Letting ‘Amoris laetitia’ Be Heard | Commonweal Magazine

Amoris laetitia, Pope Francis’s 2016 apostolic exhortation, is translated as “The Joy of Love,” but its reception over the last year has been anything but patient and kind. A richly textured if occasionally unwieldy document that stretches to over two-hundred pages, the controversy it’s generated has almost entirely focused on one chapter—even one footnote—that raises the issue of divorced-and-remarried Catholics receiving Communion.

A conference hosted by Cardinal Blase Cupich and James Keenan, SJ, at Boston College earlier this month sought to forge, as its title claimed, “a new momentum for moral formation and pastoral practice.” Bringing together two cardinals, twelve bishops, and over twenty other participants—some priests, but many lay theologians—the gathering clearly was an attempt to shift the way Amoris laetitia is being understood and engaged with in the United States. Most Catholics certainly haven’t read the exhortation; their knowledge of it is second hand, often filtered through fevered speculations about the pope’s “plot” to change the church or news reports about “filial corrections” from self-styled guardians of orthodoxy. When those more sympathetic to Amoris understandably respond to such criticisms, it only further establishes the narrative of controversy surrounding the document. If there was one refrain that dominated the discussions in Boston, it was that the exhortation really does have nine chapters—more than the much-debated chapter 8.

More: Commonweal Magazine

Christian counselors condemn conversion therapy: ‘unethical and potentially harmful’

Leading counseling organizations in the UK unite to issue memorandum highlighting the dangers of reparative therapy

Christian counselors condemn conversion therapy: ‘unethical and potentially harmful’
Pixabay | Public Domain
‘Conversion therapy’ is ‘unethical and potentially harmful’

Leading psychological organizations in the UK have co-signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ condemning ‘conversion therapy.’

This umbrella term covers any attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity through therapeutic means.

Alongside major organizations such as NHS England, the chair of the Association of Christian Counsellors, Anthony Ruddle has also added his signature.

In the memorandum, the agencies concerned say that ‘the practice of conversion therapy, whether in relation to sexual orientation or gender identity, is unethical and potentially harmful.

‘Signatory organisations agree that neither sexual orientation nor gender identity in themselves are indicators of a mental disorder.’

More: Gay Star News

Bishop Wants All Families Welcomed at International Catholic Gathering – New Ways Ministry

A bishop in Ireland has insisted that supporters of marriage equality, and all families, be included in the Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Families happening in Dublin next year.

Bishop Brendan Leahy

Speaking to a diocesan gathering about the World Meeting of Families (WMF),Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick said that in a changing world, “family too is changing.” Citing Ireland’s successful referendum on marriage equality last year, Leahy said “all are equally welcome to join in this celebration of family.”

More:  – New Ways Ministry

Vatican’s family chief: Youth must be heard ahead of Rome summit | America Magazine

As the Vatican continues preparations for a global meeting of bishops next year to consider the needs of young Catholics, the cardinal in charge of Rome’s family office wants them to know that they must make their voices heard.

“It’s your moment; it’s your time,” said Cardinal Kevin Farrell, head of the Vatican’s office for laity, family and life. “The whole church is saying to you, the pope is saying to you: Don’t allow the world to control you; you control the world.”

More:  America Magazine

Festival Moves Event After Church Objects to Gay-Themed Content – The New York Times

A human rights arts festival scheduled to take place on Sunday in a Lower East Side church hall was scrambling for a new venue after top officials of the New York Archdiocese expressed last-minute concerns that performances dealing with gay and transgender issues were not in line with church teaching.

Organizers of the International Human Rights Art Festival put out a news release about the event at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church on Grand Street about a month ago. The festival included a comedy improvisation, “Thank You for Coming Out,” about revealing gay identity, and a series of original cabaret songs by Maybe Burke, a transgender artist and activist.

More: – The New York Times

Perth’s Anglican ​​church offers ‘heartfelt apology’ to LGBT community | World news | The Guardian

The Perth diocese of the Anglican church has offered a “heartfelt apology” to Australia’s gay and lesbian community, saying the church was “deeply sorry for any harm we have done”.

As the Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Diocese Glenn Davies was announcing a $1 million donation to the no campaign in Australia’s non-binding voluntary postal survey on same-sex marriage this week, his colleagues in Perth were saying sorry for the church’s past behaviour.

