In inclusion in church, Sexuality and Gender, Trans Issues on January 9, 2013 at 7:38 pm
The North American Old Catholic Church is ordaining Shannon T.L. Kearns, a trans man, later this month. Kearns (right) will be responsible for starting a new parish in Minneapolis.
“The North American Old Catholic Church looks forward to establishing a presence in Minneapolis with the ordination of Father Kearns,” said Bishop Benjamin Evans, who is presiding over the ordination on January 19. “God’s Holy Spirit continues to bless us with growth.”
Founded in 2007, the North American Old Catholic Church has a mission of social justice, does not submit to the authority of the Pope, and is open to female and LGBT clergy.
“I am honored and humbled to have my calling to ministry affirmed by the North American Old Catholic Church,” says Kearns, who transitioned while studying at Union Theological Seminary in New York. “I look forward to many years serving as a priest.
In inclusion in church, Sexual Orientation on December 29, 2012 at 10:09 am
Thousands of Dutch Catholics are researching how they can leave the church in protest at its opposition to gay marriage, according to the creator of a website aimed at helping them find the information.
Tom Roes, whose website allows people to download the documents needed to leave the church, said traffic on ontdopen.nl (i.e. “de-baptise.nl”) had soared from about 10 visits a day to more than 10,000 after Pope Benedict’s latest denunciation of gay marriage this month.
“Of course it’s not possible to be ‘de-baptized’ because a baptism is an event, but this way people can unsubscribe or de-register themselves as Catholics,” Roes told Reuters.
He said he did not know how many visitors to the site actually go ahead and leave the church.
In Marriage on December 17, 2012 at 5:39 pm
More than a month after Minnesota became the first state to defeat a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, some Catholics say it’s time to acknowledge how divisive that effort was within the church.
Among them is Kathleen Nuccio, a cantor and choir member for St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Grand Rapids.
Nuccio sings during Mass each Sunday, as she has done for half a century. But when it came to her opposition to the marriage amendment, she couldn’t make her voice heard.
“There was no dialogue,” she said. “The only way people had to express themselves … (was) by withdrawing donations, walking out of sermons — which happened — and leaving the church altogether. Many people still have not returned.”
Catholic bishops put significant financial and spiritual resources behind the amendment, which would have defined marriage as being only between a man and a woman, reinforcing a provision against same-sex marriage in state law. The church’s official position alienated some parishioners and may have contributed to the amendment’s defeat in November.
There is no exit-poll data on how Catholics in Minnesota voted on the amendment. Although the Associated Press asked voters if they attended religious services and if they were evangelicals, it did not ask if they were Catholic. National polls find Catholics are among churchgoers most supportive of same-sex marriage.
-more at Winona Daily News
In Marriage on December 14, 2012 at 10:09 am
The Rainbow Sash Movement (Lesbian/Gay Catholics) challenges the policy arm of the Catholic Church in Illinois when that Conference makes the claim that it represents nearly 4 million Catholics in the State of Illinois on the issue of Gay Marriage; such a claim is not based in reality.
The Illinois Catholic Conference also states that marriage is unique because it’s a union between two genders and “same-sex marriage goes against nature.” This is another example of hierarchal bias of basic human rights and fairness for LGBT people. It is not reasonable to deny the evolution of marriage over the centuries with divorce and remarriage being the most obvious example of such evolution.
The Rainbow Sash Movement finds it difficult understand why the Illinois Catholic Conference would align itself with an organization which is part of the ex-gay movement to promote their anti-gay agenda. Courage was founded by Fr. John Harveybased on the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and understands sexual orientation of the LGBT Community as a disease to be cured. The attempt to promote such bigotry under their conference is in our opinion not only offensive to the LGBT Community and most reasonable people, but is also lacking in any significant pastoral intent.
The promotion of such ideas by the Illinois Catholic Conference that love is an abomination when Lesbian and Gay couples practice it in Gay Marriage has its origins in ancient taboos, not nature. This only highlights how out of touch Catholic leaders are with the views of pew-sitting Catholics when it comes to Gay Marriage.
At issue is how to balance competing rights—to freedom of religious expression and freedom from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. We believe it would be unfortunate to replace legal oppression of one community (LGBT couples) with legal oppression of another (Illinois Catholic Conference), and current Gay Marriage legislation to be introduced in January 2013 has built in protections to make sure this does not happen.
We want to remind our leaders the principles of our faith and church are based on: forgiveness, love, mercy and charity. Not the flawed opinions of men – even those in the church hierarchy. We are calling on our Bishops to refocus their attention on caring for the poor and vulnerable
The Rainbow Sash Movement believes that the Catholic Conference of Illinois has a right to create its own definition of the sacrament of marriage, but not to impose those beliefs on the people of Illinois who understand this as a question of basic fairness and social justice.
Perhaps it is time for the Church to remove itself from Civil Marriage if it cannot tolerate marriage equality which is defined by the state, and focus rather on sacramental marriage which is defined by the Church. The Catholic Conference of Illinois is stepping over the line when it tells non Catholic Churches who they can and cannot marry.
