The European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups has announced that its 2019 Annual Conference will be hosted by its UK-based member groups in June 2019, in London.
The UK member-groups include: Evangelical Fellowship of LGBT Christians, LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council, Metropolitan Community Church North London, Quest, The Sibyls. A number of other LGBT Christian groups around the UK, although not members of the European Forum, have also expressed interest in supporting the 2019 Conference. This will be the third European Forum Conference to be held in the UK – previous venues have been Uxbridge (1988), Edinburgh (2000), and St. Alban’s (2008). The founding gathering of the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups took place in Paris, in 1982.
Martin Pendergast, Acting-Chair of the 2019 Conference Planning Group said:
When we see so much fragmentation around Europe – border restrictions, and increasing homophobic and transphobic actions – LGBT Christians and their allies will provide a prophetic voice for an inclusive, welcoming commitment to the common good of all European citizens, particularly LGBT+ people, parents and families. Brexit may or may not happen, but we’re all European even beyond the EU!
The UK Conference will follow the 2018 Conference which will be held in Albano, near Rome, 9-13 May 2018.
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
The Evangelical Fellowship Conference 2017 is now just a week away:
At Cross Street Chapel, Manchester – http://cross-street-chapel.org.uk/
To book your place:
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
(You can also download the poster below by clicking here.)
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 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
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
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