Priest in Lebanon Praises Anti-LGBTQ Government Repression; And More News

The following are some items that may be of interest:

1. Fr. Abdo Abou Kassm, the director of the Catholic Center for Information in Lebanon, praised a new government crackdown against the nation’s LGBTQ+ community, which had enjoyed relative freedom among Arab countries until recent events. Justifying protests against LGBTQ+ people, the priest commented, per Crux, “You have your freedom at home, but you cannot promote this in the community as it is in fact against nature. The law says so and almost all Lebanese abide by this. . .Our society is not ready for this.”

2. To end Pride Month, St. Paul Catholic Church in Lexington, Kentucky held a “Service of Atonement and Apology to the LGBTQ+ Community” for the ways the church has mistreated and discriminated against the community. The service included a welcome from JR Zerkowski, who leads LGBTQ+ ministry in the Diocese of Lexington, and a reflection from the church’s pastor, Msgr. Richard Watson. Leaders of other Christian churches in the area praised the service, and WKYT’s report quoted Watson as saying it was “unprecedented” in that region.

3 Archbishop Wolfgang Haas of Vaduz, Liechtenstein, backed out of celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation for a local parish after the town in which the parish is located held a Pride celebration that same weekend in June. The archbishop also skipped a joint meal with community leaders that is historically held after the liturgy. Haas cited an alleged clash of values between Pride on Saturday, which was the first such event in the small nation’s history, and the Confirmation Mass on Sunday. He is a known LGBTQ-negative voice in the principality, having called marriage equality efforts a “diabolical attack” earlier this year, reported

4. Administrators at the University of Asia and the Pacific in the Philippines apologized for an event in June called “Ask Father,” which, according to ABS CBN News, included content on whether homosexuality could be cured and how to deal with people who are allies to the LGBTQ+ community. In a Facebook post, the College of Arts and Sciences leaders said they “deeply regret and apologize for the language of this announcement and, more importantly, for having offended members of the LGBTQIA+ community.” The University is affiliated with Opus Dei, an international lay movement of traditionally-minded Catholics.

Robert Shine (he/him), New Ways Ministry, August 13, 2022

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