Entries by Francis DeBernardo, Editor

Fr. Richard Rohr on Sexuality, Gender, and Our Identity in Christ

“Sexuality and gender identity elicit so many strong feelings and even irrational opinions because they touch upon something foundational. If you don’t recognize the sacred at this deep level of identity and desire, I don’t know if you will be able to see it anywhere else.” For more wisdom from Fr. Richard Rohr, read on!

Firings, Funerals, Fear . . . and Food

Over the last year and half, the media has focused attention on large, growing divisions in American society. Even in the American Catholic world, divisions both between and within the hierarchy and laity can sometimes become pronounced. For example, the cycle of action and reaction to same-sex marriage continues at all levels in the Catholic Church. Among the worst responses have been when LGBT people are fired from Catholic jobs. Church officials proclaim “scandal,” seemingly oblivious to the fact that their own actions and communications are exceedingly cruel and scandalous.

The cycle of outrage continues with the recent news that a second U.S. diocese – Madison, Wisconsin, under the leadership of Bishop Robert Morlino – has determined that funerals should be denied to people in same gender civil marriages. Morlino joins Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois who gave similar directions to his diocesan personnel last summer, prompting quite a backlash.

Will Sexual Orientation Derail Canonization for Fr. Mychal Judge?

As regular readers of Bondings 2.0 may be aware, New Ways Ministry has launched a campaign to find people who knew Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM, the New York City Fire Department Chaplain who died in the World Trade Center Attacks on 9/11.  The purpose is finding such people is to assist a Vatican researcher who is exploring the canonization of this Franciscan priest who ministered to many marginalized communities, including LGBT Catholics. This campaign hit a little bump in the road last month . . . .

CATHOLIC LGBT HISTORY: ‘You belong here. It’s about time somebody says that to you.’

“Gays and lesbians are welcome in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond.

“That’s the message the Most Rev. Walter F. Sullivan, the bishop of the diocese, brought yesterday to a gathering of 250 people at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart for what organizers said was the first official Mass for gays and lesbians in Richmond.

” ‘You belong here,’ Sullivan told the group. ‘It’s about time somebody says that to you.’ “

Intimate Conviction Conference Examines Religion’s Role in Criminalization Laws

Two weeks ago, I had the distinct honor of being a speaker at an international conference in Kingston, Jamaica, which focused on the role churches play in the enactment and repeal of laws that criminalize LGBT people.   I was the lone Roman Catholic among an impressive array of speakers from Anglican and Protestant churches from places like Canada, the United Kingdom, India, South Africa, Barbados, Jamaica, and many other nations that are or were part of the British Commonwealth.