Saturday, 29 December 2012
Friday, 28 December 2012
Thousands of Dutch Catholics are researching how they can leave the church in protest at its opposition to gay marriage, according to the creator of a website aimed at helping them find the information.
- Deja Vù: Benedict's Escalating War on Marriage
- Catholic, CoE Bishops Diverge in Response to Gay Marriage Proposals.
- Poll: Gay Marriage Gaining Support, Especially Among Catholics
- Dutch Website Helping Catholics "De-Baptize" Themselves Has Soaring Hits After Benedict's Christmas Vendetta vs. the Gays (bilgrimage.blogspot.com)
- More Christmas Statements about Marriage Equality from Catholic Hierarchy: Ten Reflection Points (bilgrimage.blogspot.com)
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Italian bishop Giuseppe Fiorini Morosini from Locri-Gerace recognizes that gay couples 'should claim some rights, but they can not ask for marriage'
18 DECEMBER 2012 | BY DANIELE GUIDO GESSA Photo by DaffyDuke
Friday, 14 December 2012
The Rainbow Sash Movement (Lesbian/Gay Catholics) challenges the policy arm of the Catholic Church in Illinois when that Conference makes the claim that it represents nearly 4 million Catholics in the State of Illinois on the issue of Gay Marriage; such a claim is not based in reality.
- Accelerating British Support for Equal Marriage, in Church (itsaqueerworld.blogspot.com)
- Catholic, CoE Bishops Diverge in Response to Gay Marriage Proposals. (queeringthechurch.com)
- Illinois Catholic Conference: Misrepresenting 4 Million Catholics. (queeringthechurch.com)
- US Election's Big Winners: LGBT (and Straight Ally) Catholics (queeringthechurch.com)
- Over 250 Illinois Clergyman Sign Letter In Support Of Gay Marriage (queerty.com)
- Dutch Website Helping Catholics "De-Baptize" Themselves Has Soaring Hits After Benedict's Christmas Vendetta vs. the Gays (bilgrimage.blogspot.com)
- Catholic Hierarchy's Christmas Vendetta Against the Gays Captures Widespread Media Attention (bilgrimage.blogspot.com)
Friday, 16 March 2012
After several years of study, the Episcopal Church has released a draft of what same-sex marriage rites would look like. An important caveat: these are just drafts, and it will likely be years before any final liturgy is approved for official use across the church.
Episcopalians in states that allow same-sex civil marriage (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland and others) already have the option to bless same-sex marriages but there is no formal churchwide liturgy. Same-sex commitment ceremonies are permitted elsewhere in the church at the discretion of the local bishop.
From the church's Office of Public Affairs:
The report’s theological reflection notes that the SCLM [Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music] has reviewed more than 30 years of General Convention’s deliberation on same-gender couples, especially [a] resolution approved in 2000, that identified characteristics the Church expects of couples living in marriage and other lifelong committed relationships: “fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God.”
“Such covenantal relationships can reflect God‘s own gracious covenant with us in Christ, manifest the fruits of the Spirit in holiness of life, and model for the whole community the love of neighbor in the practice of forgiveness and reconciliation,” the report states.- Religion News Service
The Reform movement has branded as "inflammatory" an attack on same-sex marriage by one of Britain's leading Catholic clerics.Cardinal Keith O'Brien, leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, described plans to legalise gay marriage as "madness" and a "grotesque subvesion".But Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, movement rabbi for Reform Judaism, said that the cardinal's comments were "inflammatory and incitement to homophobia which can have grave consequences".
Jewish women under a Beverley Hills chuppah in 2008
Reform welcomed the proposed legislation, she said. "A recognition of equality of marriage for homosexuals as well as heterosexuals can only strengthen society and the institution of marriage."
Rabbi Colin Eimer, who chaired a working party on the issue for the Assembly of Reform Rabbis UK, said: "Religious ceremonies exist in Jewish life for heterosexual couples to express their love, commitment, values and ideals. We believe that homosexual couples should have that same opportunity for a religious ceremony within the sanctity of Jewish community, tradition and practice."
via The Jewish Chronicle.
