A top cardinal’s words during an HIV/AIDS fundraiser reveals the power of personal encounter to break down barriers and grow in mutual understanding–a good lesson for many bishops when it comes to LGBT people.
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna appeared last week at the “Red Ribbon Celebration,” a Viennese charity concert which supports people living with HIV/AIDS. To the surprise of many, he appeared onstage alongside Gary Keszler, a gay man who founded “Life Ball,” Europe’s largest HIV/AIDS charity. Global Pulsereported that cardinal spoke about “our shared humanity”:
“[Schönborn] underlined how important it was to discard prejudices, avoid thinking in categories and dialogue with people as people. . .
Source: Bondings 2.0
As lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholic members of All Inclusive Ministries (AIM), based at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, in Toronto, ON, we share in the suffering and sorrows resulting from the Orlando mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016. Targeted for their sexual orientations and gender identifications, 49 people were killed and 53 people were wounded. We offer up our prayers for everyone affected by this terrible tragedy and especially the victims and their families and friends.
We at AIM know what it means to be marginalized by society, and the dangers of being discriminated against because of extremist interpretations of religious doctrines. We believe that the way forward out of the cycle of homophobia and violence is to be full participants in the life of the Church and society, and for that reason AIM serves as a bridge between the Catholic Church and its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members.
On Saturday, June 25, 2016 starting at 7 p.m., AIM will hold its monthly Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Parish in Toronto, Ontario. The Mass will include a liturgical memorial ceremony for the Orlando victims. We also will be praying for every lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender person throughout the world who face oppression, intimidation and violence. We invite everyone to attend.
Source: Orlando Statement
There is a rainbow flag flying at Portsmouth Cathedral
There is a rainbow flag flying at Portsmouth Cathedral. On Friday, this will be replaced by an even bigger rainbow flag. We had planned to fly one over the weekend in support of Portsmouth Pride happening on Saturday, but, along with many other churches and buildings around the country, we decided to fly one this week to remember those killed, injured or effected by the horrendous attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando this week. We are praying for those who have been killed or injured and for all those who love them. We are praying for those around the world who have been effected by this extreme act. We are praying for those LGBT+ people around the world who are subjected to abuse, discrimination and persecution because of their sexuality.
Portsmouth Cathedral will continue to mourn with, stand alongside, support and welcome the LGBT+ community. We rejoice that God has made us who we are and that includes our sexuality, whether gay or straight and when you come here you do not need to pretend to be someone else. You and your partner / boyfriend / girlfriend / husband / wife are welcome here – you do not have to hide who you are. Come and be yourself with us as we seek to love God, find out more about God and serve the world God created. Come and offer your gifts and skills and wisdom to us.
Source: Portsmouth Cathedral
“We pray for the many victims in Orlando who were targeted for death simply because of their sexual orientation, and we grieve with their loving families and friends. This tragedy is a call for us as Catholics to combat ever more vigorously the anti-gay prejudice which exists in our Catholic community and in our country. We pray for the Muslim community in our nation, who have acted in unanimity to deplore this act of violence and to reject hatred rooted in a distortion of Muslim faith. We pray for the first responders whose courage and suffering are a witness to the spirit of sacrifice that ennobles American society. And we commit ourselves to a pathway which seeks true security for our nation not only in efforts to identify those who would do us harm, but far more importantly in building a culture which truly embodies and fortifies the equal dignity of every woman and man.”
Full report : National Catholic Reporter
The latest place where reconciliation between the Catholic hierarchy and the LGBT community is desperately needed is Valencia, Spain, where the two groups are coming to legal loggerheads over negative comments the cardinal of that city made about LGBT people and family.
Crux reports that a group of LGBT and women’s organizations have threatened to file a “hate crime” complaint against Cardinal Antonio Cañizares for remarks he made in a homily at the University of Valencia:
“In his remarks, titled ‘In defense and support of the family,’ Cañizares said ‘the future of society is played out’ in the family, and, because of that, it’s become a target.
” ‘On the one hand, it’s the most valued, at least in the polls and even among young people, social institution, but it’s shaken to its foundations by serious, clear or subtle, threats,’ he said.
