One year ago, a gunman opened fire in Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., killing 49 people in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. This week, Father James Martin tells us why he was disappointed with how many church leaders spoke about the attack (very few uttered the word “gay”)—and what he’s doing to change the conversation within the church between the hierarchy and L.G.B.T. Catholics. (This being the prolific Jim Martin, there is a new book involved.)
In her sermon on the last Sunday of Black History Month, the Rev. Maria Swearingen preached about her belief that black lives, “queer lives,” and immigrant lives matter.
And since it also was Transfiguration Sunday, she pointed to the story in the Gospel of Matthew where God declared Jesus “beloved.” That is a term, she said, that can be used for everyone.
A fascinating blogpost at L’Espresso by Sandro Magister speculates that an article on women deacons at the authoritative “La Civiltà Cattolica” may have significance for the wider issue of women’s ordination.
For LGBT Catholics, the importance could be even closer to home. Consider these two paragraphs from the full text, in which I have made a simple change to just a few words – replacing “woman” and “women’s ordination” wherever it occurs, with “LGBT Catholics”.
Latest From Santa Marta. Open Doors For Women Priests – Settimo Cielo – Blog – L’Espresso
Moreover, another theologian adds, the “consensus fidelium” of many centuries has been called into question in the 20th century above all on account of the profound sociocultural changes concerning
womanLGBT Catholics. It would not make sense to maintain that the Church must change only because the times have changed, but it remains true that a doctrine proposed by the Church needs to be understood by the believing intelligence. The dispute over women priestsLGBT Catholics could be set in parallel with other moments of Church history; in any case, today in the question of female priesthoodLGBT Catholics the “auctoritates,” or official positions of the magisterium, are clear, but many Catholics have a hard time understanding the “rationes” of decisions that, more than expressions of authority, appear to signify authoritarianism. Today there is unease among those who fail to understand how the exclusion of womanfrom the Church’s ministry can coexist with the affirmation and appreciation of her equal dignity.”
The fallout continued this week following the pope’s suggestion that the church should apologize to gay and lesbian people during his flight home from Armenia on June 26. (In fairness, Pope Francis also said an apology was due from the church “to the poor, to exploited women, to children exploited for labor…for having blessed many weapons.”)
The pope’s call for Christians to offer an apology to gay and lesbian people was also carefully welcomed this week by Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego. “I think it opens up a very helpful pathway to dialogue and hopefully healing,” he said. Pope Francis, Bishop McElroy said, brings to this dialogue with L.G.B.T. Catholics who feel marginalized by or alienated from the church a “renewed and deepened focus on the questions of accompaniment and the mercy of God for all of us.”
“We all walk together in a life of virtue and discipleship,” Bishop McElroy said, “and all of us fail at times.”
He adds: “We have to begin to incorporate that mercy into the depths of our hearts and souls in ways that are going to be uncomfortable for us…. We all need to be shown mercy; it is something that binds us together, not differentiates us.”
“What we need to project in the life of the church is ‘You are part of us and we are part of you.’ [L.G.B.T. Catholics] are part of our families.”
Source: America Magazine
Several days ago, Bondings 2.0 reported on Munich’s Cardinal Reinhard Marx’s call for an apology by the Church to lesbian and gay people. His call for apology preceded that of Pope Francis by several days. The cardinal made his remarks at a press conference in Ireland last week, after he had given a speech at a meeting on church and state relations.
Our blog post was based on information from an IrishTimes news story. Since that time, The National Catholic Reporter (NCR) filed a story on Marx’s speech, bringing to light some other, stronger comments he made while meeting with journalists.
“Marx, who is president of the German bishops’ conference and a member of the pope’s advisory council of nine cardinals, called on not just the church to apologize to gays and lesbians, but society as a whole, which he said was implicated in this ‘terrible scandal.’
” ‘The history of homosexuals in our society is a very bad history because we have done a lot to marginalize them. It is not so long ago and so as church and as society we have to say sorry.’ “
Source: Bondings 2.0
Geraldine Roman, the Philippines’ first elected transgender representative to that nation’s congress, spoke revealingly about her Catholic faith in a recent interview with CNN.
Asked how her identity as a trans woman has affected her work as a Filipino congresswoman, Roman answered in theinterview:
“What really hurt me the most was when they judged my relationship with God, because my entire life, I have tried my best to maintain a relationship with God and to be a good person. And for people who do not know me, who do not know my heart, to judge me, especially in public, it was painful.”
Roman said that she did not mind the questions and even criticism she faced for her gender identity and decision to undergo gender-confirming surgery. By doing her work and doing it well, Roman hopes to convince critics that “we’re just ordinary people and we deserve respect.”
Source: Bondings 2.0
When Father Daniel Berrigan passed away in late April, tributes and anecdotes poured out about this Catholic priest who was peacemaker, poet, and much, much more.
Absent from almost all of these accolades was Berrigan’s outreach to lesbian, gay, and bisexual Catholics and to persons who had HIV/AIDS.
Tom Roberts wrote about some of Berrigan’s LGBT solidarity in the National Catholic Reporter. For instance, in the late 1960s the priest sponsored a gay group at Cornell University, according to LGBT advocate Brendan Fay. This act, in Fay’s view, revealed Berrigan’s “heart and his embrace and his willingness to go beyond the clerical comfort zone and to reach out and say ‘yes’ to a need instinctively.”
Berrigan attended Dignity services in New York after Cardinal John O’Connor expelled this group of LGBT Catholics from Church property in the city, and he ministered to Dignity communities elsewhere. In his book Portraits of Those I Love, Berrigan profiled former Jesuit and noted gay theologian John McNeill as “The Jesuit,” a chapter in which Berrigan admiringly called McNeill a person who was “unafraid of the cross.”
Source: Bondings 2.0