- Gay marriage: Public consultation on the way.(queeringthechurch.com)
- Gay Marriage: Listen to your head and heart, not the Bishops' bluff and bluster
- Senior London Cleric: "Embrace Gay Marriage" (Contrast with Catholic Bishops)
In November, Minnesotans will approve or reject a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. Many belonging to long-established religions in Minnesota have joined the debate over this matter. Jews and Christians, liberal and conservative, have expressed positions.
Our state is home also to significant numbers of people of other world religions, including my own Hindu tradition. It is important that our voices also be offered in the public square. This amendment threatens to enshrine in law the perspective of particular religions and marginalize others.There are important teachings in the Hindu tradition that affirm the equal worth of all sexual orientations. In the Hindu tradition, the value of the human person is not located in his or her sexual identity. It proceeds from the teaching that God is present equally and identically in all beings. No being is excluded, and awareness of this truth is regarded as the highest religious wisdom.In relation to the attainment of life's highest goal, spiritual liberation, the Hindu tradition does not discriminate between heterosexuals and homosexuals. Its sacred scriptures positively mention the accessibility of liberation for gays. What stands in the way of liberation is ignorance of God existing in the heart of all beings, expressing itself in greed, violence and injustice.One of the most remarkable statements about the inclusivity of God's love in the Hindu tradition occurs in the Ramayana, an ancient Sanskrit epic. The Ramayana tells the life story of Rama, revered by Hindus as an incarnation of God. In speaking about the nature of divine love, Rama mentions also gays:One who worships me in thought, word and action, relinquishing deceit, whether man, gay or woman is supremely dear to me.There is good evidence that Hindu culture was one of the earliest to recognize that human sexual identity is not just heterosexual. Ancient texts refer to a third gender, different from the traditional male or female. Gender diversity is seen as part of the natural diversity of humanity and inherited at birth.via StarTribune.com.
Saturday, 3 March 2012
Intersex conditions undermine the assumptions about the clear delineation between male and female which underpin the theology of Christians that oppose women bishops.
Dr Cornwall says that many contemporary theological accounts of sex, gender, and sexuality take too little heed to the existence of physical intersex conditions.“The important question is what definition of maleness the authors of The Church, Women Bishops and Provision are using, and what it is in which they believe that maleness inheres,” she writes. “Intersex disturbs the discreteness of maleness and femaleness, and might therefore also disturb the gendered roles which are pinned to them.”Dr Cornwall believes that “very little” has been written about the impact of such conditions on theology and the Church’s ministry.“Generally, there has been a growing awareness that intersex exists but not specifically theological reflection,” she said. “The pastoral concern is the big impetus for my project, but I don’t think it’s possible to do that without thinking about the theological considerations.”- full report at Church Times
In her paper “Intersex & Ontology, A Response to The Church, Women Bishops and Provision”, she argues that it is not possible to know “with any certainty” that Jesus did not suffer from an intersex condition, with both male and female organs.
In an extraordinary paper she says: “It is not possible to assert with any degree of certainty that Jesus was male as we now define maleness.
“There is no way of knowing for sure that Jesus did not have one of the intersex conditions which would give him a body which appeared externally to be unremarkably male, but which might nonetheless have had some “hidden” female physical features.”
Dr Cornwall argues that the fact that Jesus is not recorded to have had children made his gender status “even more uncertain”.
She continues: “We cannot know for sure that Jesus was male – since we do not have a body to examine and analyse – it can only be that Jesus’ masculine gender role, rather than his male sex, is having to bear the weight of all this authority.”
- Beyond Male and Female: Gender Trouble, Biology Trouble.
- How a Woman Became a Dominican Priest, and Teacher of Moral Theology.
- LGBT History Month: Queer Icons, in Faith – Jesus Christ.
