Here are some items that you may find of interest:
1. Bishop John Stowe, OFM, Conv., of Lexington, Kentucky, has been named the bishop-president of Pax Christi USA, according to the National Catholic Reporter. Bishop Stowe has an LGBT-positive record, including support for Fr. James Martin’s book on LGBT issues in the church and for an interfaith pride celebration. He also gave spiritual reflections at New Ways Ministry’s 2017 Symposium.
2. In Hong Kong, a Christmas Mass for LGBT Catholics was cancelled after the bishop intervened and requested the priest who would celebrate the Mass cancel it at the last minute. The Diocese of Hong Kong denied these claims, which were made by the host group: Compassion HK LGBTQ Catholics Union. An alternative liturgy was held in place of Mass, reported Hong Kong Free Press.
3. Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a Catholic who first proposed that nation’s postal survey on marriage equality and was a vocal opponent against LGBT rights, attended the civil wedding of his lesbian sister, Christine Forster. In a statement, Abbott called it, a “great family occassion” and said he was “looking forward to have a new sister-in-law.”
4. A priest in Poland, Fr. Adam Boniecki, has been barred from making public statements to the media, in part because he has spoken openly against anti-gay discrimination. Boniecki was formerly the editor-in-chief of the liberal Catholic newspaper Tygodnik Powszechny and director of the Polish language edition of the Vatican’s newspaper.
5. A children’s book featuring a gay couple and a lesbian couple along with their children has stirred controversy in the traditionally-Catholic nation of Croatia. The book, titled “My Rainbow Family,” was criticized by a conservative Catholic group who said it had “a clear political and ideological agenda” and appealed to the government to ban it from schools. Despite a civil unions law since 2014, LGBT Croatians still do not have adoption rights, reported The Malaysian Insight.
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, February 24, 2018