"No longer at my age can I accept a subordinate role; not for myself, not for my daughter, not for my sisters, my nieces or friends," the 61-year-old current affairs presenter declared.She added that other women had walked out of the church a long time ago."Maybe I just kept hoping," she added."At this stage I don't feel rage so much as weariness -- that 'difference' is still latched onto as a reason to discriminate; weariness and, for me, relief, that it's all over now. I've moved on out."She said it had taken her so long to leave because she knew, perhaps, how much she would miss the church, especially the Liturgy, which she described as "one of the the world's great art forms and "such a comfort at times of loss and pain".And she was also mindful of what she called the "family connections" -- "beloved aunts who are nuns, beloved uncles who are priests and good kind friends who are nuns and priests"."But it is their humanity that distinguishes them, not their role in an institution. And it is our humanity which distinguishes us, not the fact that we are women."So a church that does not recognise that. . . is in an ethical desert, like white-only churches in the American south or in apartheid South Africa."She said that among the reasons she would celebrate Christmas in St Patrick's Cathedral was that she could stand tall there."I can stand tall because the Church of Ireland, whether I join it or not, accepts my full humanity. It ordains women."Otherwise I'll celebrate by simply being outside in the wind and the rain, outside in the sunshine walking the world that the creator made for us all equally."Not because we are male or female but because we are human," she concluded.
Saturday, 24 December 2011
Monday, 19 December 2011
Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community on Thursday went caroling in front of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) headquarters in Manila to press for their rights against discrimination.The protesters, led by political organization “Ang Ladlad,” trooped in front of the CBCP office in Intramuros clad in red and green, with some even wearing Santa hats, and carrying a banner which says “All We Want For Christmas is our Human Rights.”LGBT members also sang Christmas carols such as “Pasko Na Naman” and “Jingle Bells” with edited lyrics to focus on human rights.The protesters, for example, sang “All We Want for Christmas is our Human Rights” instead of the usual “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth,” an original composition by Don Gardner.
"We sing our carols not only for bishops and senators, but also we want the Filipino people to fill our socks and our hearts with blessings of equality by approving the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity, or SOGI, in the Senate Bill (SB) 2814 or the Anti-Ethnic, Racial or Religious Discrimination and Profiling Act of 2011," Bemz Benedito, Ladlad chairwoman, told the press.The CBCP came out recently against the bill claiming that SOGI is a personal choice of LGBTs and do not need legal safeguards. The bishops have also traditionally maintained in the nine years that pro-gay bills have tried to pass in Congress that equality bills will lead to same-sex marriage.
LGBT groups however countered that SOGI is a deeply ingrained attribute and that many homosexuals and transgenders suffer lifelong violations of human rights from a bigoted majority, prompting them to campaign for legislative action.
The activists took turns singing medleys of traditional Filipino and English tunes rewritten with witty lyrics that sounded out their demands. Jingle Bells was rewritten this way:
We want you to know, that lesbians and gays
Transgenders and bi's, have equal human rights
Don't discriminate, we need more love, not hate
All we want for Christmas is our equal human rights!(Chorus)Human rights, human rights, we want human rights!
Lesbian, gay, transgender, bi have equal human rights!
Comment at New Ways Ministry Bondings, where I first came across this story, notes:
Anger over the bishops’ conference position was inflamed when it was reported that a lawyer for the conference, Jo Imbong, said that LGBT people “should not be protected from discrimination” because they had the power to choose their sexual orientation.It sounds like the Filipino bishops are having the same problem that the U.S. bishops had recently when their adviser on marriage issues, Daniel Avila, suggested in a column in a Catholic newspaper that homosexuality was caused by the devil. Under pressure, Mr. Avila resigned.Let’s hope and pray that Jo Imbong either resigns or is dismissed.
