Perhaps the tide is turning for lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Late last year, I made a 10-day visit to Poland, invited by the Campaign against Homophobia to give public addresses, interviews and a retreat for Faith and Rainbow, a group of LGBT Catholics.
I also had the opportunity to meet with Catholic opinion leaders like Catholic journalist Cezary Gawryś to get a sense of the state of affairs for Polish LGBT Catholics. Gawryś has been exploring the topic of LGBT people in the church.
Serving for two years as a volunteer counselor, he witnessed their efforts — spiritual, mental and also financial — to change their orientation. “I saw gay people who were not very affluent, taking loans to pay for their therapy,” he resumed. “The feeling of not being accepted by the church separated them from the community. They often isolated themselves from other people and carried on with their lonely struggle.”
Katarzyna Jabłońska, co-author with Gawryś of Challenging Love: Christians and Homosexuality, recounted an experience she had while working at home on the book. Her printer broke, and she asked her next-door neighbor, a good friend she had known for many years, to print it for her. Her friend returned, printout in hand, crying profusely, and told Jabłońska that one of her sons was gay. Although they had known each other for years, the neighbor had never spoken about her gay son until the printer incident.
The relationship between the L.G.B.T. Catholic community and the Catholic Church in the United States has been at times contentious and combative, and at times warm and welcoming. Much of the tension characterizing this complicated relationship results from a lack of communication and, sadly, a good deal of mistrust, between L.G.B.T. Catholics and the hierarchy. What is needed is a bridge between that community and the church.
I invite you to walk with me on that important bridge. To that end, I would like to reflect on both the church’s outreach to the L.G.B.T. community and the L.G.B.T. community’s outreach to the church. Because good bridges take people in both directions.
Source: America Magazine
In her sermon on the last Sunday of Black History Month, the Rev. Maria Swearingen preached about her belief that black lives, “queer lives,” and immigrant lives matter.
And since it also was Transfiguration Sunday, she pointed to the story in the Gospel of Matthew where God declared Jesus “beloved.” That is a term, she said, that can be used for everyone.
There will be no Academy Award for young filmmaker Stephen Cone’s considerable achievement: Best Movie Depiction of the Evangelical Subculture Without Lampooning It. Cone’s small, heartfelt film, “The Wise Kids” (available on Netflix and iTunes), gives conservative Christians a largely sympathetic but sharp-eyed treatment. Evangelical Christians will find the music familiar. Also, the propensity to end discussions with: “I’ll send you the verse.” And the tendency of evangelical youth to end public prayers: “In Your awesome, holy, amazing, awesome, awesome name we pray.”
But the movie is important because it depicts a traditional religious community in the midst of a moral earthquake. The film’s protagonist (Tim) is a gay, Christian high school senior and not particularly anguished about the whole thing. In part, this reflects Cone’s own experience as the gay son of a Southern Baptist preacher in South Carolina, which was considerably less traumatic than you might imagine. “At the age of 12,” Cone told me, “I wanted to see ‘Philadelphia’ [a groundbreaking movie about a gay man with AIDS], and my dad took me. Afterward, there were no lessons offered, no discussion of immorality. He just let it be.”
Hatred, violence and exclusion are not Christian. It follows that nor is homophobia. Here is some good news on combating faith based homophobia from a Caribbean bishop:
Bishop Holder for support of LGBT
ONE OF THE REGION’S most prominent Christian leaders has denounced the actions of members of the faith who ridicule and condemn those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
At a press conference yesterday, he held fast to the province’s position that every human being should be treated as a child of God irrespective of their sexual orientation.
And he described as “sad” Christians who ridiculed other human beings and “give the impression that they are children of the devil and not children of God”. (WILLCOMM)
– See more at : NationNews Barbados
The experience of LGBTQ people in the church is often fraught with conflict. When a person comes out, their newfound safety in God comes often at the expense of safety within their community. To […]
VATICAN CITY (RNS)
In an interview with a magazine that supports the homeless, Pope Francis suggested wealthy nations are partly to blame for the migrant crisis and urged Europeans and others to stand “in the shoes” of those arriving at their borders.
“Those who arrive in Europe are escaping war and famine. We are in some way responsible because we exploit their land but we don’t make any kind of investment for which they can benefit,” the pope said.
“They have the right to emigrate and the right to be welcomed and helped.”
Also in the interview with the Catholic-backed monthly Scarp de Tenis — which means “sneakers” — the pope specifically praised Sweden for welcoming and integrating foreigners.
Source: Religion News Service