The Power of Speaking and the Power of Listening – New Ways Ministry

From Frank DeBenardo, at New Ways Ministry:

Three Catholic LGBTQ leaders have proposed “Kick-starting a new Catholic conversation” on sexuality and gender, with the focus of the discussion being the first-hand personal experiences of LGBTQ people instead of church teaching.

Mary Hunt, Marianne Duddy-Burke, and Jamie Manson penned an essay for The National Catholic Reporter (NCR) in which they call for a conversation where LGBTQ people, not church figures, will be the primary authorities.  They write:

“We are Catholic lesbian/queer women who enjoy our sexuality and rejoice in our relationships. We love out loud. It is time to listen to the experiences and expertise of people who speak with integrity rather than authority, whose lives are not circumscribed by clericalism, people who are free to be honest and transparent.

“We need wisdom from many Catholic perspectives, not limiting ‘Catholic’ to institutional church teaching on matters on which the vast majority of Catholics have left the hierarchy behind. It is time to grow up and use ‘I’ statements instead of making pronouncements or pretending to be above the fray.”

Frank’s point is well made. The call to tell our stories is sound – I think it was the theologian Alain Thomasett who described it as a form of “narrative theology”. The Catholic writer Dugan McGinley called his account of published gay Catholic stories, “Acts of faith, acts of love”. Indeed, telling our stories do amount to acts of faith, even as “sacred texts“– testimony. What surprises me with this call, is that it described as “kick-starting a new conversation”. In fact, we’ve been telling our stories for decades. The problem as you point out, is that for too long, not enough senior Catholic leaders have listened. Thankfully, there are now signs that this is finally starting to change.

 

More at :  New Ways Ministry

 

 

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“Gathering Voices” LGBT Evangelical Conference

The Evangelical Fellowship Conference 2017 is now just a week away:
Gathering Voices Conference 2017

At Cross Street Chapel, Manchester – http://cross-street-chapel.org.uk/

To book your place:

London Workshop for Catholic LGBT Families

A constant theme during the 2014 and 2015 synod assemblies on marriage and family, and of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation that followed it, was the importance of listening, and accompaniment for families in unconventional situations. This certainly applies to same-sex couples, but it also applies to families with LGBT members. These ideas are coming into increasing prominence, following the recent publication of Fr James Martin’s book, “Building a Bridge”.

In London, the LGBT Catholics Young Adults Group have arranged a workshop to do exactly this.

Walk with me

A day workshop for Catholic family members of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people. We hope that listening to input from both Mgr Keith Barltrop, chaplain to the LGBT Catholics Westminster, and the experiences of other family members of LGBT people, will enable those taking part to truly walk with their LGBT family members and accompany them on their journey.

Suggested donation of £10 which will include lunch.

 For more information and to register to this event please fill in the form below or contact us on lgbtcatholicsyag@gmail.com.

 (You can also download the poster below by clicking here.)

Kick-starting a new Catholic conversation | National Catholic Reporter

The sorry state of the Catholic conversation about same-sex love prompts us to make a constructive proposal. If we have any hope of moving the discussion in a justice-seeking direction, we need a new approach to the problems of homohatred and heterosexism that begins not with church teaching but with real people’s lives. Rehashing old arguments on the morality of sexual activity, about which there is substantial and deeply hurtful disagreement, is useless.

It is time to listen to the experiences and expertise of people who speak with integrity rather than authority.

We are Catholic lesbian/queer women who enjoy our sexuality and rejoice in our relationships. We love out loud. It is time to listen to the experiences and expertise of people who speak with integrity rather than authority, whose lives are not circumscribed by clericalism, people who are free to be honest and transparent.

Source: Kick-starting a new Catholic conversation | National Catholic Reporter

The church needs to work more closely with its LGBT members | USCatholic.org

The church must reconsider its treatment of LGBT persons, especially those who have been fired from their jobs because of their sexual orientations.