Source: Bondings 2.0
Most tolerant countries
The Afrobarometer network, which conducts public opinion surveys in Africa, recently listed the continent’s most and least homophobic countries.
In these four African countries, the majority of residents say they would welcome or would not be bothered having a homosexual neighbor:
- Cape Verde, 74%.
- South Africa, 69%.
- Mozambique, 56%.
- Namibia, 55%.
Least tolerant countries
These five are the countries where the smallest percentage said they would welcome or would not be bothered having a homosexual neighbor:
- Senegal, 3%.
- Guinea, 4%.
- Uganda, 5%.
- Burkina Faso, 5%.
- Niger, 5%.
A Catholic priest in Australia has been leading efforts to eliminate the “gay panic” defense in his state. The “gay panic” defense, which allows defendants to claim that a victim’s sexual advances motivated a criminal violence, is responsible for letting two men escape murder charges in a 2008 killing.
Fr. Paul Kelly launched an online petition in2012 to repeal the “gay panic” defense law, which is still allowed in the states of Queensland and South Australia. In that petition, which now has nearly 248,000 signatures, Kelly explained his powerful reason for being involved:
“I’m a Catholic Priest and 8 years ago a man called Wayne Ruks was bashed to death in my Brisbane churchyard. Unbelievably, his killer’s convictions were downgraded to manslaughter, using ‘gay panic’ as a defence. . .
“I’ve made it my mission to see this revolting law abolished – it belongs in the dark ages. I have no words to describe how offensive, harmful and dangerous it is that two of our governments uphold that a person can be panicked enough by gay people to justify murder.”
Source: Bondings 2.0
Lambda, el col·lectiu de lesbianes, gais, transsexuals i bisexuals de Valencia, ha puesto en marcha una denuncia conjunta contra el cardenal Antonio Cañizares por sus comentarios discriminatorios hacia el colectivo LGTBI y el movimiento feminista.
Ayer, uno de los personajes más grotescos de esa institución anacrónica que es la Iglesia Católica de nuestro país se convirtió en trending topic. Y no es que se haya descubierto otro caso de abuso a menores u otro favor de la clase política sino que se ha producido porunas declaraciones discriminatorias hacia el colectivo LGTBI y el movimiento feminista.
What is Faith IDAHOBIT 2016?
Faith IDAHOBIT was created in 2015 as a campaign to mobilize religious leaders, faith representatives, theologians and lay people from Europe to draw the public attention to the misuse of freedom of religion to justify and incite condemnation, discrimination and violence towards LGBTI individuals and communities. Freedom of religion and LGBTI rights are not mutually exclusive, but an integral part of our human rights system. They are conceived to treat everyone with respect and dignity, irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
Source: Faith IDAHOBIT Campaign
Ugandans Report New Cases of LGBT Persecution
Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) has launched a report titled, “And That’s How I Survived Being Killed”: Testimonies of Human Rights Abuses from Uganda’s Sexual and Gender Minorities.
The report is intended to document the many forms of persecution that LGBT identifying individuals in Uganda face. In this report, based on first-hand testimonies, Sexual Minorities Uganda documented from May 2014 until December 2015 the physical threats, violent attacks, torture, arrest, blackmail, non-physical threats, press intrusion, state prosecution, termination of employment, loss of physical property, harassment, eviction, mob justice, and family banishment that are all too often apart of the lived experience for sexual and gender minorities in Uganda.
This report has documented 264 verified cases of persecutions of LGBT individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Of the 264 cases documented in this report 48 involved acts of violence, including 35 cases involving physical threats or violent attacks, and 13 instances of torture by the state. The largest proportion of documented cases involved intimidation, with 84 cases, while 73 involved loss of property (including loss of employment, physical property, and eviction), and 59 involved social exclusion (including discrimination when accessing healthcare, community discrimination, and family banishment) — all of which the Ugandan government has failed to investigate.
Many Ugandans have fled the country as a result of these acts persecution. There is very little respite on a case by case and direct basis. Some make their way to overseas countries which is very difficult to do and others, who have no money or ability to travel and receive visas make their way across borders to become refugees, seeking resettlement by UNHCR.
Source: African Human Rights Coalition
For the full report please visit https://sexualminoritiesuganda.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/And-Thats-How-I-Survived_Report_Final.pdf.