Here are some items that may be of interest:
1) Supporters of Terry Gonda, who was fired over her same-gender marriage after 36 years of service at St John Fisher Church, Auburn Hills, Michigan, rallied outside the church to support her. The Oakland Press reported:
“Catholics of all ages rallied behind Gonda and her wife Kirsti Reeve – holding signs like ‘Hate is not holy’ and chanting, ‘Say it loud, say it clear, all God’s children welcome here.’
“‘Remember when kids wore those wristbands that said WWJD – What would Jesus do? We know what he would do. He would give somebody a time-out,’ said Brian Clark, who serves on the Auburn Hills church’s pastoral council. ‘The Father has created us all for a purpose, but for some reason, we still don’t get it.’ . . .
“‘They really are the epitome of a married couple in the Catholic church, in my opinion,’ said Pam Holtz, former director of Catholic Campus Ministry at St. John Fisher.”
Gonda and Reeve performed music at the parking lot rally. Gonda has chosen to remain part of the parish community in the hopes of building bridges towards a more inclusive church.
2) LGBTQ equality and racial justice intersected during protests at York Catholic High School, Pennsylvania, after a student was required to remove a Black Lives Matter face mask by school officials, reported the York Daily Record. That incident, which happened at commencement ceremonies, has led to wider discussions about discrimination by the school, including against LGBTQ people and people with mental health issues. A transgender alum told those who gathered at a rally, “Until there is space for all of us, there isn’t space for any of us.”
3) In a YouTube video, fired church worker Nick Johns shared his experience being terminated in 2013 as the organist at St. Brigid Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, after the pastor became aware of Johns’ same-gender fiancé. Johns said that it meant a lot to do music ministry at a Catholic church, having served in other Christian communities. To hear more of his story, click here.
4) The Archdiocese of Libreville in Gabon unsuccessfully lobbied legislators in that country to vote against a new law that decriminalizes homosexuality. The new legistlation overturned a 2019 law that had made same-gender relationships illegal. The archdiocese claimed, per a June statement reported in Reuters, “In the name of the wisdom of our ancestors, contained in our various cultures, which celebrates life, love, family, we say no to the decriminalisation of homosexuality.” Despite religious opposition, Gabon’s Senate overwhelmingly approved the law, which had the president’s support.
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, August 22, 2020