- “T and Conversation”: Beyond Binary Pronouns
- Jesus 'May Have Been Hermaphrodite', Says Researcher (ibtimes.com)
- Orchids sheds light on the secrecy surrounding intersex (kallmannssyndrome.wordpress.com)
- Gender Character and Intersex Conditions (socyberty.com)
- Women bishops and the February General Synod (thinkinganglicans.org.uk)
- Jesus may have been a hermaphrodite, claims academic (telegraph.co.uk)
Tuesday, 28 February 2012
The blogosphere has been abuzz with the news that Rev. Marcel Guarnizo, a priest at St. John Neumann parish in Gaithersburg, Maryland (Archdiocese of Washington), recently denied communion to a lesbian woman at her mother’s funeral. HuffingtonPost.com has posted a summary of various blog posts on the incident, including Ann Werner’s post on AddictingInfo.org, which broke the story. Werner offers the details:
“My friend Barbara [Johnson], the daughter of the deceased woman, was denied communion at her mother’s funeral. She was the first in line and Fr. Guarnizo covered the bowl containing the host and said to her, ‘I cannot give you communion because you live with a woman and that is a sin according to the church.’ To add insult to injury, Fr. Guarnizo left the altar when she delivered her eulogy to her mother. When the funeral was finished he informed the funeral director that he could not go to the gravesite to deliver the final blessing because he was sick.”
Thursday, 23 February 2012
Archbishop Vincent Nichols has once again demonstrated sanity and moderation on the place of the Catholic Church in modern society. While there are many loud, outraged voices raised in complaint in the US and in the UK over alleged assaults on religious freedom and of perceived persecution of Christians, Nichols has correctly pointed out that what is happening is not the "persecution" of Christians, but an attempt to separate the legal and cultural life of the country from its Christian roots. He is saying in other words, that what is happening is a removal from the Church of its previously privileged position. This may be deplorable, unfortunate, or welcome - but does not amount to persecution, any more than the removal of apartheid in South Africa represented the persecution of Whites.
The origins of complaints of persecution in the UK are in a series of high profile court judgements which have consistently found that religious freedom does not give Christians the right to contravene anti-discrimination laws. Recently, the volume has stepped up with complaints against the proposed introduction of marriage equality. (A former Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, has launched an on-line petition drive in opposition to gay marriage). Archbishop Nichols says that the Catholic Church in England and Wales is against the proposals - but will leave actual opposition to individual Catholics as individuals, but the Church "as a whole" will not join in the campaign.
After a fortnight which has seen the emergence of a "Christianist" backlash – most recently in evidence with an internet petition against gay marriage spearheaded by Lord Carey, the former archbishop of Canterbury – Nichols seems to be supporting the movement from a careful distance.
Catholics will be encouraged to sign the petition against gay marriage as individuals, but the church as a whole will not be part of Carey's campaign even though it opposes a change in the law.
I think it is most appropriate today to begin our reflection on the Scriptures by focusing especially on the first lesson, where Isaiah is trying to reassure people that God is about to do something new, if only they have the courage to respond to what God is doing. We should remember that these are people who have been driven out of their own city and land. Jerusalem was destroyed and the temple was left in flames. They had to go off into exile, and were in exile for 80-some years. By now, they had become accustomed to the way things are.
Isaiah is preaching to them that it is time to go back and have your place again, and live where God gave you the land to be yours, but they were hesitant. They'd gotten used to the way things were. That's when Isaiah said, "Do not dwell on the past." They were thinking back to the time when Moses had led them out of Egypt, freed them from slavery and established the Jewish law. They were trying to hang onto that.
God said, "Look, I'm doing new things. Now it springs forth. Do you not see?" Further on, He said, "I have formed this people for myself. They will proclaim My praise. Neither have you satisfied Me with the fat of your sacrifices. Instead, you would burden Me with your sins and wearied Me with your offenses. I am the one who blocks out your offenses for My own sake. I remember your sins no more." God is saying to them, "There is a new opportunity now. Let go of the past. Be ready to follow where God is leading you now."