- First ever United Nations report on LGBT human rights presented to General Assembly (thoolen.wordpress.com)
- In the News: Continued Shifts in American Attitudes re: LGBT Persons, Continued Challenges for People of Faith (bilgrimage.blogspot.com)
- Catholic Bishops Oppose LGBT Protections In The Philippines (thinkprogress.org)
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
IT’s ironic that churches in Malawi are leading the charge against gays contrary to the fundamental basis of Christianity teaching which is love for all of God’s children. Christianity was built on the premise of unconditional love; as such, a church should be a place where everyone can go for comfort and solace. A place of refuge where everybody should feel accepted and loved. Therein lays the tragedy when Malawian churches are at the forefront of the anti-gay movement.Christians of every persuasion need to understand that the Bible isn’t anti-gay; particularly because of its ability to shape the hearts of people when legislation and social activism fail to do so. There is no book, chapter or verse in the Bible that teaches Christians to hate anyone. In South Africa, Christians supported apartheid. Eventually they withdrew their support for apartheid as they came to recognize that apartheid was a system fueled by the hatred of blacks and therefore contrary to Jesus’ teachings.-Read the full article at Maravi Post
- The Faith Journey of One Ugandan LGBT Activist (mlp.org)
- A Letter to Queer Youth from Neely Stansell-Simpson (mlp.org)
- Presbyterian Church Joins Umoja Project for LGBT Acceptance (mlp.org)
- Bishop Senyonjo Preaches the Gospel in San Diego: One Doesn't Need to Be Converted to Another Sexuality to Be Loved by God (bilgrimage.blogspot.com)
The girl's parents, one of whom was reportedly baptised Catholic, enrolled her into kindergarten at Sacred Heart Primary School in Broken Hill for next year, but their application was rejected.
One of the mothers told the ABC the principal had phoned her and said the women's relationship and living situation was the reason the application had been turned down.
Trevor Rynne, principal of the Sacred Heart school, yesterday confirmed the girl had been rejected because of her parents' relationship but declined to comment further.
Bishop Emertitus of Parramatta, Kevin Manning, who has responsibility for the Wilcannia-Forbes district covering Broken Hill, told The Australian this morning there was "no way in the world that we can persecute a child because of what their parents did".
"I've instructed (the school) to offer her the position," Bishop Manning said.
Bishop Manning said he was "absolutely appalled" by the girl's case, and that he had not been aware of it before it was reported in the media yesterday.
He said blaming a child for her parents' "sins" was not the attitude of the Catholic Church.He described the girl's case as "most unusual" and said he would be raising the matter within the Catholic hierarchy.
"I will be taking this to the Australian bishops and asking them to make some pretty clear statements," he said.
He said the move by the school was out of step with Catholic teaching, and that something between the school's principal and priest must have got "twisted up or misinterpreted" for them to reach such a decision.
A SAME-SEX couple whose daughter was refused a place at a Catholic school because of their sexuality has turned down a subsequent offer of enrolment after a senior bishop intervened on their behalf.
- Australian Bishop Overturns School’s Exclusion Decision (New Ways Ministry)
- Good On You Kevin (andrewdoohan.wordpress.com)
- The Hill ain't broken, but the Catholics are cracked (thepunch.com.au)
- NSW school ordered to offer girl place (news.smh.com.au)
Saturday, 19 November 2011
ADELAIDE'S new Anglican Bishop supports homosexual clergy as long as they follow church guidelines that forbid gay sex.
The Venerable Dr Tim Harris will be ordained tomorrow as Bishop for Mission and Evangelism at St Peter's Cathedral.
His newly created role is essentially to help recruit and retain worshippers and establish new parishes in the Diocese of Adelaide.
The appointment comes in a period of unrest for the church. Reverend Ali Wurm, an openly gay priest from St Bede's parish at Semaphore, quit her post in June after ongoing "persecution" from within the church about her sexuality. Days earlier the first female Dean of Adelaide, Sarah Macneil, resigned less than two years after taking up the post.
The resignations came amid tensions in the diocese on how to respond to a global moratorium imposed by the church on same-sex unions and the ordination of clergy in same-sex relationships."
Earlier, two priests had resigned, with claims of harassment on the grounds of orientation.
The resignation of Semaphore's St Bede's Reverend Ali Wurm comes as the Dean of Adelaide, Sarah Macneil, also announced she would step down.
Tensions within the Diocese of Adelaide about how to respond to a global moratorium imposed by the church on same-sex unions and the ordination of clergy in same-sex relationships - as well as the handling of the turmoil by Archbishop Jeffrey Driver - are believed to be factors in the women's departures.
All Souls of St Peters' Reverend Andy Wurm, Ms Wurm's brother, confirmed pressure over many years about her former same-sex relationship was a key factor.
"A major reason for her resignation was the persecution she felt as a result of her living arrangements and sexual orientation," Rev Wurm said.
