Uganadan Lesbian Advocate to Speak at Catholic International Women’s Day Event – New Ways Ministry

A lesbian Catholic from Uganda and a former president of Ireland who has supported LGBT equality will be featured at a Catholic event marking International Women’s Day this March, .

Ssenfuka Joanita Warry will be a keynote speaker for the Voices of Faith’s (VOF) “Why Women Matter” event hosted at the Jesuit Curia in Rome. Warry is not only a lesbian Catholic, but the executive director of the feminist LGBT advocacy group Freedom and Roam in Uganda. A VOF press release said of her:

Ssenfuka Joanita Warry

“[Warry] understands the tragedy that can happen when the Church excludes persecuted groups rather than joining them in seeking protection, dignity and justice. As a lesbian Catholic woman she leads the fight for LGBT rights in Uganda, a country where same-sex relations are punishable by life in prison.”

Warry is also the chairperson of the LGBTI Catholic Club and a board member for Sexual Minorities Uganda, the largest network of LGBT organizations in the country. She was recently elected to the leadership board of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics this past November.

More: New Ways Ministry

Oldest Catholic university in the US says it will provide LGBT dorms for students · PinkNews

The oldest Catholic university in the US has introduced LGBT-only dorm for its students.

Georgetown University, which was established in 1789, has decided to team up its traditional ethos with its progressive values and offer LGBT accommodation options for residents who desire it.

After initially rejecting proposals from the campus LGBTQ+ Inclusivity Policy Team to provide alternative accommodation for queer students, the university decided to approve the demand for the halls and offered their “congratulations” to the team that fought for it.

“Our Catholic and Jesuit values call on us to engage with ‘respect, compassion, and sensitivity’ with our LGBTQ community,” said the campus’ Vice President, Todd Olson.

More:  PinkNews

Indian churches call for homosexuality to be decriminalized

A coalition of Christian churches in India has called for the abolishment of laws criminalizing homosexuality.

The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) represents about 14 million people. It made the call to decriminalize homosexuality in an open letter.

Its open letter came after the Supreme Court of India agreed to review Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. That code outlaws ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’, which includes same-sex relations.

‘Homosexuality and homo-eroticism have been practiced in India from time immemorial,’ the letter read.

Source: Gay Star News 

The scandal may be in not holding funerals for gay spouses, theologians say | National Catholic Reporter

Avoiding scandal

The moral obligation to avoid scandal is biblically based. Jesus warns the man who would lead the “little ones” into sin that it “would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6; cf. 1 Corinthians 8:10-13). He asserts that “temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!” (Luke 17:1). The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines scandal as “an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. … Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense” (2284). It is clear, then, that in both Scripture and tradition, scandal is a serious issue and something to be avoided.

What is not clear, however, and what is not defined, is what constitutes scandal and how are claims of scandal to be justified.

Source:  National Catholic Reporter

The invention of ‘heterosexuality’

The 1901 Dorland’s Medical Dictionary defined heterosexuality as an “abnormal or perverted appetite toward the opposite sex.” More than two decades later, in 1923, Merriam Webster’s dictionary similarly defined it as “morbid sexual passion for one of the opposite sex.” It wasn’t until 1934 that heterosexuality was graced with the meaning we’re familiar with today: “manifestation of sexual passion for one of the opposite sex; normal sexuality.”

More: BBC

German bishop urges church debate on blessing same-sex unions | National Catholic Reporter

OSNABRUK, GERMANY — The vice president of the German bishops’ conference has urged a debate on whether Catholic clergy should bless same-sex unions.

“I’m concerned with fundamental questions of how we deal with each other; although ‘marriage for all’ differs clearly from the church’s concept of marriage, it’s now a political reality,” said Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabruck.

“We have to ask ourselves how we’re encountering those who form such relationships and are also involved in the church, how we’re accompanying them pastorally and liturgically.”

More: National Catholic Reporter

Church Faces “Galileo Moment” on Homosexuality Says Bishop – New Ways Ministry

A New Zealand Catholic bishop has said the Church faces a “Galileo moment” on homosexuality, one being led by young people. Other prelates in the country have opined on LGBT issues as well while speaking at workshops for youth, exhibitiing the dialogical Church called for by Vatican II and sought by Pope Francis.

Bishop Stephen Lowe of Hamilton said it is youth and young adults who are leading the church on LGBT issues. NZ Catholic reported that he told the audience at the Aotearoa Catholic Youth Festival, where three bishops each gave a workshop:

“‘I think young people are prophets of the Church. They always have something to say to the Church. And that’s what has come up. Young people want the Church to be more engaging with them (LGBT people),” [Lowe] said.

“He said the issue of homosexuality may be a ‘Galileo moment’ for the Church.

More: New Ways Ministry

Sr Jeannine Grammick, reporting on the “Rolling the Stone Away” conference to remember the history of the LGBT movement and to look toward future needs:

But it was a remark by Rev. Nancy Wilson, the former Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Church, which stayed with me and sparked some serious reflection. When I met Nancy, she greeted me enthusiastically, saying, “Years ago, when I read about your situation, I knew the sisters were on our side!” I have since thought about Nancy’s words, and I believe she was right on target.

My LGBT ministry was certainly not “mine.” It belonged to “the sisters.” My congregational leaders had vision, imagination and foresight. They were readers, thinkers and women of action who tapped into needs that had been too long neglected by our church. From the 1970s, three successive provincial leaders of the School Sisters of Notre Dame assigned me to lesbian/gay ministry. (At that time, there was no discussion or awareness of transgender issues in the Catholic community.)

Knighthood given to Church of Scotland Reverend who rallied for gay inclusion · PinkNews

A knighthood has been awarded to a reverend who has been instrumental in helping the Church of Scotland battle homophobia.

The Very Reverend Professor Iain Torrance will be given a knighthood for his work in enabling the Church to perform same-sex marriages as well as paving the way for the institution to formally apologise to gay people who have been discriminated against in its practice.

More: PinkNews

Hong Kong priest cancels Christmas mass for LGBT community after Catholic Church warns of gay ‘sinfulness’ | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

A Hong Kong priest cancelled a midnight mass for a Christian LGBT group during Christmas after the local diocese told him that homosexuality was “sinful”.

Compassion HK LGBTQ Catholics Union said it was informed by the priest – at the last minute – that he could not conduct the ceremony for around 30 attendees, after receiving a telephone call from Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha.

Catholic Christian Church Mass LGBT LGBTQ

The replacement Christmas ceremony. Photo: Compassion: HK LGBTQ Catholics Union via Facebook.

More: Hong Kong Free Press HKFP