(Extract from a homily by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton for the 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time . And to that "Amen, we say, Amen")
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 43:18-19, 21-22, 24b-25
Psalms 41:2-3, 4-5, 13-14
2 Corinthians 1:18-22
Monday, 20 February 2012
Theologian Marcella Althaus - Reid died February 20th 2009, after a theological journey that began with the study and practice of liberation theology in the slums of Argentina under the military junta, and ended as Professor of Contextual Theology at Edinburgh University, where her interests included Liberation Theology, Feminist theology and Queer Theology. I have an instinctive personal response to this trajectory - my own journey in faith was strongly coloured by my experience of the Catholic Church under apartheid South Africa as an important force campaigning for justice and peace. As in Argentian, liberation theology was an important influence in the South African Catholic Church, where it transformed into Black theology - and later contextual theology. Like Althaus- Reid, my conviction that Christianity must stand on the side of justice and inclusion for the marginalized has led me to a conviction that this must also include justice in the church, and justice also for the sexually marginalized of all shades: gay, lesbian, trans, bi- or simply queer (in either meaning - sexually non-conformist, or just "strange"). And like her, I too have migrated from a land of southern sun to British damp and cold. So - I could be biased.
As a theologian, her work was undoubtedly influential - but also highly controversial. Just the titles of her two major books illustrate this: "Indecent Theology", and "The Queer God". I love the title and concept "Indecent Theology" (which I have not read), which suggests for me two distinct concepts: that theology should not shrink from tackling concepts that are too often avoided as "indecent", and simultaneously that in tackling conventional themes, it need not automatically adopt a reverential, deferential submission to received, supposedly authoritative opinion. Her thorough grounding in liberation theology left Althaus - Reid with a firm commitment to the value of base communities, in which ordinary people in small groups can do theology by talking about the influence and impact of God in their lives, in their unique circumstances. The formal, accredited theologians have greater training and academic understanding of the theory of God - but the base communities have real - world experience of their own lives. Both methods of doing theology deserve attention and respect.
For her admirers, she was a pioneer in the transformation of gay liberation theology into queer theology. See for instance, Jay Emerson Johnson of the Pacific School of Religion Centre for Lesbian and Gay Studies, School of Religion and Ministry , in a commemorative reflection after her death:
Hardly anyone has a neutral reaction to the word “queer.” People either love it or hate it. I used to belong to that latter camp until a wiry, effervescent, brilliant Latin American liberation theologian converted me. That theologian’s name was Marcella Althaus-Reid, who passed away on February 20 – far too young and with many more theological and spiritual insights left to offer to a world that desperately needs them.
“Queer theology” has been bubbling up in some quarters for a while now, but not quite as long as “queer theory.” Both spark considerable controversy, and sometimes for similar reasons. Usually the word “queer” is enough to send an otherwise congenial dinner party of LGBT people rocking with impassioned disclaimers, hurled history lessons, and proffered pleas for tolerance. In religious circles, gay and lesbian people have been working for decades to carve out a “place at the table” in faith communities that they so rightly deserve. The work can be slow and arduous, which the word “queer” – some strenuously insist – can derail. A few years ago I attended a national gathering of LGBT-affirming ministries where a well-known gay Christian author practically begged his audience of several hundred to refrain from using “that word” in their advocacy work. It simply perpetuates the assumption that we’re different, he explained.
That’s exactly the point, as Marcella Althaus-Reid would have chimed in had she been there. We are different. And the only way to do Christian theology is from that place of difference. The “we” for Althaus-Reid didn’t mean only lesbian and gay people, nor the ones so quickly added on later, like bisexuals and transgender folks. “We” are all those who don’t fit the regulatory regimes of both state and church marked by gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, and economics. For her, “queer” maps out a space of resistance to those regimes, not just to oppose but creatively to construct, re-imagine, and envision a different kind of world.
Johnson doesn't spell it out, but her understanding of "queer" was emphatically not restricted to lesbian, gay and trans - it very much included bisexual (which she was herself), and all the varieties of sexual non-conformity - she was one of the few queer theologians to include discussion of S/M sexuality.