- Gay Bishops for Church of England? (queeringthechurch.com)
Friday, 18 November 2011
At a Catholic event in London next week, specifically about Catholics and gay marriage, the people most directly affected - gay Catholics themselves- have been excluded.
Please note that, due to security policies at Notre Dame, nobody will be admitted who has not RSVP’d to the above email address by the date specified. If you are bringing a guest, you must give us their name and email by then.-Catholic Voices mailer
“We are Catholics in exile,“ joked Brendan Fay, 50, an active member of the organization Dignity, a Catholic non-profit organization for homosexual and trans-gender persons."
'via Blog this'
Saturday, 12 November 2011
Catholic mothers, like all others, delight in their offsprings' weddings - and those of other family members. They are not alone. Weddings are the occasions of major family gatherings, where we gather to celebrate with them, cement the family bonds and interrelationships that have been set up by earlier weddings when we catch up with news from those members we only see at weddings and funerals, and lubricate the family bonding with suitable refreshments, music and dance.
Such celebrations apply to all couples, opposite-sex or same-sex. A few months ago, a colleague told me that his son was preparing for a civil partnership with his then boyfriend - and my friend gave me a regular running commentary of the hoops his wife and son were making him jump through in the wedding preparations, from early visits to (gay) wedding shows and expos, to choosing the outfits, to planning the "wedding" reception. When my niece married her wife on a Cape Town beach a few years ago, my staunchly Catholic mother and the rest of the family gathered from across the country to celebrate with her, just as they regularly do for all family weddings.
All this is to do far, far more than simply "congratulate" the new spouses. Yet in New York, a report at Unicorn Booty claims that Archbishop Timothy Dolan has "forbidden" Catholics from even congratulating gay or lesbian newly-weds:
But then the decree takes a sharp right turn and steers right off a cliff into Even Crazier Town, the affluent suburb to the north of Crazy Town proper’s city limits.
Dolan, on behalf of the Catholic Church, forbids Catholics from even being happy for their newly married gay friends or offering congratulations. Failure to comply with this perversion of law from their all-knowing, all-loving god that hates some of the things he lovingly created in his own image will result in canonical sanctions – a fancy way of saying priest court.
Oh, and stay the F away from Catholic churches, homos.
Now, the writer of this has himself veered off into Crazy Town - there is not a word in the decree to prevent Catholics from congratulating or celebrating with lesbian or gay newly weds, just a ban on doing it on Church property, or by Church personnel. One of the tragic features of (some) bishops' crazed, irrational overreaction to gay marriage, has been the crazed, irrational overreaction to the Catholic Church from (some) secular gay activists.
There is, however, good reason nevertheless to conclude that Catholic bishops' reactions to gay marriage, in the US and in Scotland, have taken them to the outer fringes of crazy town - but not for the reasons given by Kevin Farrell at Unicorn Booty.
Friday, 11 November 2011
Here's a refreshing sign of the times: De Paul university is the USA's largest Catholic university - and has a student president who is openly gay.
Anthony Alfano's story is instructive for all those who still see a contradiction or tension between their innate sexual orientation and their Catholic faith. In a report carried by the Windy City Times, he describes and contrasts his experience of living in the closet, and that of living openly and honestly as a gay man. At Catholic High School, he simply accepted the Church teaching that homosexuality was immoral, and from that assumed that there was something wrong with himself. Raised in a very Catholic family, homosexuality was never a point of discussion. He remained strictly closeted, and even dated girls as a cover. There was a price - he was emotionally a wreck and suicidal: three times he attempted to suffocate himself.
By the end of his senior year, he was still very unsure where he was headed, but had finally come out to himself -and to nobody else. That came later, after starting at De Paul. Significantly, the breakthrough event was on a retreat with other first-year students. It was then, he says, that he truly understood the importance of coming out.
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
"Why good Catholics are challenging church line on homosexuality" – Patrick Hornbeck on "Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church"
Catholic bishops have been public advocates for laws banning same-sex marriage, and some have sought to prevent LGBT Catholics and their allies from fully participating in the Church’s rituals and activities
But neither formal teachings nor bishops’ statements tell the whole story.
A series of recent conferences at American colleges reveals the breadth of Catholic approaches to issues of sexual diversity.
The conferences, part of an effort called More than a Monologue, have happened at two Catholic universities and two non-denominational divinity schools
The events conclusively show that American Catholics are hardly of one mind, nor in lockstep with their bishops, when it comes to same-sex marriage; to rights for LGBT people at home, at work, and in church; or to the ongoing campaign against anti-gay bullying in schools."
- Homophobic Priests: Doctrinally Correct, Pastorally Wrong. (queeringthechurch.com)
- "Equally Blessed" Petition to US bishops on Bullying (queeringthechurch.com)
- Growing Catholic Acceptance Of Gay Relationships, LGBT Equality (itsaqueerworld.blogspot.com)
- Theology From Below: Catholic Conference on Sexual Diversity. (queeringthechurch.com)
- 35 Years as LGBT Catholics: Looking Back, Looking Ahead (4: Where Are We Headed?) (queeringthechurch.com)
- A Catholic Bishops' Initiative I Can Support: Backing for Immigrants (queeringthechurch.com)
- A Silver Lining to Avila's Nonsense on "Satanic" Origins of Same-sex Orientation. (queeringthechurch.com)
Saturday, 5 November 2011
The extraordinary fiasco over comments by an advisor to the US bishops' anti-gay-marriage initiative would be the stuff of high comedy, if it were not so tragic. (Indeed, much of the commentary from the secular LGBT blogosphere has been hilarity at the nonsensical nature of his claim that homosexual orientation has a Satanic origin).
("My Transsexual Summer" begins on Channel 4 on Tuesday, November 8).
- Sex-change op in new (UK) TV documentary (itsaqueerworld.blogspot.com)
- Australia court in transgender ruling (itsaqueerworld.blogspot.com)
- Channel 4 to screen transgender documentary series in autumn lineup (guardian.co.uk)
- What Does The End Of DADT Mean For The Transgendered? (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
Friday, 4 November 2011
In marked contrast to the Catholic bishops, who have thrown unprecedented resources into supporting a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, the Episcopal church in the state is opposed to the amendment. Episcopal Bishop Brian N. Prior says this decision is grounded in the firm principle that the Church has always stood with the marginalized.
In theory, the Catholic Church shares this firm Biblical principle, and indeed the majority of Catholics agree with the Episcopal church in extending it also to the LGBT community. The exception, in the case of homoerotic relationships, is Catholic bishops who are prepared to sacrifice authentic Catholic values and Catholic families, where they are in conflict with Vatican ideology.
Members of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, which held its annual convention over the weekend in Minneapolis, passed a resolution opposing the marriage amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage.
The church is joining other denominations and non-profit organizations in signing the “Resolution against the Constitutional Amendment to Ban Marriage for Same-Sex Couples” as prepared and presented by Minnesotans United for All Families.
That group is trying to defeat the amendment set for a vote on the November 2012 ballot, which would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
“The Episcopal Church in Minnesota has always stood with the marginalized,” said Bishop Brian N. Prior, IX Bishop of Minnesota, said in a released statement. “Regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, gender orientation or immigrant status, Episcopalians in Minnesota have always embraced both the Gospel mandate of love of neighbor and the Baptismal Covenant imperative to respect the dignity of every human being.”
Episcopalians (which number about 22,000 members in Minnesota) join other faith-based groups already gearing up for the heated political battle ahead this year.
- Walter C. Righter dies; Episcopal bishop played role in gay rights in church
- Episcopal Church Leader Backs Scottish Government on Gay Marriage
- "Wrong and Impractical" (thewildreed.blogspot.com)
- Marriage Matters: Standing On the Side of Love (mlp.org)
- A Battle Between The Religions Brewing Over Same-Sex Amendment In MN (lezgetreal.com)
- Frank Griswold: "Maybe this is the desert time". (kiwianglo.wordpress.com)
- New Minnesota Poll Shows 48 Percent Favor, 43 Percent Oppose Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment (towleroad.com)
- more on same sex marriage in Scotland (thinkinganglicans.org.uk)
Saturday, 29 October 2011
- Irshad Manji, Muslim and founder and director of the Moral Courage Project at New York University's School of Public Service.
- Bishop Gene Robinson, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire.
- Rev. Ouyang Wen Feng, who founded a gay-friendly church outside Kuala Lumpur and is thought to be Malaysia's only openly gay pastor.
