Here are a few items you might find of interest:
1. A Dutch Redemptorist priest, Fr. Jan Haen, has published a new book of art and stories about LGBTQ+ heroes. The book, titled Heavenly LGBTQ+: Queer Icons from LGBTQ Life, Religion and History, is a sequel to Haen’s previous work, “Heavenly Homos, Etc.” According to Kittredge Cherry of the QSpirit blog, who helped publish the books, this latest work “tells the stories of 17 diverse international LGBTQ figures” with “large, colorful artwork on every page.”
The book emphasizes forgotten figures in queer history, particularly people of color, like Bayard Rustin and Pauli Murray, and people from the Global South, like the Brazilian gay martyr, Tibira do Maranhão, and the gay Catholic poet from South Korea, Yook Woo-Dang. Haen is a member of the Netherlands’ Association of Gay Catholic Pastors. To learn more about the book and how to order a copy, click here.
2. A performance by a gay, gender non-conforming singer, Bilal Hassani, scheduled at a former Catholic church in the French city of Metz was cancelled due to right wing Catholic protests. Hassani, an LGBTQ+ icon in France, is known for representing the country in the 2019 Eurovision song contest. Organizers of the concert, however, said they could not endanger attendees given the conservative Catholics’ planned protests. Metz city officials expressed disappointment with the decision. Mayor Francois Grosdidier pointed out the concert venue had not been used as a church for 500 years, and was only a church for a short time before that. Patrick Thil, the city’s culture official, called the conservative protestors “uneducated extremists.” Thil added that ceding ground to them made him “ashamed for the city.”
3. András Hodász, a Hungarian former priest, came out as gay ahead of Budapest’s Pride celebrations earlier this summer. Hodász, who achieved a high profile because of hi YouTube channel, Papifrankó, wrote on Instagram that he came out after receiving a message about his sexual identity and felt he had to be truthful. He explained:
“It has been a long journey to write this here, and the fact that it became clear to me that I have no place in the church as a priest has a big role in it. . .But my life and my mission are not over, maybe I can still be a useful member of society and the community of Christ.
“Perhaps it is true for me that God chose me, the ‘seeming nothing’, the despised, whom they believe God has nothing to do with, to build a civilization of love. I continue to believe in God and love the church, it will be a pleasure for me if you do the same.”
4. Matt Tedeschi, a former Catholic school teacher who was fired after it became known he was gay, has written a post about how employers can be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ people in their workplaces. Tedeschi, who now works as a paralegal at an employment law firm, explained that he wrote the post due to the rising anti-LGBTQ+ trend in the U.S., which impacts workers in all areas, including religious institutions. Suggestions include pay audits, providing benefits to diverse families, opposing bias when it occurs, and making public commitments to equality. To read Tedeschi’s post on these and other ideas, click here.
5. America published a review of John D′Emilio’s Memories Of A Gay Catholic Boyhood by Fr. Brian Linnane, SJ. Linnane writes that the work by D’Emilio, a renowned LGBTQ+ historian, “offers us a caring and thoughtful window into a time of enormous change in American society and the Catholic Church.” Linnane’s review emphasizes D’Emilio’s Jesuit connections, adding, “His account is warm and gracious; he is quick to acknowledge his own limitations while acknowledging the crucial role of his friends and family in shaping and loving the gay Catholic man he became.” For Bondings 2.0’s previous coverage of the memoir, click here.
—Robert Shine (he/him), New Ways Ministry, August 26, 2023