NEWS NOTES: U.S. Priests Affirm LGBT Ministry; Costa Rican Bishops Condemn Marriage Equality; And More

Here are some news items that you may find of interest:

1.  In June, the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests passed a resolution that called for changes in language to magisterial teaching about LGBT people and affirmed the bridge-building ministry of Fr. James Martin, SJ, whom they called a “courageous voice,” according to the National Catholic Reporter.

2. Catholic bishops in Costa Rica denounced marriage equality after the nation’s Supreme Court ruled that legislators must legalize same-gender marriage within 18 months, reported Crux. A statement from the Costa Rican Bishops’ Conference said same-gender couples could be legally recognized, but that “wanting not to discriminate against homosexual people does not authorize the State to confound the natural order of marriage and the family.”

3. Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, was quoted in the La Crosse Tribune about Pope Francis’ recent teaching that said the death penalty was inadmissible. DeBernardo said the move was a hopeful sign for LGBT issues because it was concrete proof that Church teaching can change.

4. LGBT Catholic activist Brendan Fay wrote about celebrating Pride this year, highlighting the experiences of LGBT immigrants and refugees. In particular, Fay, who is from Ireland, celebrated the 25th anniversary of that nation’s decriminalization of homosexuality. He wrote in the Irish Times: “As LGBT Irish immigrants, being familiar with the experience of exile and exclusion, we reach out in friendship and solidarity. Pride brings us together. So, we rise up and parade our pride and hope. We raise the rainbow. We hold hands. We tell stories of how we got from there to here. We remember those gone before us. We empower each other to carry on.”

5. Christians who promote celibacy as the only moral option of lesbian and gay people gathered for the Revoice Conference this summer, reported America Magazine. The conference affirmed “traditional teachings on sexuality,” and featured speakers who prefer language like “same-sex attraction” while seeking to uphold the dignity of LGBT people.

6. Bishop Joseph Toal of Motherwell in Scotland denounced a priest, Fr. Paul Morton, who criticized a fellow priest who had made anti-gay remarks, reported the Catholic Herald. Morton had posted on Facebook (the post has since been removed) his criticism of Fr. Mark Morris, who was removed as chaplain at Glasgow Caledonian University for calling Pride festivities a “gross offense against God” and organizing a counter-protest.

7. Irish singer Brian Kennedy participated in a rally of more than 5,000 people in that nation to show solidarity with survivors of clergy sexual abuse during Pope Francis’ August visit. He told the Irish Independent that he joined as a gay man because he could be a voice for the voiceless, for despite loving the faith he was still not welcomed in the Church.

8. The Jesuit Post reported on the ministry to transgender women of Sr. Monica Astorga, an Argentine Discalced Carmelite whose work Pope Francis has personally commended. Bondings 2.0 has previously reported on Sr. Monica’s ministry, which you can read here.

9. Catholic bishops in Honduras have rejected right wing claims that a “homosexual culture” exists at the national seminary, saying “with complete certainty and truth” the letter by 48 anonymous seminarians in which they called out such a culture is not true. They further criticized signatories for stirring up such false allegations which trouble Catholics, reported Crux.

Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, September 15, 2018

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