- Imam Daayiee Abdullah, the imam and religious director of Masjid An-Nur Al-Isslaah, and the co-director of Muslims for Progressive Values
- Bishop Mary Douglas Glasspool serves as the Assistant Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.
- Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum serves as the spiritual leader of Congregation Beit Simshat Torah, the largest LGBT synagogue in the world.
- Rev. Troy Perry founded the LGBT denomination of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) in 1968.
- Larry Yang is on the Spirit Rock Teachers' Council and a core teacher at the new East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, Calif.
- Pastor Manny Santiago is the pastor of University Baptist Church in Seattle, Wa.
- Rev. Scott Anderson is the first openly gay PCUSA minister ordained after the church voted to allow individual presbyteries to set their own ordination guidelines around sexual orientation.
- The Rev. Pat Bumgardner is currently the Senior Pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of New York.
- Rabbi Steven Greenberg, the first openly gay Orthodox rabbi, is Director of Orthodox Programs for Nehirim, the organization for GLBT Jewish culture and spirituality.
- Bishop Yvette Flunder, founder of the United Church of Christ Church, City of Refuge and presiding Bishop of The Fellowship.
- Archbishop Carl Bean founded the Unity Fellowship Church Movement, a primarily African American and LGBT denomination.
- Rev. Malcolm Boyd is an Episcopalian Priest and author of "Are You Running With Me Jesus?"
- Justin Lee is the founder and Executive Director of the Gay Christian Network.
- 35 Years as LGBT Catholics: Looking Back, Looking Ahead (4: Where Are We Headed?) (queeringthechurch.com)
- Bishop reassigns anti-gay El Paso Priest for Anti-gay politicking! (queeringthechurch.com)
- Fr Gionet: Condemned by His Own Words. (queeringthechurch.com)
- Irish Bishops Convene Conference on Sexuality (queeringthechurch.com)
Friday, 28 October 2011
"When a Catholic university decides to sponsor a conference on sexual diversity, it's a ubject worthy of a bishop's attention.
Fairfield and Fordham universities, both run by Jesuits, an order known not to shrink from thorny issues, have joined with Yale Divinity School and Union Theological Seminary, to host a series of four conferences titled "More Than a Monologue: Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church."The last of the four conferences, one at each school, is Saturday at Fairfield and focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender priests, nuns or others involved in the Catholic ministry.
With sessions entitled "Lesbian Nuns: A Gift to the Church" and "Gay Ministry at the Crossroads: The Plight of Gay Clergy in the Catholic Church," some Catholic observers who didn't want to give their names said they half-expected the programs to be shut down on the Catholic campuses.
That hasn't happened, but Bishop William E. Lori in Bridgeport and New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan did weigh in.
About a week after the first conference, held at Fordham University in New York on Sept. 16, Lori and Dolan issued a joint statement saying that they had received "thoughtful expressions of concern from many of the faithful regarding" the four conferences. They said they had shared their concerns with the presidents of Fordham and Fairfield universities.
"Advertisements and commentary in advance of these conferences seemed to imply that they might encourage dissent from the Church's teaching and from her teaching authority," the statement said, "while advocating for erroneous opinions about sexuality dominant in our culture."
The archbishop and bishop went on to say they had been assured by both presidents that the conferences, "while sensitive to the experience of the participants, will not be a vehicle for dissent."Paul Lakeland, a professor of religious studies at Fairfield, said that when he helped plan the series, he knew it could provoke "a certain amount of adverse publicity" and the possibility of having "alumni huff and puff … It's the price you pay for tackling the issues."
Lakeland said he had received some e-mails critical of the conferences."It's important for Catholic universities to address issues of concern in the church," Lakeland said. "That's what we do, and this is one of those issues of concern… The role of the university is to be in a place where the church does its thinking."Christine Firer Hinze, a professor of Christian ethics at Fordham University, said, "We aren't doing this in spite of the fact that we are Catholic; we are doing this because we are a Catholic university."The Rev. James Martin, who is culture editor for America Magazine, a national Catholic publication, said it's "highly unusual" for two Catholic universities to be "providing a forum to talk about a very controversial topic in the church… I would say it was a significant initiative on the part of the organizers."For the Catholic campuses to hold the forums, "I'd say in the present climate it's somewhat daring," said Andrew H. Walsh, associate director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College. "But this is not a topic that can be completely suppressed. There is going to be discussion about it."
