The Best Catholic LGBT News of 2015

Yesterday, we reviewed the top ten worst Catholic LGBT news events of 2015.  The list was determined by votes cast from Bondings 2.0 readers all week.  Today, we close out the year by looking at what you, the readers, voted in as the top ten best Catholic LGBT news events of the past twelve months.

The item which received the most votes is in the number one position, and they follow in descending order.  A simple analysis of the list follows.

  1. Ireland passes marriage equality by popular referendum, with many priests and nuns speaking out to support it.
  2. German Bishops institute a policy protecting LGBT church employees from discrimination.
  3. Catholics, particularly young people, continue to protest the unjust firings of LGBT church employees.
  4. St. Mary’s Academy in Portland, Oregon, becomes the first known Catholic institution to adopt a non-discrimination policy based on marital status for lesbian and gay employees.
  5. Jesuit-run Fordham University issues a congratulatory statement to one of its theology department professors after he marries another man.
  6. St. Patrick’s Day Parades in Boston and New York City allow openly LGBT groups to march with banners, after decades of refusing admission.
  7. Pope Francis meets with a Spanish transgender man at the Vatican. 
  8. New Vermont bishop makes positive statement welcoming transgender people as he is installed in his diocese. 
  9. After a week of questions concerning Pope Francis’ encounter with anti-marriage equality activist Kim Davis, it is revealed that the only formal meeting the pontiff had in the U.S. with any individual was with a gay man who was his former student, and the man’s partner.
  10. TIE (3-way)  i) New Ways Ministry’s LGBT and Ally pilgrims gets VIP seating at papal audience at the Vatican. ii) Ireland’s two most important archbishops strike positive notes on LGBT people even during the contentious marriage referendum there. iii) At the Vatican, Pope Francis welcomes Bishop Jacques Gaillot, a French bishop who had been removed from office, in part because he blesses lesbian and gay couples.

I’m not surprised that Ireland’s successful referendum on marriage equality was voted as the top story.  What I am somewhat surprised at is that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision enacting marriage equality–and the positive Catholic response to it–did not make the list at all.  Granted, it is not as “Catholic” a story as Ireland, yet it is considered by many news organizations here in the U.S.  (where the majority of Bondings 2.0’s readers live) as one of the year’s top news events, generally.  I suppose the Catholic dimension of Ireland’s success, as well as their hierarchy’s moderate response  (see number 10), made it a more important Catholic story.

In yesterday’s “worst” list, employment discrimination against LGBT church workers topped the list, showing that people are very concerned about this terrible trend.  It is good, then, that three positive stories about LGBT church employment are in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th positions of this “best” list.

Pope Francis is involved in four of the items on this “best” list, though he also was mentioned in the same number of items on yesterday’s “worst” list.  In some respect, that equal number of mentions on both lists may indicate what many have suspected:  Pope Francis record on LGBT issues is very mixed.

Transgender issues are mentioned in two items on the “best” list, and in no items on the “worst” list, perhaps revealing that 2015 was a positive year for Catholic transgender issues?

What are your thoughts about this list and yesterday’s list?  Offer your observations in the “Comments” section of this post.

Onward to 2016!

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry



4 replies
  1. Drew Conneen
    Drew Conneen says:

    I was very surprised the SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage was not in the top ten. Our son was married in DC, a few days after this momentous decision. He is now concerned that despite the court’s ruling, a Republican president’s future SCOTUS appointments could lead to the loss of gay rights for adoption amongst other same-sex issues.

  2. TogetherStyle
    TogetherStyle says:

    These are all really good news but I am sorry that the Paulist Owning Our Faith video project did not make the list. With well produced videos that show a wide diversity of people and catholic practice, it’s media exposure and number of views for both the intro video and in depth videos seemed like an important story. Guess I should have voted:)
    Keep up the good work,


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