There has been so much news and commentary concerning LGBT issues and the World Meeting of Families (WMF) that it has been very difficult to keep up with it all!
The Vatican-sponsored WMF is set to take place in Philadelphia next week. LGBT issues have been a source of discussion since the program includes only one workshop where LGBT issues will be discussed: Ron Belgau, a celibate gay Catholic, will be joined by his mother on a panel.
Additionally, because Archbishop Charles Chaput, the WMF local host, said that LGBT people would be welcome, but warned them against protesting, many Catholics felt they were actually being shunned and silenced. Additionally, Fortunate Families was denied exhibit space, as well as having their board president first recruited and then rejected as a speaker. The evictions of a New Ways Ministry workshop and an Equally Blessed program from a Philadelphia Catholic parish also caused much harm.
Despite these controversies, Catholic LGBT programming surrounding the WMF is plentiful, and you can learn more about the events by clicking here.
What follows is a list of articles and essays concerning LGBT issues and the WMF. Click on the link in each citation to read the entire article.
1) In a commentary for Religion News Service, Tom Krattenmaker examines some of the mixed messages and “The paradox at the heart of Catholic World Meeting of Families.”
2) The fact that the World Meeting of Families will be hosted in the U.S., which this summer legalized marriage equality, across the nation, creates an interesting situation. This theme is analyzed by David Crary of the Associated Press in “Ahead of pope’s visit to U.S., friction over same-sex marriage.”
3) The Southern Poverty Law Center website carried an article, “Pope to Attend Major Catholic Gathering Featuring Supporters of Ex-Gay Therapy,” listing speakers at the World Meeting of Families with connections to reparative therapy groups. Phillymag.com’s article ““Ex-Gay” Therapy Advocates To Play Key Role During Papal Visit” covers similar material.
4) Loretto Sister Maureen Fiedler, in a National Catholic Reporter blog post, says the Church should “Welcome LGBT families to Philadelphia.”
5) The World Meeting of Families’ controversies began when Fortunate Families was denied exhibit space at the event, and when the Fortunate Families president, Deb Word, was not accepted as a speaker. Rolling Stone examines the whole list of WMF controversies in an article entitled “LGBT Catholics Disappointed on Eve of ‘Liberal’ Pope’s U.S. Visit”.
6) “LGBT Catholics say world meeting is missing an opportunity” is the title and theme of Philadelphia Inquirer article which looks at why Catholic advocates for LGBT people want from the World Meeting of Families.
7) Ryan Hoffman, communications director of Call To Action offers excellent commentary and perspectivein Christian Today’s article, “What’s actually happening with LGBT Catholics in Philadelphia?”
8) Tony Garascia, Fortunate Families board president reflects on the World Meeting of Families and the Holy Family in a blog post entitled “On Pilgrimage, What is ‘Normal’ and Variation”
9) Pennlive.com columnist Ivey DeJesus points out an important contrast, which is the title of her essay: “Pope Francis embraces gays, lesbians, but church remains divided over LGBT issues”
10) “Gay and celibate, Ron Belgau is the official face of gay Catholicism for Pope Francis’ visit” is a Religion News Service’s profile of the only openly gay speaker at the World Meeting of Families.
11) The controversy of LGBT programs being evicted from a Philadelphia Catholic parish gets examined in:
“LGBT Catholics can’t lobby or use local parish facilities during Pope Francis’ visit” (Reuters/Religion News Service)
“LGBT groups criticize decision to eject them from church near World Meeting event” (Religion News Service/National Catholic Reporter)
“LGBT Group Rejected By Philadelphia Archdiocese Won’t Back Down” (Huffington Post)
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry