The following are some items that may be of interest:
1. The Nativity School of Worcester, which was sanctioned by Bishop Robert McManus for the school’s decision to fly Pride and Black Lives Matter flags, raised $100,000+ from more than 1,000 donors in the week after the sanction was enacted. The Boston Globe also reported that while the Jesuit-run school is barred from celebrating Mass on campus, a local church has welcomed the school community. Jensy Ramos, an 8th grade student, told the Globe: “Everyone is welcome. Because that is what God would want.”
2. Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça was named by Pope Francis as the new prefect of the Dicastery for Culture and Education. Tolentino has spoken positively of LGBTQ+ ministry as far back as 2010, and faced criticism for his own lesbian and gay pastoral work. He also wrote a preface for a feminist theology book by Sr. Teresa Forcades, who is a very public LGBTQ+ advocate. The appointment is significant because Tolentino now oversees the office formerly known as the Congregation for Catholic Education, which in 2019 released the highly transgender-negative document Male and Female He Created Them.
3. Grace Doerfler reviewed Yunuen Trujillo’s new book on LGBTQ+ pastoral ministry for the National Catholic Reporter, calling it “a worthy guide” for those seeking an introduction to such work. (Doerfler and Trujillo are both contributors to Bondings 2.0.) Doerfler concluded about the book:
“It is particularly powerful to hear from an LGBTQ church volunteer who writes openly about her journey to self-acceptance, her struggles to remain part of an often harmful church, and her call to marriage. Her life testimony and her suggestions for launching LGBTQ ministries make for a book that inspires empathy and action.”
4. A court in Malta cleared Fr. David Muscat of charges that he used anti-LGBTQ+ hate speech “with the court not finding any malicious intent in his writings on the social media,” according to the Malta Independent. The case stemmed from the priest’s posts on social media which claimed being gay is “worse than being possessed,” language for which Archbishop Charles Scicluna apologized and ordered the priest to stop making harmful remarks or face sanctions.
—Robert Shine (he/him), New Ways Ministry, October 8, 2022