Cardinal: Francis considers mandating consultation of laity in bishop selection 

One of the members of the Council of Cardinals said the group is considering whether to advise Pope Francis to make it mandatory for Vatican ambassadors to consult with laypeople before making recommendations for possible new bishops in the Catholic Church.

Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias suggested the nine-member group might recommend that ambassadors be instructed to consult with members of a diocese’s pastoral or finance councils before passing on names of who to consider for bishop.

“This is a central matter for the church,” Gracias said in a June 15 NCR interview. “The bishop is a central figure and the choice of a good bishop is very important for every church. If you choose the wrong person, things can be set back by years in the pastoral life of the church.”

The pending recommendation from the Council of Cardinals could mark a significant shift for the church and for the role of Vatican ambassadors, known as apostolic nuncios.

Source:  National Catholic Reporter

What should the Church of England teaching document on sexuality encompass? | LGBTI Mission

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York announced in February that the Church of England needed a teaching document about sexuality to lead the church towards a radical new inclusion of LGBTI+ people in the church. This will replace Issues in Human Sexuality and associated documents which are a generation old. The archbishops wrote:

To deal with that disagreement and to find ways forward, we need a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church. This must be founded in scripture, in reason, in tradition, in theology and the Christian faith as the Church of England has received it; it must be based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual.

We need to work together – not just the bishops but the whole Church, not excluding anyone – to move forward with confidence.

The way forward needs to be about love, joy and celebration of our common humanity; of our creation in the image of God, of our belonging to Christ – all of us, without exception, without exclusion.

Source: LGBTI Mission

Patriarchy, not nature, makes women unequal | National Catholic Reporter

In a new collection of papers published by an Indian pontifical college, a diverse range of bishops, theologians and lay professionals challenges the global Catholic church to break down ecclesial structures that place women on an unequal or subservient standing.

As Bishop Joshua Mar Ignathios, one of the contributors to Gender Justice in the Church and Society: Papers of the Second DVK National Seminar on Moral Theology (Dharmaram Publications, 476 pages, $25), puts it: The women who prayed with men in the Gospel accounts were there “not to cook for them but to pray along with them.”

Source:  National Catholic Reporter

Pulse anniversary: Church plays wounding role to LGBT people | National Catholic Reporter

When Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 48 others inside a prominent gay night club in Orlando, Florida, a year ago this week, the city’s Catholic bishop, John G. Noonan, denounced what he called a “massive assault on the dignity of human life.” The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishopslamented the “unspeakable violence.” The Vatican’s press office released a statement decrying “such terrible and absurd violence.” Among these sincere expressions of grief, not one recognized the fact that this assault on human dignity and this horrific crime had targeted gay people specifically.

Even as nearly every bishop in the country missed an obvious opportunity to express solidarity with LGBT people in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting, those in the church hierarchy who did respond clearly — including Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich — offer cautious hope that the nation’s most influential church can chart a better path forward when it comes to affirming the human rights of LGBT people.

The first step in what will be a slow healing process is for Catholic leaders to acknowledge the church plays a role in wounding LGBT people by using dehumanizing language.

Source: National Catholic Reporter

As Church Shifts, a Cardinal Welcomes Gays; They Embrace a ‘Miracle’ – The New York Times


NEWARK — The word “pilgrimage” usually evokes visions of far-off, exotic places, but for some 100 gay and lesbian Catholics and their families,a pilgrimage to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart here on a recent Sunday was more like a homecoming.

The doors to the cathedral were opened to them, and they were welcomed personally by the leader of the Archdiocese of Newark, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin. They were seated on folding chairs at the cathedral’s center, in front of the altar in the towering sanctuary, under the blue-tinted glow of stained glass.

“I am Joseph, your brother,” Cardinal Tobin told the group, which included lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics from around New York and the five dioceses in New Jersey. “I am your brother, as a disciple of Jesus. I am your brother, as a sinner who finds mercy with the Lord.”

The welcoming of a group of openly gay people to Mass by a leader of Cardinal Tobin’s standing in the Roman Catholic Church in this country would have been unthinkable even five years ago. But Cardinal Tobin, whom Pope Francis appointed to Newark last year, is among a small but growing group of bishops changing how the American church relates to its gay members. They are seeking to be more inclusive and signaling to subordinate priests that they should do the same.

More:  The New York Times

Archbishop Welby warns African Anglican bishops planting ‘anti-gay’ bishop in UK – Rainbow Gazette

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has slammed conservative archbishops, led by the Archbishop of Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh who are planting a ‘missionary’ bishop in the UK. This is coming after last week’s historic vote by Scottish Anglicans to approve gay marriage. Welby’s letter is his latest attempt to avert a damaging permanent split in the worldwide Anglican Communion over homosexuality.
Recall a few weeks ago, these conservative archbishops led by Okoh agreed to consecrate Canon Andy Lines at a meeting in America this month after warning that Western churches are abandoning biblical teaching on the issue. These archbishops say the new missionary bishop would support disaffected Anglicans who quit in protest at the Scottish Episcopal Church’s decision on Thursday to become the first Anglican body in the UK to allow same-sex marriage in its churches.

Canon Lines, a former British Army tank commander and father-of-three from Surrey, is expected to minister to traditionalist parishes that break away from the Church of England. In Archbishop Welby’s confidential letter to fellow Anglican leaders, seen by The Mail on Sunday, he has warned the African archbishops against creating ‘disturbance and discords’ by intervening in Britain. He accused them bluntly of a ‘cross-border’ intervention’ that would ‘carry no weight in the Church of England’.

Source: Rainbow Gazette