For her detractors, there are many counterarguments. A good friend, who knows far more about the Catholic Church and theology than I do, once described her to me quite simply as a "nutter". Her writing has far more the character of post-modern philosophy or literary criticism than of conventional theology. Her sources are secular writing more often than they are scriptural, or based on earlier theologians. (When I read "The Queer God", I was baffled at times by the style and the dense, sometime impenetrable writing - but equally stimulated and excited by other passages of brilliance and insight). Some would even argue that her theology is post-Christian, not Christian. For example, Rollan McCleary:
In reality, Marcella Althaus-Reid constitutes one of the strangest phenomena in the long and diverse history of Christian thought. To judge from her published works this lecturer in “Christian ethics” who dismissed the Ten Commandments as “a consensus” reflecting “elite perspectives” (2003:163) was less a spokesperson for the “indecent” or disruptive she is supposed to represent and that might have had it uses, than an unusual kind of atheist and blasphemer whose written wit and reportedly frequent laughter in person barely disguised the extent of the game she must have known she was playing. Within the increasingly effete, too often irrelevant world of theological and Queer studies she found opportunity. Her admirers, and in her last years she had them on an international scale, have been deceived or perhaps never really understood what she wrote - whole chunks of it admitted to be dense, difficult, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary based. Those who truly understood might have to be considered infidels towards the religion they profess.
But even her detractors agree on some undeniable lasting value in her work. McCleary concedes in his post,
.... even if Marcella hadn’t returned right answers she had raised pertinent questions based on experiences not to be ignored.
- Towards Full GLBT Inclusion in Faith: Some Signs of the Times.
- Liberate Me, Liberate You: The Preferential Option for the Queer
Sunday, 19 February 2012
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.
Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:34-35I greet you in the very name of our Lord, Jesus Christ!Difficult letters, like difficult conversations are never easy. However, God never promised us easy, and there are times when we must take up the cross and walk in faith. I write today not representing the United Methodist Church, for only General Conference can do that. So, even though I write this letter as your Bishop, I hope it will also be received as your friend in Christ.With the signing by Governor Gregoire of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington as of June 7th, the state joins six others in recognizing this union. Personally, I celebrate the signing into law of the legalization of same-sex marriage for our state. It is an historic moment for the people of this geographic region, and it marks a secular turning point in the liberation of those who have too long been oppressed in our current times. I celebrate with those who will be free to enjoy equal health and security benefits through the state institution of marriage.I also personally grieve over our United Methodist Church polity that will not recognize same-sex marriage. I believe that it is wrong, and we should work for a more inclusive and humane response. The reason for this stance is that I believe that Jesus Christ is the incarnation of God's divine love for the entire creation, and no one should be shut out from God's embracing Grace. God's Grace is so pure and encompassing that anything that attempts to limit or control this love must be transformed.-read the full letter at Reconciling Minisgtries Network(emphasis added)
More than a thousand United Methodist clergy across the United States have signed statements committing themselves to fulfill their vow to ministry by marrying or blessing couples regardless of their gender. More than a third of the population of the United States lives where marriage or civil unions for gay and lesbian couples are legal. When parishioners come to their pastors to request that they officiate at their weddings, ministers face a conflict between their vow to minister to their whole congregation and their vow to uphold the Book of Discipline which asks them to deny ministry to some of their members.
When it comes to supporting gay marriage in Washington, there may be one question even more divisive for Christians than the one they're likely to see on the November ballot.
What would Jesus do?
"There's churches on both sides of that in Yakima," the Rev. David Helseth of Englewood Christian Church said. "I expect there will be some congregations and leaders that are very vocal."
Helseth is one of numerous church leaders locally who won't be addressing the issue from the pulpit anytime soon. He said he knows church members who support and oppose gay marriage, and he would rather promote civil dialogue than something that could seriously divide the congregation.
"We are not going to exclude anybody," Helseth said. "Everyone has a place at Christ's table."
The Rev. Mike Scheid of Yakima's Central Lutheran Church said gay marriage hasn't been seriously addressed within his congregation yet, and that's likely because the issue is still ongoing. Scheid said he thinks the topic will become a bigger issue later in the year when a likely referendum settles the question of legalization.
Friday, 17 February 2012
In recent years, progress towards full lgbt inclusion in church has been remarkable, with the appointment of openly gay and lesbian bishops, landmark national decisions by some denominations to remove barriers to ordination for LGBT pastors, and local decisions by individual congregations to conduct same - sex weddings or blessings for queer couples (or to withhold weddings for all couples, until they are able to offer them to all, without discrimination). The headline news reports have usually featured (mainline) Protestant denominations - and resistance by some dissenting congregations, transferring their allegiance to alternative umbrella bodies.
