Interfaith Leaders Denounce Bishop’s Anti-Transgender Comments; LGBTQ Youth Group Criticizes Pope Francis; and More

Here are some items you might find of interest:

1. Interfaith religious leaders near Worcester, Massachusetts, published an op-ed distancing themselves from the city’s Catholic Bishop Robert McManus who earlier this year made deeply offensive comments about transgender people. The religious leaders explained that while they respect the bishop’s right to express his beliefs:

“[W]e feel strongly called to write a public statement of affirmation for our transgender family, friends and neighbors who may believe that Bishop McManus’ teachings are reflective of other religious — and specifically Christian — moral teaching. They are not. As voices for other communities of faith, including many Christian churches, we respectfully disagree with most of Bishop McManus’ statements in these articles. We fully accept transgender identity and the scientific grounding of transgender identity, drawing on widely accepted medical standards and thoroughly researched studies in physiology and psychology.”

2. Equal Future, an LGBTQ group focused on youth, criticized Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Christus vivit released earlier this year as a “missed opportunity” for addressing the situation of LGBTQ youth. The document was the pope’s response to the 2018 Synod on Youth.  The group accused Francis of “airbrushing . . . the lives and aspirations of millions of young LGBT people from the document” and said he “compounds the damage being done to young people.”

3. Newly-appointed Archbishop Renatus Nkwande of Mwanza, Tanzania, included homosexuality as three vices (the others being witchcraft and abortion) which deserved condemnation as products of colonialism. At the 2015 Synod on the Family, Nkwande also warned against “turning vices into new human rights” as he decried same-gender relationships.

4. Dignity/Washington helped fund a funeral for Ashanti Carmon, a transgender woman murdered outside Washington, D.C.  Her family did not have the funds for services, and they refused to acknowledge Carmon’s identity as a woman. LGBTQ advocates and people of faith gathered at a separate “Celebration of Lives” to remember Carmon and the other transgender people murdered in hate crimes this year.

5. A reviewer in U.S. Catholic wrote about two movies addressing conversion therapy, Boy Erased and The Miseducation of Cameron Post. The reviewer supported church teaching on homosexual relationships, but pointed out the movies were helpful nonetheless, writing, “Of course, even a movie as well-made and thoughtful as Boy Erased can’t solve the mystery of human sexuality for anyone or any church. But that’s not a movie’s job. Its job is to show us the emotional truth and many-sided complexities of the human condition, and that this one does.”

Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, July 6, 2019

2 replies
  1. Mary Jo
    Mary Jo says:

    Thank heavens for the Interfaith leadership. It’s time for leaders and members of Christian faiths to rise up and be heard and stand against the bigotry of the Roman Catholic Church

  2. Janelle Lazzo
    Janelle Lazzo says:

    Re the movie “Boy Erased”. Thoughtful? Yes, Helpful? No. Unless it is to illustrate how much damage well-meaning people can do to their fellow men. I was in tears.


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