Pope Francis appoints two laywomen to key positions in Roman Curia | America Magazine

A small step, but significant and important symbolically. Now we need to see this replicated elsewhere.

Pope Francis has appointed two Italian women as under-secretaries in the Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life, which is headed by Cardinal Kevin Farrell.

The Vatican announced this today and gave the names and professional profiles of both women: Professor Gabriella Gambino and Dr. Linda Ghisoni. They now become the third ranking officials in the department and are further evidence of Pope Francis’ determination to assign important positions in the Roman Curia to women.

Both women have already collaborated professionally with the Pontifical Council for the Laity from 2013 to 2016, so they can hit the ground running, so to speak.

Source:  America Magazine

LGBTQ South Africans Find Gay And Trans Inclusive Churches

Is it possible to engage on faith issues in dialogue with queerness? Yes, absolutely! And I’ve seen it happen in my own native South Afrika.

Back in 1995, Pieter Oberholzer, a gay minister, was engaged in a deep struggle about his sexuality with his church. The church refused to ordain him, just as it has rejected many of us who wanted to become its ministers. It was then that Oberholzer started a group called Gay and Lesbian Christian Outreach in Cape Town. He took as his point of departure, the understanding that all human beings have the capacity to live in love, peace and harmony together.

The start-up of the outreach which later became Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM) was founded within a South Afrikan political context that was racially charged with segregation. Oberholzer’s primary goal was to get the churches to engage in the life stories of gay people.

It is 2017, and up to date we have been able to partner with nine Afrikan countries to work on queer issues that relate to Christian spirituality and how we integrate it into our daily lives.

Source: www.youthkiawaaz.com

‘Subversive, scandalous, dangerous take-over’ – A reflection on the growth of Open Table – A brave faith

Open Table – an ecumenical Christian worship community which offers a warm welcome to people who are: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer / Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA) and all who seek an inclusive Church – began at St Bride’s Liverpool in July 2008, meeting once a month for a communion service.

At the first planning meeting, someone said: ‘Will it be “Open Table”?’ When she explained that it means all are welcome, all can come as they are, we felt this was so important because we hear too many stories of people who feared exclusion, or were excluded, from their church community, who felt unheard or unable to express themselves or give their talents. So Open Table was born. Now Open Table communities gather across the UK, hosted by inclusive churches, serving up to 200 people each month.

More – A brave faith

Catholics Help Queer and Trans Youth Start West Virginia Retreat and Farm – New Ways Ministry

How did four queer and trans young adults end up running a retreat house and farm in the middle of Appalachia? The answer to this question can be found in an unusual story of how Catholics who live the church’s social justice tradition are helping to preserve natural resources while standing up for LGBTQ equality.

The Catholic Committee of Appalachia (CCA) has been educating, advocating and raising a prophetic voice for social, economic and environmental justice in the mountains since 1970.  Yet, our organization had not focused any efforts on LGBTQ issues until 2013 when we began preparing to write a “people’s pastoral,” The Telling Takes Us Home: Taking our Place in the Stories that Shape Us.  Research for this groundbreaking document gave due credence to the “magisterium of the poor.” We conducted over 1,000 listening sessions with those on the margins.

More: – New Ways Ministry

Viewpoint: Dear Pope Francis, Thanks, and No One Is Confused | ICN

Deacon William T Ditewig, PhD,from the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, has written the following letter in his blog: Deacons Today: Servants in a Servant Church

Dear Pope Francis,

Since so many people are choosing to write to you, I thought I would too. Many of the letters you receive, at least those shared through the media, take you to task for one thing or another. I am writing for two reasons: to thank you for your leadership and courage, and to tell you that – despite what some are complaining about – I do not think anyone is “confused” by your actions, your teaching, and your writing. May I suggest that those who make that claim are using that language of “confusion” to mask the truth: that they just disagree with you.

To read on see: https://billditewig.wordpress.com/2017/11/02/dear-pope-francis-thanks-and-no-one-is-confused/

Source: ICN

Malachy of Armagh: Same-sex soulmate to Bernard of Clairvaux – Q Spirit

Malachy of Armagh is an 11th-century Irish saint who died in the arms of his more famous soulmate, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. Their monastic community honored the male couple as “two stars of such surpassing brightness” and a “twofold treasure.” Bernard showered Malachy with kisses during his lifetime and they are buried together, wearing each other’s clothes. Malachy’s feast day is Nov. 3.

This pair is of special interest to the LGBTQ community because of their close, loving same-sex relationship.

More: – Q Spirit

An open letter to Father Weinandy, from his predecessor, on ‘Amoris Laetitia’ and Pope Francis | America Magazine

Dear Father Weinandy,

You may remember me as your predecessor as executive director of the Secretariat for Christian Doctrine at the U.S.C.C.B. You replaced me in January 2005.

I am writing this open letter to you in response to your open letter to Pope Francis in which you address what you describe as a “chronic confusion” that seems to mark his pontificate.

According to Sandro Magister’s introduction to your letter, you had asked Jesus for a sign as to whether you should write your letter, you received that sign and thus “no longer had any doubt that Jesus wanted me to write….” I cannot enter into the subjective conditions that inspired you to write, but I need to note that “Amoris Laetitia,”toward which you express great concern, was the fruit of two synods and broad consultation throughout the church, is widely recognized as an act of ordinary Magisterium, and thus enjoys presumption as having been guided by the Spirit of the Lord.

More:  America Magazine

Dissent, Now & Then: Thomas Weinandy and the meaning of Jesuit discernment | America Magazine

During his term as the head of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, Thomas Weinandy, O.F.M. Cap., an American theologian, was responsible for leveling accusations of dissent against several prominent theologians from the United States.

That reality made what happened Wednesday all the more remarkable. Father Weinandy made public a stinging letter to the Holy Father in which he dissented from Pope Francis’ teachings. The irony of the letter, dated July 31, the Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, was hard to miss. The priest who had publicly accused theologians like Elizabeth Johnson, C.S.J., and Terrence Tilley, both professors of theology at Fordham University at the time, of dissent was now himself dissenting.

More:  America Magazine

Will Sexual Orientation Derail Canonization for Fr. Mychal Judge? – New Ways Ministry


As regular readers of Bondings 2.0 may be aware, New Ways Ministry has launched a campaign to find people who knew Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM, the New York City Fire Department Chaplain who died in the World Trade Center Attacks on 9/11.  The purpose is finding such people is to assist a Vatican researcher who is exploring the canonization of this Franciscan priest who ministered to many marginalized communities, including LGBT Catholics.

This campaign hit a little bump in the road last month when National Catholic Reporter columnist Michael Sean Winters claimed that New Ways Ministry was pushing for this canonization because Mychal Judge was gay, and that such promotion by our organization would hurt, not help, Judge’s canonization as a saint.

More: New Ways Ministry

Pope raises prospect of married men becoming priests 

Pope Francis has requested a debate over allowing married men in the Amazon region of Brazil to become priests, in a controversial move that is likely to outrage conservatives in the Church, Vatican sources say.

The pontiff took the decision to put a partial lifting of priestly celibacy up for discussion and a possible vote by Brazilian bishops following a request made by Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the president of  the Episcopal Commission for the Amazon, Il Messaggero newspaper quoted the sources saying.

More: Telegraph