The movement towards welcoming and affirming congregations is present though in all denominations, and that includes the Evangelical churches. In these, it is sometimes the refusal to accept inclusion, not its endorsement, that leads congregations to disaffiliate. This was the case in Central Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. Central Baptist's commitment to inclusion is clear from its website, right on the homepage: see the logo, and the clear promise just beneath it : "All Are Welcome - No Exceptions".
The Central pastor, Mark Johnson, had written a blog post that featured a poster based marketing campaign by an Indianapolis church. affiliated to the MCC, that asked the pertinent question "Who Stole Jesus?". This resulted in a complaint from the pastor of a sister - church to the Elkhorn Baptist Association. In response, the congregation opted to withdraw from the association
The congregation opted to leave the association rather than fight, but added a public statement to make clear that all Baptists do not agree on everything.
“We have been quiet for too long,” said church member Rachel Childress. “There are hundreds, if not thousands, of people in our community who do not know there is a Baptist church like us.”
Central Baptist Church’s website lists mission partners including the Kentucky Baptist Fellowship and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. The church left the Southern Baptist Convention and Kentucky Baptist Convention a decade ago. Johnson said those decisions made the vote to leave the association “a natural and predictable course of direction.”
Johnson said Central Baptist Church wants to identify itself as “an open and inviting fellowship for God’s people.” A motto on the church website says: “All are welcomed here. No exceptions.”
The press release said Central Baptist harbors “no feelings of animosity toward or alienation from the people or programs” of Elkhorn Baptist Association, but believes “it is best to officially part ways.” The church will continue to work with Irishtown Baptist Mission in downtown Lexington, a ministry supported by the association that Central took the lead in establishing 50 years ago.
In fact, this withdrawal neatly highlights the relevance of the "Who Stole Jesus?" question. The whole Gospel message affirms the primacy of love, mercy and compassion over strict adherence to rigid religious rules and bureaucratic control. By withdrawing from a body that seeks to impose religious conformity, they are simply refusing to allow them to "steal Jesus" away from them.
- KY Baptist Church Leaves Southern Baptist Convention Over LGBT Issues (lezgetreal.com)
- Change of Heart for a Pastor (mlp.org)
My colleague Advocatus Diaboli sent me a link some days ago to a post at Jesus in Love, about a new book ("Dark Knowledge", by Kenneth Low) which argues that Jesus was homosexual and sexually active, but closeted - and that was the reason for his trial and execution. AD asked me for my opinion. Before getting to my response, I share some key extracts from Kittredge's post:
“Dark Knowledge” by Kenneth Low uses rational arguments to disprove much of the conventional wisdom about Christ. According to Low, Jesus was not heterosexual, not celibate, and not happy with his own identity.
Low presents evidence that Jesus must have been homosexual because he was an unmarried man who surrounded himself with men, including John, his beloved male disciple and sexual partner.
Kittredge quotes from Low directly:
In His childhood, Jesus Christ came into His awareness of being the Son of God. His magical authority and other attributes were given to Him as His birthright. As He came into sexual awareness, He discovered Himself to be a homosexual. His awareness of being the Son of God precluded any possibility of denying His sexuality out of some external concern and He began to be sexually active. He was evidently discovered to be a homosexual by people in His hometown and He must have been sharply rebuked and ostracized. He left Galilee and wandered on an endless soulful sojourn seeking a reconciliation of His divinity with His homosexuality. (p. 276)
Toby Johnson, the author of Gay Spirituality and Gay Perspective and a former editor of the "White Crane" journal of gay spirituality, has also written about Dark Knowledge. He summarizes the thesis proposed by Dark Knowledge:
When Low considers Jesus as homosexual, it is as secretive, shamed and closeted, what a homosexual would have thought of himself in an intensely and threateningly homophobic and misogynistic society. His townsfolk would have ignored his teachings because they knew too much about him. He’d have been an embarrassment to his family. The Apostles would have been reluctant to admit they knew him if this fact came out. In this reading of the story, Jesus’s homosexuality isn’t an item of pride, but rather the source of a spiritual crisis that forces him to develop an interpretation of virtue and goodness that isn’t just conformity with Jewish Law, since he himself can’t conform.