I was visiting missionary friends in Turkana, a remote, arid, and desolate region of Kenya, in the summer of 2001. My friends had asked me to help baptize 40 nomadic women at a distant outstation chapel, about a three-hour drive from the main mission over rocky terrain and river beds that pass for roads. These women were shepherds who tended their communal flock of goats. (The men remained at home to care for the animals.)

Our journey was nothing compared to that of the women and congregation, who traveled for two hours by foot for their baptismal Mass. We were delayed because our jeep overheated. The assembly had already been gathered for an hour and sang hymns while they waited for us.

More: TFr Brian Massingale, at USCatholic.org

Fr James Martin: The Real Scandal

If you’re looking for a Catholic priest who inspires people—and makes them laugh and think—James Martin, SJ, is your guy. At the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s annual conference, he’s greeted like a rock star by swarms of young Catholics who devour his books and remember him as Stephen Colbert’s “chaplain” on the Colbert Report. To say this is unusual is an understatement. Millennials are leaving the church in droves, turned off in part by an institution that has made opposition to same-sex marriage central to Catholic identity in the public square.

This generation of Catholics remains inspired by the church’s rich social justice tradition, has no patience for the culture wars, and is disgusted that their religious leaders are often perceived to be fighting against the human rights of gay people. When I heard the news last Friday that the seminary at Catholic University of America canceled a scheduled talk from Martin because a network of Catholic right attack dogs launched an ugly campaign against him, I cringed. The already-thin thread barely connecting these young Catholics to the institutional church just got thinner. Self-inflicted wounds are hard to heal.

Source: The Real Scandal | Commonweal Magazine

Fr James Martin says Cafod ‘not entirely accurate’ in its account of why his London lecture was ‘cancelled’

‘It was very clear that the 2017 talk was cancelled. And it was clear why: concerns and fears over negative publicity surrounding my LGBT book’

The leading Jesuit, Fr James Martin SJ has said Cafod cancelled a planned October lecture in London because of controversy over his new book, “‘Building a Bridge,’ which calls for further dialogue between the Catholic Church and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics who feel alienated from the Church.

Speaking to The Tablet on Tuesday (19 September), Fr Martin said Cafod’s most recent statement about the keynote talk “is not entirely accurate, and I’m sorry to have to correct the record.”

Cafod, the Catholic international aid agency, has denied that it withdrew an invitation for Fr Martin to speak at an event in London.

Source: The Tablet

Bishop McElroy: Attacks on Father James Martin expose a cancer within the U.S. Catholic Church | America Magazine

Last year Father Martin undertook a particularly perilous project in this work of evangelization: building bridges between the church and the L.G.B.T. community in the United States. He entered it knowing that the theological issues pertaining to homosexuality constituted perhaps the most volatile element of ecclesial life in U.S. culture.

It was this very volatility that spurred Father Martin to write his new book Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the L.G.B.T. Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity. Using a methodology that is fully consonant with Catholic teaching, employing Scripture, the rich pastoral heritage of the church and an unadulterated realism that makes clear both the difficulty and the imperative for establishing deeper dialogue, Father Martin opens a door for proclaiming that Jesus Christ and his church seek to embrace fully and immediately men and women in the L.G.B.T. community.

More: America Magazine

Transgender Woman’s Ministry Continued Long After She Left Priesthood – Bondings 2.0

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

Source: Transgender Woman’s Ministry Continued Long After She Left Priesthood – Bondings 2.0

How a Woman Became a Dominican Priest, and Teacher of Moral Theology



Pope: Church isn’t a customs post, its doors are open

Pope Francis flew to a rain-soaked Medellin on Saturday to console orphans, the poor and sick — and to demand priests and ordinary Colombians look beyond rigid church doctrine to care for sinners and welcome them in.

“My brothers, the church is not a customs post,” Francis said. “It wants its doors to be open.”

More at: Telegram.com