As the year 2014 comes to a close, Bondings 2.0 takes a look back at the worst and the best news in the Catholic LGBT world. If you want to keep up-to-date on the latest news about the ups and downs of the relationship between the Catholic Church and the LGBT community, please consider subscribing to this blog. To do so, enter your email address in the “Follow blog via email” box at the top of the column on the right-hand side of this page, and press “Follow.” You will then receive an email every time the blog is updated, usually once a day. You’ll never miss out on the latest news and opinion in the Catholic LGBT world!
Today we look at the worst news of 2014, and tomorrow, we will report on the best items.
A few days ago, we asked our readers to choose five stories in the worst category and five in the best category. Each category had 15 items, and there was an option to “write in” other topics that we might have missed. The following is the ranking of the top ten items from the worst category, in descending order, with the percentage of votes each item received:
TIE 1. The firing of LGBT and ally church workers continues throughout the year, with little sign of ending. 12.7%
TIE 2. Four U.S. Catholic dioceses add morality clauses to teacher contracts which explicitly forbid support of marriage equality and other forms of LGBT justice. 12.7%
3. In St. Louis, a lesbian couple is denied communion at the funeral of one partner’s mother. In Montana, an elderly gay couple is denied communion at a parish. In Michigan, a gay parishioner and music minister is expelled from parish activities. 12.3%
4. The Synod of Bishops on Marriage and the Family pulls back from the favorable language towards lesbian and gay people in its mid-term report and returns to language framed around opposition to marriage equality. 9.4%
5. Liberia’s Archbishop Lewis Zeiglier of Monrovia signs a Liberia Council of Churches’ statement linking Ebola as God’s punishment for homosexuality. 9.13%
6. A hospitalized gay man in Washington, DC is denied the sacrament of the anointing of the sick by a priest chaplain. 7.94%
7. The advance materials for the 2015 World Meeting of Families, to be held in Philadelphia and visited by Pope Francis, reveals negative messages regarding LGBT people. 7.54%
8. Springfield, Illinois’ Bishop Thomas Paprocki says marriage equality supporters should be disciplined like children. 6.35%
9. The U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision threatens to redefine religious liberty in a dangerous way for LGBT concerns. 5.56%
10. Although Pope Francis has asked church leaders not to obsess on issues such as gay marriage, the U.S. bishops, at their annual meeting, re-affirm opposition to marriage equality. 4.76%
No one wrote in any additional items on the ballot. A few of those polled did add some commentary:
Brian Kneeland: “The anti-LGBT work by the church needs to stop and a real pastoral approach adopted by Church leaders!”
Alice Zachmann, SSND: “It was difficult to choose. Each one failed to pass the test,’WHERE THERE is LOVE, THERE IS GOD.’ ”
Casey Lopata: “Until the hierarchy and other institutional Catholic leaders come to accept that gay and lesbian people are NOT defective heterosexuals (but have a God-given sexual orientation on a continuum of natural sexual orientation variations), discriminatory statements and actions will continue.”
The fact that the top two vote-getters are both employment-related shows that this topic is of great concern. Other than that, it is hard to discern any other pattern in the voting. However, if you see a trend based on the results above, please inform us of it in the “Comments” section of this post.
Stay tuned for the BEST Catholic LGBT news tomorrow!
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry