Today’s post offers the second set of results of Bondings 2.0’s annual poll about “The Best and Worst Catholic LGBTQ+ News Events” of the year. Yesterday’s post provided the top ten WORST Catholic LGBTQ+ news events, based on a poll of our readers. Today, we close out the year with the BEST Catholic LGBTQ+ news events from the same poll. Thanks to all who offered their opinions by voting!
After each event, we have included the percentage of votes received. Following the list is a little analysis of the rankings. You are encouraged to provide your own analysis in the “Comments” section of this post.
The Top Ten Best Catholic LGBTQ+ News Events of 2022
- Germany’s Synodal Way, including its bishop members, approves resolutions asking the church to no longer consider same-gender sexual acts as sinful and to affirm transgender and intersex identities. 77%
- Pope Francis thanks Sister Jeannine Gramick for her 50 years of LGBTQ+ ministry, saying her work was “in the style of God.” 65%
- The Flemish bishops in Belgium issued a positive new initiative on LGBTQ+ pastoral care that includes a liturgy for blessing same-gender couples. 46%
- TIE A desire for reform on LGBTQ+ issues in the church emerges in many diocesan and national reports for the Synod, ultimately appearing twice in the Vatican’s Continental Stage document. 45%
- TIE Catholic politicians, including President Joe Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, help pass the Respect for Marriage Act. 45%
- Santa Fe’s Archbishop John Wester encourages baptisms for the children of LGBTQ+ parents, including same-gender couples. 29%
- The Nativity School of Worcester raises $100,000 in one week after Bishop Robert McManus stripped the school of its Catholic identity for flying Pride and Black Lives Matter flags. 28%
- Three Catholic high schools in Omaha reject an anti-transgender policy announced by the Archdiocese, which was retracted after pushback and re-issued later in a less severe form. 27%
- Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., questions why the church will “bless armaments but not some couples” during a speech at the Pax Christi USA national conference. 26%
- 125 LGBTQ+ church workers in Germany come out publicly as part of the #OutInChurch campaign calling for gender and sexuality reforms in the church, a campaign greeted by many bishops. 23%
In yesterday’s analysis, we noted how the list of worst events was dominated by actions from bishops, but we also noted that this negative pattern was not the whole story. In looking at this list of best events, we note that five of the ten were actions that involved members of the hierarchy. It is also noteworthy that the other five events focused on actions of the laity, again revealing that the majority of Catholics are pro-LGBTQ+.
In assembling the nominees for these lists, we combed over the posts from the last 365 days. We have to admit that it was MUCH harder to find negative stories than positive stories. And it was equally hard to limit ourselves to a reasonable number of positive stories because there were, in fact, so many. Of particular note is that of these many positive stories, a great number of them came from Germany, which has emerged as the epicenter of pro-LGBTQ+ Catholic work and ministry! To our friends in Germany, we say: “Herzliche Glückwünsche!” (“Congratulations!). The rest of the church has much to learn from the German example, which has involved a lot of pastoral listening, as well as courageous bishops who are not afraid to offer their opinions about developing church teaching.
It’s hard not to be optimistic after recalling these GREAT Catholic LGBTQ+ news events of 2022! We look forward to further advances in 2023!
–Francis DeBernardo and Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, December 31, 2022