Here are some items that you might find of interest:
1. Members of Catholic Organizations for Renewal, a church reform network, issued a joint statement condemning the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. These groups, including New Ways Ministry, also lamented how Catholics in the U.S. were complicit “in fostering an environment that encouraged and enabled such violence.” They continued:
“We cannot ignore that many Catholics cast their votes influenced – in part – by statements, letters and sermons from clergy that masqueraded as Catholic teaching. At odds with Pope Francis, the official statement of the USCCB, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” placed opposing abortion access and LGBTQ rights above upholding the lives and dignity of the poor and vulnerable, reversing the disastrous effects of global climate change, and dismantling oppressive ideologies such as white supremacy and nationalism.”
2. Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, who is president of the German bishops’ conference, has reaffirmed his support for church blessings for same-gender couples and suggested that church teaching on homosexuality may need reforming. National Catholic Reporter quoted him as saying on blessings, “We need solutions that are not only effective in private, but also have public visibility — yet make it clear that no marriage is being solemnized.”
3. Noted Irish-American LGBTQ advocate Brendan Fay wrote a piece in Irish Central remembering former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, who passed away late last year. Dinkins engineered a lesbian and gay contingent in the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade back in 1991 by leading it himself. An LGBTQ contingent in its own right was not allowed into the parade until decades later in 2016. Fay remembered, “When we passed the reviewing stand near the parade end, [parade sponsor Ancient Order of the Hibernians] leaders turned their backs. This was the day in history when the African American mayor of New York showed us how to hold on to humanity and dignity in the midst of hate and prejudice. ”
4. David J. Lujan, an attorney in Guam, wrote an op-ed in defense of the territory’s lieutenant governor, Josh Tenorio, who was barred from being a godparent because of his same-gender relationship. Lujan wrote in The Guam Daily Post that choosing godparents “belongs solely to the parents, not the church,” and that “no priest is qualified to contradict the parent’s choice.” He further called on the local archbishop, on behalf of the church, and the priest involved to apologize.
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, January 16, 2021