades after starting that magazine and nearly 10 years after the book’s publication, I have no more fucks left to give.
Full report: Religion Dispatches
As one example of how Pope Francis’ emphasis in Amoris Laetitia on “accompanying” gay and lesbian Catholics, together with his example of a more sensitive tone in pastoral care, comes news of a new initiative from Bishop Terence Drainey in Middlesbrough diocese. This is described in an article in the diocesan newspaper, Middlesbrough Catholic Voice, written by Fr Tony Lester, O.Carm.
Fr Lester was well known to London lesbian and gay Catholics of what were the Soho Masses, as a firm supporter of the congregation, and from time to time was a celebrant at our Masses when he could get down from his regular work in York.
In his article, Fr Lester notes that this is a direct response to Pope Francis’ lead during the Year of Mercy and his writing in “The Joy of the Gospel”
More at : Queering the Church
Catholic organizations have a particular responsibility to respect them, particularly by honoring their own gay staff members and clients. The credibility of Catholic organizations as Christian and as humane is at stake.
Debates about social issues tend to bring out blanket statements, sweeping claims, dire threats and feverish reporting. They usually carry historical baggage that needs to be unpacked and the contents tested against contemporary reality. This is true also of the coming plebiscite on gay marriage [in Australia: Editor].
A threat reportedly made, and later denied, by some church leaders was to dismiss from employment in Catholic organizations people who contract same-sex marriages. Regardless of what was said the threat will be featured in the coming debates. It may be helpful to set it in its broader contex
Full report: La Croix International
The 14-article Nashville Statement is a manifesto that clarified mainstream Christian teaching on marriage and sexuality, as endorsed by over 150 interdenominational Christian leaders at a Southern Baptist Convention conference on Aug. 25.
The counter-manifesto, however, promotes homosexuality and transgender lifestyles as “fully blessed by God” and “without a need to conform to the heteronormative, patriarchal, binary sexuality and gender paradigm that Christianity has come to promote and embrace.”(Related: Nashville Mayor Condemns Christian Stance On Marriage)
Full report : The Daily Caller
Evangelical leaders in the U.S. released “The Nashville Statement” earlier this week to make clear their opposition to LGBT equality. A prominent Catholic priest has responded by affirming the goodness of LGBT people. The contrast between these two statements reveals just how far Catholic LGBT issues have come.
“The Nashville Statement,” drafted by the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, issues a series of affirmations and denials about sexuality. These include rejecting marriage equality and denying that “adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.”
Full report Bondings 2.0
Frank Bruni, a columnist for The New York Times offered an interesting observation in an essay entitled “The Worst (and Best) Places to Be Gay in America” that was published in last Sunday’s edition. Noting the fact that equality for LGBT people varies widely across the vast and diverse 50 states of the U.S.A., Bruni notes:
“There’s no such thing as L.G.B.T. life in America, a country even more divided on this front than on others. There’s L.G.B.T. life in a group of essentially progressive places like New York, Maryland, Oregon and California, which bans government-funded travel to states it deems unduly discriminatory. Then there is L.G.B.T. life on that blacklist, which includes Texas, Kansas, Mississippi and South Dakota.
How does this relate to the world of Catholic LGBT issues? I think Bruni’s analysis of the political sphere very accurately reflects the ecclesial sphere, as well. In other words, I think that Catholic LGBT people are more affected by local church attitudes and practices concerning sexual orientation and gender identity than they are by the same influences that are expressed or enacted by higher levels in the Church. In other words, what matters most for LGBT Catholics is not what the hierarchy says or does but what their local pastor and parishioners say or do.
Full report: Bondings 2.0
Ministry says it accepts recommendations to allow gay and lesbian couples to adopt, but the Knesset will have to amend existing legislation
The Israeli government reversed its position on adoption by same-sex couples on Tuesday, telling the State Attorney’s Office that it has no objection to the practice.
The Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services Ministry informed the state attorney that it was backing down from its previous position that it would not lift discriminatory procedures, although the Knesset would have to legislate on the issue, Channel 2 news reported.
Contrary to the public’s perception, the ministry said, its original position made no mention of gay and lesbian couples’ parenting abilities “and certainly no negative statement was expressed.” The document also noted that research on same-sex parenting, in addition to the cumulative experience of the adoption agencies as well as hundreds of recommendations to the court to approve adoption by the partner of the child’s biological parent “all indicate beneficial parenting.”
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.809647
It seems the center of Catholic LGBT news right now is Australia, where a non-binding plebiscite over marriage equality has ignited an intense debate in which Catholics are heavily involved.
Earlier this week, Bondings 2.0 reported that Melbourne’s Archbishop Denis Hart had threatened to fire church workers who entered same-gender civil marriages, should marriage equality be legalized in the future. Now, a fellow archbishop has clarified the archbishop’s comments.
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops Commission, claimed Archbishop Hart’s comments had been misreported. Costelloe said individual bishops would decide how to handle such cases should marriage equality become legal. He continued, according to The Christian Post:
“Normally such issues would be addressed, in the first instance, in discussions between the staff member concerned and the local leadership of the school. The aim would be to discover a way forward for the school and the staff member that preserves the Catholic ethos of the school.”
Full report: – Bondings 2.0