NEWS NOTES: Colorado Teen Who Challenged Church Finds Support; The Times Profiles Activist Brendan Fay; And More

1. Johnny Hultzapple, the gay Catholic teen who challenged Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila’s efforts to bring in “ex-gay” ministry to the archdiocese, has received “overwhelming” messages of support since his op-ed first appeared in February. The Colorado Times Recorder quoted the student as saying people globally were “thanking me, apologizing to me on behalf of the church, stating their support for me, and recounting personal experiences that are similar to mine.” Jocelyn Sideco, a youth minister, wrote in National Catholic Reporter about teens like Hutzapple who speak out courageously, and asked herself, “As a Catholic educator, how can I get out of the way of this kind of courage and allow them to breathe new life into our world, into our church?”

2. Finn Stannard, a teen who came out as gay during an assembly at his Sydney, Australia, Catholic high school, has been widely supported as well. But he called on Australian schools to work harder at ensuring they are safe environments for LGBTQ students, telling SBS News, “Being able to start questions in a school environment where people can start to feel comfortable, and honest, and happy with who they are, and acknowledge other people for their differences, is really the goal.”

3. The New York Times profiled gay Irish activist Brendan Fay, the person behind efforts to make New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade LGBT-inclusive. The profile detailed what Fay does on an average Sunday, which includes helping Dignity/New York and other LGBT efforts in which Fay and his spouse, Tom Moulton, are involved.

4. Archbishop Wilton Gregory was installed to lead the Archdiocese of Washington last week. Gregory has a generally positive record on LGBTQ issues, including allowing the cathedral in Atlanta where he previously served to host group for the families of LGBTQ people. He acknowledged as early as 2014 that the Church needed to improve its pastoral care for LGBTQ persons, and in 2017 defended both Fr. James Martin, S.J., and another affirming priest against right wing attacks. After marriage equality was legalized in the U.S. he called for all sides to be respectful and civil.

Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, March 27, 2019

2 replies
  1. Pa
    Pa says:

    My heart goes, out to this young man….congratulations on your courage, intelligence and integrity. My question to the clergy who, by now, have heard so many personal, heart-rending examples of heartache, is this: what is your criteria for determining truth? What studies have you made regarding LGBTQ existence? I just want to know. Thank you.


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