- Talking About Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church
- Savage Love on the Catholic Church
- Listening to Queer Experience:Sexual Diversity and the Church
- Irish Bishops Convene Conference on Sexuality
- Sr. Jeannine Gramick Lectures on LGBT Agenda at Catholic Fairfield University | James Pat Guerréro (jamespatrick1.wordpress.com)
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
Monday, 24 October 2011
The real interest here, is that this legislation explicitly includes gay church weddings, as there are already in Sweden and Iceland, with the approval of the dominant Lutheran Church in those countries.
Denmark is the latest European nation to announce plans to introduce gay marriage, with same-sex couples to be allowed to marry on Church of Denmark premises.The Danish coalition Government’s church minister, Manu Sareen, told local newspaper Jyllands-Posten that gay men and women will soon be able to marry when legislation is introduced early next year.“I look forward to the moment the first homosexual couple steps out of the church. I’ll be standing out there throwing rice,” he said.“I have many friends who are homosexuals and can’t get married. They love their partners the same way heterosexuals do, but they don’t have the right to live it out in the same way. That’s really problematic.”Denmark was the first country in the world to allow gay civil partnerships with legislation in 1989. Public polls suggest around 69-percent of the population supports same-sex marriage according, The Copenhagen Post reports.The first same-sex weddings could take place as early as March, 2012 after the legislation is passed.
....marriage equality in Denmark isn’t welcome by all with some religious leaders opposing the plans fearing it will cause a spilt in the Church of Denmark. Henrik Hojlund, of the Evangelical Lutheran Network, said gay marriage would be “fatal” for the Church and told the same newspaper “The Church of Denmark is being secularised right up to the alter in a desperate and mistaken attempt to meet modern people halfway.”
- Methodists to Offer Marriage Celebrations to Same-Sex Families
- Gay weddings can be performed by military chaplains, Pentagon says
- NY Presbyterian Minister Will Conduct SS Weddings
- Methodist Clergy: Gay Marriage Revolt Expands to New England
- Religious Backing for Same-sex Marriage Petition
- Sergius & Bacchus, 7th October: Patron Saints of Same Sex Lovers?
- Religious groups call for gay marriages in Scotland
- Bishop vows gay marriage 'will prevail'
- Growing Catholic Acceptance Of Gay Relationships, LGBT Equality
Wednesday, 19 October 2011
In his book "Sunday Morning: A Testimony of Life" Richard Brown shares his personal testimony on life as a gay African-American Christian. Brown hopes to shed light on the world of gay Christians and the struggles they face from the organizations and churches that have challenged the idea of who is worthy to serve the Lord. "Sunday Morning" attempts to stand as a contrast to the developed practices of today's churches and asks for a change to solidarity at all costs.Through personal experiences and scriptures, the author seeks to show the reader that God loves all people, including homosexuals. He expresses that the growing interest and coverage of same-sex marriage has allowed Christian organizations and churches to express their disdain on the topic of homosexuality."
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
Legislation to introduce women bishops into the Church of England has moved a step closer, according to supporters.So far 28 out of 30 of the Church's regional councils, the diocesan synods, have voted to endorse the legislation.Having been backed by most of the 44 diocesan synods, the measure will return to the General Synod next year.A further motion with extra concessions for Anglicans who cannot accept women bishops has been supported by just six diocesan synods.The Church's national assembly, the General Synod, may vote finally on the legislation next July.
- Support for women bishops plan (independent.co.uk)
- Women bishops get clergy blessing (queertheology.blogspot.com)
- Lichfield Diocesan Synod approves women bishops plan (queertheology.blogspot.com)
- C.of E. Diocesan Synods - Latest Results on O.o.W. Bishops (kiwianglo.wordpress.com)
Thursday, 13 October 2011
A number of LGBT websites and blogs this week are reporting this news. For example, this is from one of the early reports, at LGBTQ Nation:
John Smid, the former Executive Director of Exodus International’s oldest ministry “Love in Action,” has publicly admitted that he is gay, and now says that being LGBTQ is an intrinsic part of a person’s being, not a “behavior” that one can repent from.
Writing on the website of his new ministry, Grace Rivers, Smid said, “One cannot repent of something that is unchangeable.
