The sorry state of the Catholic conversation about same-sex love prompts us to make a constructive proposal. If we have any hope of moving the discussion in a justice-seeking direction, we need a new approach to the problems of homohatred and heterosexism that begins not with church teaching but with real people’s lives. Rehashing old arguments on the morality of sexual activity, about which there is substantial and deeply hurtful disagreement, is useless.
It is time to listen to the experiences and expertise of people who speak with integrity rather than authority.
We are Catholic lesbian/queer women who enjoy our sexuality and rejoice in our relationships. We love out loud. It is time to listen to the experiences and expertise of people who speak with integrity rather than authority, whose lives are not circumscribed by clericalism, people who are free to be honest and transparent.
Source: Kick-starting a new Catholic conversation | National Catholic Reporter
Emboldened by Pope Francis, church reformers are endorsing a call by the Brazilian bishops for a Year of the Laity, expanded to include conferences and observances around the world from November of this year until November 2018.
The meetings will focus on why “the people of God need to be treated equally in the church” and “the people taking the Gospel out into the world,” Rene Reid, director of Catholic Church Reform International, told NCR.
Full report: National Catholic Reporter
1968’s ‘Humane Vitae’ has done massive harm to the Catholic Church and has been largely ignored by many, writes TP O’Mahony
Time for a renunciation of anti-contraception doctrine by the Catholic Church
It is surely time for an open, direct, and formal renunciation of Humanae Vitae — the 1968 anti-contraception encyclical from Pope Paul VI.
This ill-conceived document has caused enormous harm, not least to papal authority, and been the source of worry, stress, and misery for millions of Catholic couples around the globe.
It’s publication on July 25, 1968, caused widespread disappointment and even dismay, and sparked a huge controversy.
At the time, I wrote that the crisis it created was the greates the Catholic Church had faced since the Reformation in the 16th century.
In retrospect, that was no exaggerated claim, and today — nearly 50 years later — we are still living with the divisions stemming from that encyclical. In the aftermath of its appearance, millions of Catholics stopped going to confession and many others abandoned the Church altogether.
Christopher Lamb at the Tablet speculates that one outcome from the synod could be substantial devolution of responsibility for sensitive pastoral decisions to to local bishops. If this does occur, this would have major importance for gay and lesbian Catholics, especially in Northern Europe.
The definition of “synodal” is a walking together and an exercise of governance by local churches with Rome. At the same time Pope Francis has stressed the synod is not a parliament looking for agreement or compromises.It seems likely, therefore, that an outcome of the process will be greater powers to local churches to work out how to respond to pastoral dilemmas.Francis has indicated that he favours such an approach, outlined in a book by the former Archbishop of San Francisco, John Quinn, in a short book Ever Ancient, Ever New: Structures of Communion in the Church which explains how a decentralisation, based on the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, could be achieved.The book was sent to Pope Francis who told Quinn last year it was “very important”.
Full report: The Tablet – Blogs
Pope Francis told a Roman Catholic meeting on family issues on Monday that the Church should not be a stuffy “museum of memories” but have the courage to change if that was what God wanted.
Source: Pope says Church can’t be ‘museum’, must be open to change | Reuters
Earlier this year the Pontifical Council for the Family organized three seminars which gathered scholars to discuss marriage and family life in the run-up to the Synod on the Family being held in October.
Source: Seminar speakers advocate change on Communion for the divorced-and-remarried :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)
It’s not at all clear what the Pope means by asking bishops to “stay close to” their priests. Is this in support of them – or in order to keep a watchful eye on them, and any possible transgressions?
Either way, it’s worth noting that an estimated one in ten Austrian priests have signed the public declaration by the Austrian Priests’ Initiative, the “Call to Disobedience”. That’s a high proportion, for priests who are dependant on the bishops for their homes and livelihoods, and for a document which goes beyond a simple call for reform, to one for active disobedience.
Source: The Catholic Tipping Point (http://www.catholictippingpoint.org/)
There are numerous problems with the methodology and bishops’ handling of the papal attempt to consult the laity on marriage and family, in preparation for the Extraordinary Synod next year – but even with these problems and flaws, there remains value in the exercise.
At Teología Sin Censura Blog, José María Castillo discusses the survey, and why he sees it as “revolutionary”, in spite of its manifest faults. The original post in in Spanish, but a reliable translation is provided by Rebel Girl at Iglesia Descalza