It is time to pass Gay Marriage in Illinois.
SOURCE Rainbow Sash Movement
PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1wZdx)
In lgbt equality, inclusion on December 13, 2012 at 8:30 am
With a heavy heart, we report the passing of Bishop Walter Sullivan, retired Ordinary of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia. As a past president of Pax Christi USA, Bishop Sullivan is best known for his work on peace issues. However, no less significant is Bishop Sullivan’s contributions to LGBT equality.
Here are a few of his accomplishments:
- Establishing the Sexual Minorities Commission, the first diocesan outreach to LGBT people, back in 1976
- Writing the introduction to A Challenge to Love: Gay and Lesbian Catholics in the Church (edited by New Ways Ministry co-founder, Father Robert Nugent, SDS).
- Hosting the second national convention of the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian/Gay Ministries in 1996. (The organization is now called the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry.)
Also in 1976, Bishop Sullivan spoke out in support of lesbian/gay civil rights, stating in the Richmond News Leader:
“The issue before our community and the [human rights] commission, however, is not the morality of a person’s sexual orientation, but rather a person’s rights and protection under the law. We believe that a person’s sexual orientation, whether it is one we approve or disapprove, is not a proper ground for depriving that person of the basic rights and protections that belong to all human beings. “
From a statement such as this, we can see that Bishop Sullivan was one of the first Catholic bishops to apply the church’s social justice and human rights traditions to the LGBT community.
– taken from Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry
more at Bondings 2.0.
In Marriage on December 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm
Roman Catholic voters are more accepting of gay marriage than other Americans, according to a new poll released Wednesday.
While same sex unions are approved by 48 percent to 46 percent overall, Catholics give them the thumbs-up by 49 percent to 43 percent, the survey from Quinnipiac University found.
“It seems pretty clear that attitudes toward same-sex marriage in American society are changing rapidly,” said Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Connecitcut university’s polling institute.
“While the country remains split on the issue, supporters have come pretty far in the last four years.”
The poll found that men in particular have shifted their position. Four years ago they opposed gay marriage by 61 percent to 31 percent. That figure is now down to 50 percent opposition and 43 percent support. Women now back gay marriage by 52 percent to 42 percent.
The biggest opposition among any group is with white Protestants who oppose it 63 percent to 32 percent.
-more at NewsMax.
In lgbt equality, inclusion, Marriage on November 21, 2012 at 2:55 pm
EAGAN, Minn. — A group of nearly 100 Catholics is calling for accountability and transparency in the church’s finances.
At a meeting in the Twin Cities suburb of Eagan Thursday night, Martha Turner of Catholic Coalition for Church Reform said she hopes to start a conversation with the Archdiocese for St. Paul and Minneapolis.
“We would like to hear your stories,” Turner said. “We want to hear from you, we want to hear your experiences and your concerns about how the money is used that you donate to your parishes and that some of which ends up in the archdiocese.”
The archdiocese spent $650,000 in a failed attempt to pass a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Michael Anderson, one of the leaders of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform, asked the audience if the archdiocese’s spending was improper.
“How would we feel if the archdiocese had invested a million dollars saying ‘vote no’ in opposition to the marriage amendment?” Anderson asked. “Would we be complaining about that? I don’t know. I think it’s an honest question.”
Several people at the event said the church’s stance made them feel like they had to choose between going to Mass and supporting gay friends and family. They said they wanted to have more of a say in the way the church spends its money. A few said they had reduced their donations or stopped going to church.
via The Progressive Catholic Voice
In Sexuality and Gender on November 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm
NBC’s comedy series The New Normal emerges from a shifting American culture increasingly accepting of new family arrangements and consciously engages the dynamics these present . Recently, The New Normal took up Catholicism in relation to the gay protagonist, David — and did so in a strikingly positive, fact-based manner.
As background, the premise of the show is that a gay couple hire a single mother with a nine-year-old daughter as their surrogate in the quest to have a child. Episode 7 features the couple, David and Bryan, struggling to decide on godparents for their child, as they are two people who identify as non-spiritual.
So often the LGBT community and the Catholic community are pitted against each other in entertainment. The New Normal overcomes false dichotomies to reveal reality. LGBT Catholics and allies have long known that good priests are building welcoming parishes, that the Church is not anti-gay in its fundamentals, that LGBT persons desire a place in the Catholic faith, and that, with commitment, change can occur should we be willing to seek it.
The conversations between Bryan and Father Michael are comedic, poignant, and surprisingly truthful moments for a popular television show. While as a student of theology, I would have liked to see more nuance in several statements of the show’s dialogue, it is heartening to see mainstream entertainment positively reflect on the good relationships and good work of so many Catholics who are trying to make the Church a welcoming and affirming place for our LGBT brothers and sisters.
-full commentary by Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry, at Bondings 2.0.