(In his review, Johnson praises the originality of the presentation and the manner in which Low re-imagines the life of Christ. He concludes by noting that he is sceptical of Low's conclusion, but finds the book stimulating, and a good read nevertheless).
Thursday, 16 February 2012
It may be rare to encounter a multicolored gay pride flag upon entering a church. But Brandeis’ Catholic chaplain, the Rev. Walter Cuenin, proudly displays the rainbow flag in the Bethlehem Chapel’s foyer. With the word “Peace” written across the middle, the flag symbolizes a proclamation of acceptance and unity for each person who may walk through the Bethlehem Chapel’s doors.
Cuenin bases his decision to exhibit a gay pride flag on a tale about Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. According to Christian tradition, when Mary and Joseph arrived at a Bethlehem inn, Mary was forced to have her baby in an outside stable since there were no rooms left at the inn. Cuenin connects this story to Brandeis’ Bethlehem Chapel by using the multicolored flag to portray that “in this Bethlehem, there’s always room for everyone in the inn.”
Cuenin is currently an ally of Brandeis’ LGBT group, Triskelion. He claims that while the Catholic Church does not support gay marriage, it does welcome gay people to its churches. In fact, when he was a pastor for a larger church nearby, Cuenin had even performed a baptism for the baby of a gay couple.
“The Catholic Church opposes gay marriage, so I cannot directly say I support it, but I have seen from my experience that for many people it creates a much healthier environment … For example, if you were to go to Provincetown in the summer time, where a lot of gay people go, it’s a radically different place today than it was 20 years ago,” Cuenin said. “They are there with children and married, raising kids, so they go home at night. In other words, it has transformed the whole gay scene … it hasn’t led to total debauchery. In some ways, it has pulled people back together,” Cuenin said.
via The Brandeis Hoot .
- "A Catholic Case for Same-sex Marriage": Gramick, DeBernardo
- Valentine's Day: Same Sex Lovers in Church History
- Soho Masses - Supporting Church Teaching.
- ALL ARE WELCOME: A Priest With An Extravagant Sense of Hospitality (New Ways Ministry / Bondings 2.o)
- Robert McClory on the Embarrassment the Catholic Bishops Have Become (and How They've Gotten There) (Bilgrimage)
- Imagining the Church Catholic: What You See, What You Get (Bilgrimage)
- Dominic Holden on the Uproar Within the Catholic Church Over Gay Marriage (slog.thestranger.com)
Wednesday, 15 February 2012
This month in Maryland and the state of Washington, an extraordinary dynamic is playing itself out: Two Catholic governors are prodding legislators to pass bills legalizing same-gender marriage. Like Govs. Andrew Cuomo in New York and Pat Quinn in Illinois — whose states recently legalized same-sex civil unions — Govs. Martin O’Malley and Christine Gregoire are acting against the strongly expressed opposition of their church’s bishops.
As Catholics who are involved in lesbian and gay ministry and outreach, we are aware that many people, some of them Catholics, believe that Catholics cannot faithfully disobey the public policies of the church’s hierarchy. But this is not the case.
The Catholic Church is not a democracy, but neither is it a dictatorship. Ideally, our bishops should strive to proclaim the sensus fidelium , the faith as it is understood by the whole church. At the moment, however, the bishops and the majority of the church are at odds. A survey published in September by the Public Religion Research Institute found that 52 percent of Catholics support marriage equality and 69 percent support civil unions.
Those numbers shouldn’t surprise people who are familiar with the Catholic theological tradition. For example, Catholic thinking dictates that we should use the evidence we find in the natural world to help us reach our conclusions. Many Catholics have reflected on the scientific evidence that homosexuality is a natural variant in human sexuality, and understand that lesbian and gay love is as natural as heterosexual love.
-full reflection at The Washington Post.
- New Ways Ministry: "Bondings" (queeringthechurch.com)
- Marriage Equality and History of Marriage: Some Catholic Resources (bilgrimage.blogspot.com)
- Religion and Gay Marriage: Reactions to Prop 8 Ruling. (queeringthechurch.com)
- Catholics Speak Out for Marriage Equality in Maryland (newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com)