NEWS NOTES: U.S. Bishops Appoint New Religious Liberty Chair; Hungarians Support Anti-LGBTQ Polish Bishop; And More

Here are some items you might find of interest:

1. Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, Massachusestts, has been appointed acting chairperson of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Religious Liberty after former chair Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville resigned to undergo treatment for cancer. A new chairperson will be elected at the bishops’ fall meeting. McManus made headlines earlier this year after claiming a gender transition is similar to having one’s hand amputated to install a pirate hook, comments which were denounced by both officials at the College of the Holy Cross where he made them and by local Worcester interfaith leaders.

2. Archbishop András Veres of Győr, Hungary has expressed support for Krakow’s Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski who has been criticized for claiming the LGBTQ movement is a “rainbow disease.” Veres, who heads the Hungarian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said the Hungarian bishops were “dumbfounded by the undeserved attacks you suffered” for simply explaining church teaching. A number of Polish prelates, as well as church leaders in the Czech Republic and Slovakia have offered their support for Jedraszewski.

3. Chris Williams, S.J., wrote in The Jesuit Post about his pilgrimage during formation where he learned of God’s grace in the LGBT community. Williams shared that while relying on others’ generosity for his travels, he met a same-gender couple at San Francisco’s Holy Redeemer Parish. The couple, Randy and Jeff, invited him to stay with them, an invitation that Williams questioned. But in the end, he concluded:

“Through my relationship with Jeff and Randy, I grew in the invaluable gift of empathy for LGBT persons in the Church. In them, despite the fact that their lives did not totally conform to Church teaching, I experienced undeniable beauty, love, and generosity.

“However, Randy and Jeff were not simply the token “gay couple” I met in the Castro. Their gift to me reached far beyond empathy. They were the face of Christ on my pilgrimage. How they treated me, they welcomed the stranger, fed the hungry, comforted the afflicted, housed the homeless, and intimately shared their very selves. They brought me God’s truth and providence with their actions.”

4. A Catholic couple has filed a lawsuit against local and state officials in Connecticut for wrongly removing their teenage child from the family’s home over claims the child was being mistreated because she is a lesbian. The child reported to a school guidance counselor in 2017 that part of her mental health issues, including suicidal ideations, had to do with her parents mistreating her because her sexual orientation conflicted with their religious beliefs. The parents claim the child has since withdrawn those allegations, and  they said their criticism was about her use of drugs and alcohol. The defendants are not commenting at this time.

Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, August 18, 2019

2 replies
  1. Mary Joyce-I go by my middle name Joyce Buchanan
    Mary Joyce-I go by my middle name Joyce Buchanan says:

    Regarding Chris Williams comment on the gay couple. If every parent had a gay child and fully accepted them, they would see what Chris Williams saw in that couple.
    I would rather be in the company of the many gay people I know than in the company of many straight and hypocritical ones. We are all children of God, His creation.

  2. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    Hard to understand the unchristian action by that diocese. I am Catholic: a daily communicant. We just had a homily yesterday encouraging Catholics who have left, to come back to the church. They left because of the priest scandals. Perhaps the diocese leaders’ time and resolve would better serve the church by finding and punishing those predator priests (still out there).
    Makes it hard to be a member of the church when you read this bigotry re the LGBTQ


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