Same-sex marriage: many synagogues reject rabbinical council’s ‘no’ | Australia news | The Guardian

Executive Council of Australian Jewry says the Victorian council did not give proper thought to the way Australia’s constitution and legal system work

Same-Sex Marriage Postal Survey
 The Rabbinical Council of Victoria has been urging Australians to vote no in the same-sex marriage postal survey. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Australia’s peak Jewish body and many synagogues have rejected a statement by the Rabbinical Council of Victoria urging people to vote no in the same-sex marriage postal survey

More at:  The Guardian

Seminary Cancels Fr. Martin’s Talk Due to Criticism of His LGBT Book – Bondings 2.0

The following is a statement by Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry, in response to the decision by a national Catholic seminary to disinvite Fr. James Martin, SJ, due to criticism of his new book on LGBT issues.

Theological College, a national seminary in Washington, D.C., has delivered a devastating blow to the Catholic Church, academic freedom, and pastoral outreach to LGBT people by canceling the speaking engagement of Jesuit Father James Martin because some social media sites have criticized his book, Building a Bridge, which encourages dialogue between the institutional church and the LGBT community.

The decision is an impotent one in which the seminary’s leaders reveal that they are powerless to stand up to commentators whose views are beyond the mainstream of Catholic thought. It reveals cowardice on the part of the seminary’s administrators who do not have integrity to withstand pressure from outside forces, and instead opt for censorship instead of discussion.

More at :  Bondings 2.0

Don’t be embarrassed to talk about sex, youths tell Vatican officials | National Catholic Reporter

 Several young people attending a Vatican-sponsored seminar on the upcoming Synod of Bishops urged the Vatican and the bishops themselves to be open to listening to youths talk and ask questions about love, sex and sexuality.

A “big gap” exists between the concerns young people want to talk about and the issues most bishops are comfortable discussing, said Therese Hargot, who describes herself as a philosopher and sexologist.

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops, said he wanted to hear from young adults and experts about the challenges young people are facing in the church and society.

Twenty people under the age of 35, along with 70 theologians, priests and academics were meeting Sept. 11-15 as part of the preparatory process for the 2018 Synod of Bishops on “young people, faith and vocational discernment.”

More at: Don’t be embarrassed to talk about sex, youths tell Vatican officials | National Catholic Reporter

Pope tells new bishops to respect, dialogue with consciences of laypeople | National Catholic Reporter

Francis was speaking Sept. 14 at the end of several days of meetings at the Vatican for priests appointed as bishops for the first time, hosted by the Congregations for Bishops and the Oriental Churches and commonly referred to as “new bishops’ school.”

The pontiff focused the core of his talk on the role of discernment in the life of a diocesan bishop. His address was marked by repeated requests for the new prelates to respect the opinions of the lay faithful in their dioceses, to seek their input in decision-making, and even implied the bishops’ should be understanding when they might disagree with church teachings.

The pope told the bishops that they undertake their ministry as a part of the people of God, not as a person above the other Catholics in their dioceses.

More:  National Catholic Reporter

Students Resist Catholic School’s Anti-Marriage Equality Program – Bondings 2.0

Students and parents at an Australian Catholic school have resisted administrators’ decision to host a program where the presenters advocated that people vote against marriage equality in the nation’s non-binding plebiscite on that issue, which is now underway.

Pro-marriage equality signs posted by students

Officials at St. Brigid’s College, Lesmurdie, a high school in Western Australia, invited a Christian group called “Loving for Life” to lead a sexual education program for 11th and 12th graders. Students claim the presenters urged the registered voters among them to vote “No” in the plebiscite.  Students have responded by posting pro-marriage equality signs around the school.

More at: Bondings 2.0

How Pope Francis Reframes the Politics of Being ‘Prolife’ | Commonweal Magazine

If it means anything at all, “pro-life” must mean also protection for those already living – not just for those not yet born. That includes protection for the poor, the marginalised, refugees, and criminals. It does not support the death penalty. Pope Francis understands this.

Not that long ago conservative politicians in the United States could get away with touting their “prolife” bona fides solely because of their opposition to abortion. Political leaders on the right who slashed safety nets for the poor, denied climate change, and made life harder for pregnant women rarely felt any real heat from bishops, never mind a pope, as long as they were viewed as sufficiently anti-abortion.

Pope Francis is making those once comfortable politicians look over their shoulders.

Since his election almost five years ago, the pope has rejected a narrow, single-issue framing of what it means to be “prolife” in ways that offer a refreshing, long overdue challenge to a binary U.S. political narrative. Earlier this week, in one of his now-classic freewheeling in-flight press conferences, Francis was back at it. When asked about President Trump’s decision to roll back an Obama-era program that protected some 800,000 young immigrants brought to the United States when they were children—the president gave Congress only six months to find a solution—Francis didn’t equivocate.

More at : Commonweal Magazine

Pope Francis: Parents cherishing their kids is a sign of hope for the future | Angelus

As Pope Francis praises “parents devotion for their children”, let us recall that among those parents, are many same-sex couples caring for their own children.

The undoubted value of parents and children is not restricted to conventional opposite-sex couples:

On his return flight from Colombia, Pope Francis said that seeing parents’ devotion for their children gives him hope for the country’s future.

Concluding his press conference aboard the papal flight back to Rome, Pope Francis said, “I would like to conclude with an image. What most struck me about the Colombians in the four cities were the people in the streets, greeting me. What most struck me is that the father, mother, raised up their children to help them see the Pope and so the Pope could bless them, as if saying, ‘This is my treasure, this is my hope. This is my future’.”

Source: Pope Francis: Parents cherishing their kids is a sign of hope for the future | Angelus

Andrew Sullivan: Nashville Statement Is ‘Suicidal’ – Bondings 2.0

“The Nashville Statement,” the Evangelical anti-LGBTI manifesto which made headlines recently, has been roundly denounced by many religious leaders in other Christian denominations. Instead of persuading others to join their bandwagon, the authors of the document seem to have repelled many religious-minded people.  Their over-the-top reach to use Scriptures, natural law, and what they believe they know of the mind of God has backfired and they have ended up isolating themselves more than accomplishing anything else.

Andrew Sullivan

Catholic gay writer Andrew Sullivan critiqued “The Nashville Statement” (“NS”) recently in an essay for NYMag.comentitled “The Religious Right’s Suicidal Gay Obsession.”  His thoughts provide some good ways to argue against the kind of rhetoric that the statement exemplifies.  This is especially important to note since, though no Catholic leaders signed the statement, the same rhetoric often appears in Catholic discourse about LGBTI issues.

More at : Bondings 2.0

Oscar Wilde: Gay martyr with complex faith journey honored in new art

Oscar Wilde is a 19th-century Anglo-Irish writer whose reputation as a gay martyr and LGBTQ role model often overshadows his spiritual journey as a follower of Christ and Anglican convert to Catholicism.

Both his sexuality and his spirituality are evoked by a new public art installation: the Oscar Wilde Templeopening Sept. 12 in New York City.

Same-sex love was “the love that dare not speak its name,” according to one of Oscar Wilde’s male lovers. But while in prison for homosexuality, Wilde wrote that Christ “took the entire world of the inarticulate, the voiceless world of pain, as his kingdom, and made of himself its external mouthpiece.”

More at : Q Spirit  

Transgender Woman’s Ministry Continued Long After She Left Priesthood – Bondings 2.0

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