Smid, who resigned as Executive Director of Love in Action in 2008 — an ex-gay Christian ministry that purports to “restore those trapped” in homosexuality — is now disavowing the message he preached for years that promised gays they could change.
Smid summarized part of his spiritual journey in a post for June16 this year, just before the premier of Morgan Fox's documentary film, "This is what Love in Action Looks Like". He has filed the post in the category "A Journey of Grace", and that is precisely what it is.
Back in 2005, when first approached about the planned documentary on the protests outside Love in Action premises, Smid and his colleagues wanted no part of it.
I had no intention of being any part of this documentary. The Love In Action staff discussed Morgan’s proposal and decided it would be best to remain silent and allow it to be what it would be without any words from me. I was frustrated about the fact that there was a protest and even more that it was being chronicled by someone I believed to be a fringe film artist in the gay community. I wanted no part of any of it.
So, we began to schedule the interviews. I spent many hours with Morgan in front of a camera sharing my life story, answering questions about my 22 year work with Love In Action. We also drove around town to different spots for “B” roll footage for the documentary.
As the film was worked into a DVD, Morgan and I talked a lot about it. We discussed the different directions it could take. I shared my thoughts, Morgan shared his, and it became a kind of project that we both flushed out together
Morgan and I got together and I began to share honestly the things that I had written down that were challenging me about the film. I started with, “Morgan, I feel embarrassed about being seen in the film.
“His face dropped into disappointment. He said, “I’m sorry, John. I didn’t mean……” I said, “No, Morgan, this is about me and my reaction. It isn’t about you or what you produced. His honest response to my comment allowed a very vulnerable conversation to come out. He was humble and yet honest himself. I went on to explain more of my agreement that I had been wrong and that we had done some things that needed correction.
And so it was that from initially being opposed to having any part in the filming, John Smid moved to a point where he wanted to participate in the premier, and has likewise moved from running a program to "convert" gay men into ex-gays, he has now come out publicly as gay himself, and declared that indeed there are no ex-gays.
As a Christian, Smid agrees that gay men may encounter the transforming power of Christ in their lives - but this transformation does not lead to a change in orientation. For some, it may lead to marriage (to a woman) and children in spite of their orientation, or it may lead to a life of voluntary celibacy - or it may lead to a life in loving partnership with another man.
Actually I’ve never met a man who experienced a change from homosexual to heterosexual. I have met some women who claim that is the case but then again, male sexuality and female sexuality are vastly biologically different so this would not be a fair comparison.
I have met men who find their transformation to include marriage to a woman and having a family and it is something for them that is a wonderful life experience. I’ve met some who find their transformation to include satisfaction in living a single life in Christ and His calling. But, I’ve also met some who experience transformation from sexual promiscuity to a faithful gay relationship that is truly, in their experience, a great blessing to their relationship with Christ.John Smid's story can hardly be described as "Damascene" - it was not sudden, but took place over a number of years. What is important in it, was the effect of honest and open sharing with another, and honest self-reflection, followed by the courage to admit to the mistakes he had been making in the past, about himself, and about the changes he had been urging on others.
Even the CDF, in their otherwise hostile Pastoral Letter on homosexuality, concludes by reminding us of two key texts in scripture, "Speak the truth in love", and "The truth will set you free". By beginning to speak the truth with Morgan Fox back in 2005, John Smid allowed the Holy Spirit to do her work, leading him on a notable journey of grace of coming out. That journey began in discomfort and embarrassment, as in coming out to himself showed him the errors of his previous position. It will have continued (probably) in coming out to friends and associates -such as Morgan Fox, whom he now acknowledges as a friend. It reached its culmination this week, in declaring himself in a public blog post. In doing so, I am certain that he will have found confirmation, as countless others have done on coming out, that "The truth will set you free."
John Smid has a new ministry, Grace Rivers, which works for the transforming power of Christ in our lives. As he has now proclaimed forcefully, that transformation should not be seen by the queer community as threatening, but liberating.
It is our greatest desire to see Christ transform His people. We hope that He may use Grace Rivers as one instrument to do this. We have learned that honesty and authenticity are the vehicles to see the fruit of the Spirit flourish in our lives. We invite you to look through the pages of the Grace Rivers website to see events, articles and tools to reflect our desire. It is our hope you will see Jesus reflected in the truths set forth here.
-from Grace Rivers home page