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
The Rainbow Catholics InterAgency for Ministry (RCIA), a coalition of LGBTI affirming Catholic groups and pastoral organizers, this past week released a statement of concern about harsh messages that have begun appearing in the lead up to the nation’s non-binding plebiscite on marriage equality this fall.
On last Thursday, Bondings 2.0 reported on a neo-Nazi poster bearing hate speech that appeared in Melbourne. The poster cited a Catholic priest’s discredited research that claims children with same-gender parents suffer disproportionately higher rates of abuse and addiction than those raised by heterosexual parents.
We also reported on Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart’s threat that he would fire church workers who entered civil same-gender marriages should that become a legal option. Archbishop Timothy Costelloe has since clarified those remarks, though not before a major Catholic healthcare provider released a statement affirming its LGBT employees.
Full report: Bondings 2.0
DignityUSA Issues Guidelines for Holy Unions
It has been two years since marriage equality became the law of the land in the U.S., but it has been twenty years since an LGBT Catholic organization here in the U.S. issued their own guidelines for same-sex marriage, way ahead of the general population.
In August 1997, The Washington Blade, the LGBT weekly newspaper of the District of Columbia metropolitan area, wrote an article about DignityUSA releasing a new set of guidelines for lesbian and gay couples preparing for a marriage ritual referred to as a Holy Union (which at the time would not have been a legally binding ceremony). The news article explains:
“At its national convention last week, Dignity released its guidelines for the holy union of same-sex couples. The guidelines, which also include a registry of couples that have joined in a ho9ly union, stemmed from a two-year research effort.”
Full report– Bondings 2.0
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
It took Uniting Church Reverend Ric Holland only about two minutes to place a rainbow-coloured marriage equality sign out the front of St Michael’s Church in Melbourne’s CBD.
By the time he had finished, a crowd of more than a dozen people had gathered at the gates of the Collins Street church.
Standing in the middle of the crowd was a young gay man who asked the reverend: “So, do you reckon you could marry me?”
“I couldn’t help myself, I told him ‘Of course, it would mean a tremendous amount to me to marry you’,” Reverend Holland said.
Full report: The Age
Following national attention and a vocal social media campaign, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens granted a stay of execution hours before death row inmate Marcellus Williams was to be executed on Aug. 22.
In response to Williams’ clemency case, Greitens issued the stay of execution in order to appoint a Gubernatorial Board of Inquiry to look into Williams’ claims of innocence. The five-member board will “consider all evidence presented to the jury, in addition to newly discovered DNA evidence, and any other relevant evidence not available to the jury.”
Full story: National Catholic Reporter
This interview was conducted on August 4. It introduces our readers to Father Martin’s Building a Bridge, released earlier this year. The first part of his book expands upon a lecture that he delivered last year to New Ways Ministry in the wake of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando.]
In publishing this interview the editors of Orthodoxy in Dialogue ask if such a conversation as Father Martin advocates is possible and necessary in the Orthodox Church.
GIACOMO: Father Jim, thanks so much for making the time to discuss your new book with me. You and I share a concern that our respective Churches adopt a more pastorally responsive approach to questions of same-sex love. (See my recent articles here, here, and here.)
FATHER JIM: It’s my pleasure to talk with you. Thanks for giving me the chance to speak more about this outreach to our LGBT Catholic brothers and sisters.
Full interview at ORTHODOXY IN DIALOGUE
Much has changed for LGBT Catholics since I first began this site, nearly nine years ago. In the institutional church under Pope Francis’ leadership, there’s been a marked shift to a more pastoral tone, to replace the harsh rhetoric under Pope Benedict XVI. At the Bishops’ Synod on Marriage and Family, even some conservative bishops acknowledged that the time has come to discard the “disordered” language in official teaching, some others even expressed apologies for the past harsh treatment of our community. In many Catholic countries, laws have been enacted to recognise same-sex marriage or civil unions. In response, an increasing number of bishops have come to recognise the value of legal recognition and protection for same-sex couples, even if not yet for full marriage. Under the radar, a much smaller number of bishops and other clergy are coming to support church blessings for these couples, to celebrate their civil marriages or civil unions.
Full report: Queering the Church
The church must witness within society to what fidelity means and ‘show young people that long-term fidelity leads to a deep fulfilment’
The president of the 2018 World Meeting of Families stressed that “there is no such thing as the ideal family” but that “there is an ideal of family,” which is what the church is seeking to promote through the international gathering of families in Ireland.
In his homily delivered to a packed basilica at Knock Shrine in County Mayo, Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said while there is no family that is ideal, there are “families who struggle, at times heroically.”
He also asked, “How do we help our young people to encounter the path of faithful love as the only truth path toward human happiness? How do we teach fidelity in a world where everything is disposable?”
Full report: The Tablet