Here are some items you may find of interest:
1. A Scottish monk with a virulently anti-LGBTQ record has been excommunicated for attacking Pope Francis as a “great heretic” who is “behaving in an ambiguous fashion towards homosexuals.” Bishop Brian McGee of Argyll and the Isles issued the decree against the monk, Damon Jonah Kelly, who has repeatedly been in legal trouble over his anti-LGBTQ actions. Queerty reported that in 2019, Kelly told a priest to “hang himself” for being LGBTQ-supportive. Kelly was sentenced to 250 hours of community service for the comment. In 2014, he was pleaded guilty to harassment charges for distributing pamphlets suggesting HIV/AIDS was “God’s punishment” and that gay people were “like vampires.” That infraction’ssentence was overturned on appeal.
2. LGBTQ advocates in Michigan have launched a group, Fair and Equal Michigan, to help get protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity into state law via a ballot referendum if state legislators do not take it up first, reported The Detroit News. The Michigan Catholic Conference has made limited comments so far with spokesperson David Maluchnik saying it “requires analysis” to ensure the rights of religious individuals and institutions would be protected, but that church teaching does emphasize human dignity and rejects discrimination.
3. Belize’s Supreme Court struck down the remaining barriers to the legalization of homosexuality, ruling that “sex” includes “sexual orientation” in law, the end of a decade-long legal fight that once involved the Catholic Church. A lower court had vacated the law in 2016, but conservative groups, led in part by Bishop Lawrence Nicasio and the local church, appealed the ruling. The church withdrew from the case in 2018, helping pave the way for this current ruling. It was reported in 2019 that Pope Francis had directly intervened to stop the church’s involvement.
4. Two members of the town council of Wood Buffalo, Alberta, appealed to their Catholic faith in supporting a ban on conversion therapy. Councillor Verna Murphy responded to Baptist minister’s gay-negative comments by saying, “Sitting here as a heterosexual Catholic woman I found some of your comments very offensive . . . To somehow insinuate being gay is not healthy… I find that offensive so I can’t imagine being a gay person and coming to your church.'” Councillor Keith McGrath, who also serves of the Fort McMurray Catholic School Division board, said conversion therapy was “brainwashing” and that “some parts of the bible need to be revisited and renewed,” according to Fort McMurray Today.
5. In an Epiphany Sunday homily, Bishop Giampolo Crepaldi of Trieste, Italy, decried an “unprecedented attack” on Jesus over the Christmas season that included “the vulgar and blasphemous identification of his person with being gay,” an attack the bishop blamed on “liberal intellectuals,” reported Novena News.
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, February 2, 2020