Irish Bishops Approve LGBTQ-Negative Sex Education Program; And Other News

The following are some items that may be of interest:

1. The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference approved a new sex education curriculum for Catholic schools that has faced concerns over its treatment of LGBTQ+ issues. The curriculum, known as “Flourish,” will now be used for Catholic schools in Northern Ireland. But critics, including former Irish president Mary McAleese, have claimed it presents negative messaging about LGBTQ+ people that could be harmful, and that it withholds factual information about sexuality and gender. Last year, some schools already said they would not be using the curriculum over such concerns. To learn more, visit The Tablet.

2. Jesuit Fr. Jim McDermott wrote in America about “The Power of the Dog,” an Oscar-winning film which features a protagonist who is a deeply-closeted gay man. In McDermott’s review, he critiques the portrayal of this character, writing, in part:

“[T]he film mostly reinforces the longstanding and problematic trope of the tortured homosexual, which only further identifies L.G.B.T. people with their trauma. What exactly will it take for Hollywood to finally put away this painful cliché and celebrate stories of L.G.B.T. people that do not involve them being brutalized in one way or another?”

3. A group for lesbian and gay Catholics, Devenir un en Christ (Becoming One in Christ), celebrated its 35th anniversary with a pilgrimage to the Vatican. The group operates in France, Belgium, and Canada, and its president, Jean-Philippe Cavroy, spoke with La Croix International about what the pilgrimage means, what message the group has for Pope Francis, and how they deal with opposition. The interview can be read here.

4. CBS News profiled one of the U.S.’ leading LGBTQ-friendly parishes, Most Holy Redeemer in San Francisco, focusing on the experience of a gay couple, Jim Laufenberg and Mike Daly. The profile tells of the couple’s meeting at church, service there, and their struggle for equal marriage rights. The piece also highlighted the impact of AIDS and the parish’ legacy of ministry to people who suffer with the disease.

5. The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See (Vatican) again flew a Pride flag in June, after first doing so last year when President Joe Biden took office. A tweet of the flag outside the embassy building can be viewed here.

Robert Shine (he/him), New Ways Ministry, July 2, 2022

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