At the 49th synod of the Perth Diocese, the membership passed a motion offering “a heartfelt apology” to “people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer whom we have hurt by words and behaviour that have not displayed the love of God”.

More:  The Guardian

Gay Couples’ Love is “Like the Love of Friends,” Says Australian Bishop – New Ways Ministry

It’s clear from his remark that “Their dignity has to be respected at every turn” and from previous statements that the archbishop’s heart is in the right place. Sadly, his idea that same-sex couples’ love is like that of friends demonstrates as clearly that he just doesn’t understand human sexuality. Just like the majority of celibate Catholic bishops, he’s hopelessly out of touch with reality on this topic. It’s way past time for the church to allow teaching on sex and marriage to be guided by those with some practical experience of the subject.

An Australian bishop has said same-gender couples’ love is “like the love of friends,” weighing in as the nation’s postal survey on marriage equality continues through early November. He also commented on pastoral care for lesbian and gay Catholics in general.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge

Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane made his remarks about marriage equality during an interview with ABC, telling the program’s host of same-gender couples:

“‘That love is like the love of friends. . .It is love and it is valuable but it’s not and it can’t be the kind of love that we call marriage. . .Parents can’t marry their children, children can’t marry their parents. Sibling marrying sibling has always been ruled out. People underage have been disqualified from marrying but so too people of the same sex. . .That is not to say that they are not equal. It’s simply saying that they are not the same and that they don’t qualify for what we call marriage.’”

Source:  New Ways Ministry

Riverdale’s Shannon Purser Shares Inspiring Message for LGBTQ People of Faith | Teen Vogue

She prayed to be “cured” of her sexuality. Instead, she was reassured: It’s OK to be gay.

Coming out can be complicated for many reasons. Whether it’s because you’re afraid of being physically harmed, you’re not sure exactly how your friends and family will react, or any other reason, there are many worries that can go into coming out. For some people, religion can be a factor when exploring sexuality. For National Coming Out Day, Shannon Purser opened up on Twitter about grappling with her faith and sexuality, sending an important message for LGBTQ people of faith.

Shannon tweeted on Wednesday, October 11, that she struggled to accept her sexuality because of her religion. Shannon came out as bisexual in April, and just before she did that she tweeted about how it can be a struggle to come to terms with your sexuality, especially when faith comes into play. In her tweets on Wednesday, Shannon highlighted that it totally is possible to identify as LGBTQ and be faithful.

ant message for LGBTQ people of faith. Shannon tweeted on Wednesday,

More: Teen Vogue

Pope Francis: The death penalty is contrary to the Gospel | America Magazine

Pope Francis declared today that the death penalty is “contrary to the Gospel.” He said that “however grave the crime that may be committed, the death penalty is inadmissible because it attacks the inviolability and the dignity of the person.”

He did so in a major talk on Oct. 11 to an audience of cardinals, bishops, priests, nuns, catechists, and ambassadors from many countries on the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the catechism, affirming that there has been a development of doctrine in the church and a change in the consciousness of the Christian people on the question of the death penalty. The pope’s comments and the timing of them suggest that a revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Churchmay be forthcoming to reflect this new development in the church’s understanding.

More:America Magazine

Pauli Murray: Refusing restrictions of society and law | National Catholic Reporter

Pauli Murray was an African American “female” minister in the Episcopal Church, who throughout her life insisted that she was “a man trapped in a woman’s body”. In today’s world, she would likely have been viewed as a transman. Of interest to LGBT Christians, is that she has been included in the Episcopal Church book of saints, “Holy women, holy men”.

JANE CROW: THE LIFE OF PAULI MURRAY
By Rosalind Rosenberg
512 pages; Published by Oxford University Press
$29.95

I thought I knew Pauli Murray, or at least knew something about her. Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray, Rosalind Rosenberg’s incredibly detailed and in-depth biography, reveals that I was wrong. No one, including many of her closest friends, knew Anna Pauline Murray (1910-85) in her fullness. Rosenberg has done the world an immense favor by presenting, in all its triumph and pathos, the life (or perhaps “lives” is more accurate) of this brilliant and defiant African-American.

Source: National Catholic Reporter