Watch this video – it has some important insights into why the phenomenon of homosexuality supports the survival of the species – and its value in families.
Hearty congratulations are due to SMUG, (Sexual Minorities Uganda) who were one of the 37 LGBT and ally groups represented at the 2nd Assembly in Munich last week of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC). For some time now, I’ve been following their twitter feed, and have been thoroughly impressed by the work they are doing, towards protecting LGBT and other sexual minorities in Uganda.
They’ve been awarded the 2017 René Cassin Human Rights Prize, for their work. The judges’ committee drew attention to the problem of criminalisation not only in Uganda, but also in other countries, and the importance of opposing it. This is of course, a primary focus of the GNRC, too. One of the working groups at the 2nd Assembly was devoted to the problem of criminalisation, with strong representation from the African countries present. At the business part of the meeting later, the assembly formally approved a motion urging the Catholic Church to oppose the scourge of criminalisation in African It is wonderful timing that in the week after our conference approved that resolution, one of our member groups has been honoured for their work to that end.
For more, see this Spanish language report (I’ve not yet found any English reports. Until I do, I’m dependent as ever on Google translate for the bare bones of the story):
El Gobierno Vasco concede el Premio René Cassin 2017 a “Sexual Minorities Uganda”, por su defensa de los derechos humanos del colectivo LGTBI en África (Consejo de Gobierno 05-12-2017)
El jurado se suma a la denuncia de la situación de la comunidad LGTBI en Uganda y llama, por medio de este premio, a respetar sus derechos, seguridad y dignidad
El Lehendakari entregará el premio el próximo 11 de diciembre, con ocasión del Día Internacional de los Derechos Humanos, que se conmemora el domingo 10 de diciembre
El Gobierno Vasco ha hecho pública hoy la concesión a ”Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG)” del Premio René Cassin 2017 de Derechos Humanos, que otorga la Secretaría General de Derechos Humanos, Convivencia y Cooperación.
En esta ocasión, el jurado ha destacado la tarea de denuncia de la situación de la comunidad LGTBI en algunos países de África y de Uganda en particular, y el trabajo en defensa del respeto de sus derechos, seguridad y dignidad.
La ONG “Sexual Minorities Uganda – SMUG” fue fundada en 2004 por el activista transgénero Victor Mukasa, y está integrada por 18 organizaciones de distinto signo que luchan por el reconocimiento y el respeto de la dignidad y derechos de las personas lesbianas, gays, bisexuales, transgénero e intersexuales. La entidad que ha propuesto a “SMUG” para el premio René Cassin 2017 ha sido la asociación vasca “Ortzadar LGTB” que promueve esos mismos fines en Euskadi.
I’m sitting in the main room for the GNRC Assembly, waiting for evening prayers to begin. It’s been a gentle late start to proceedings, to allow time for travellers to make their assorted way to Munich. However, already I’ve been inspired.
During the opening session, our co-chair Michael Brinkschroeder presented a progress report of the approach taken by a team of German LGBT Catholics in their dialogue with local bishops, and what has been arleady been achieved. I already knew some of what he said, but there were also pleasant surprises, even for me. (For example, the local archdiocese is one of the co-sponsors of the assembly). I’ll have a more complete report on the German progress, later.
This evening we convened in a series of working groups: this is very much a working congress, I’m pleased that I’ve been allocated to my first choice – “dialogue with bishops”. This evening was not much more than an introductory ice-breaker, getting to know each other and sharing initial thoughts. Even so, it was inspiring to meet people from a range of countries and circumstances, and to realise just how much is already being done, in terms of dialogue with a wide range of bishops. This includes some notable senior figures in the Vatican, senior bishops in our home countries, and more. We began to discuss some useful principles for good practice. Many useful ideas were presented.
Tomorrow, we continue the work, with the aim of developing some firm commitments and principles for ongoing work, once the Assembly has ended.
On Monday this week, I visited St Francis Xavier 6th Form College, on behalf of Quest, to talk about the experience of being both Catholic and gay (or lesbian). This was my third school visit. All have been different from each other, in how they were initiated and in the focus of the presentation – but all have been intensely rewarding, each in their own way.
This week’s visit was initiated by the school, with an invitation to Quest to speak to the school on the general them of “Catholic and Gay”. I arrived early, and after a brief chat with the deputy head Ciaran Graham, who had issued the invitation, he took me on an enjoyable tour of the school facilities . I was particularly interested in the school chapel, which has been a place of prayer and worship for over 120 years.
With just 20 minutes available for the talk, I could do no more than skim the surface of the subject. I began with a very brief outline of my own story, then described the three broad themes that had helped me personally to reconcile faith and sexuality: the Catholic insistence on the primacy of conscience, my experience of prayer and particularly Ignatian spirituality, and my exploration of the biblical evidence – both what Keith Sharpe refers to as “defensive” and “affirmative” scriptures.
I thought it went well. I could see that with a handful of exceptions, the kids were attentive and absorbed. There were no questions afterwards, but then I had gone over my allotted 20 minutes, so I think they were just anxious to get away. However, the staff I spoke to were enthusiastic, and on my way to the station afterwards, I met some of the students who thanked me, and said it had been enjoyable and helpful. That was confirmed later, in an email from the deputy head.
Once again a huge thank you for coming in. Indeed I’ve spoken to a few students who found it a very valuable talk and the teachers present have nothing but praise.
I’ll be in touch again to take you up on your very kind offer.
When Pope Francis earlier this month confirmed the “heroic virtue” of Pope John Paul I, he conferred on him the title “Venerable”, reminding us of Pope John Paul II’s earlier declaration of him as a “servant of God” – the first step on the road to sainthood.
My interest in John Paul I is that there have been numerous suggestions that he may have been the first to speak up for pastoral support for gay couples – for example, by permitting adoption by gay couples, or even for some form of recognition for same-sex unions.
My original source came from a post at “The Gay Mystic, which I first wrote about some years ago. I’ve now done some more research, and found much more of interest.
Two years ago, I was at the inaugural conference of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics in Rome, coinciding with the start of the Bishops’ Synod Assembly on Marriage and Family.
That conference set up a steering committee, to put the organisation on a sound footing to continue solid work to promote full LGBT inclusion and equality in the Catholic Church. The steering committee has now completed its work. At the end of this month, the GNRC will be formally constituted at a conference in Rome. I will be there.
In addition to the formal approval of the body’s statutes and the election of a board, this will be very much a working conference, with four study groups preparing plans for continuing work. I have asked to be allocated to either the group working on tools and strategies for advocacy with Catholic bishops, or that tasked with improving pastoral care for LGBT Catholics. In addition, I will be urging the conference to send a strong delegation of LGBT Catholics to the 2018 World Meeting of Families in Dublin, where by our simple presence we can provide valuable testimony to the reality of LGBT Catholic lives, present empirical research to counter the prevalent myths promoted by our enemies, and possible even address the full assembly.
However, to get there I need your help. Please support my “Go Fund Me” page.
It´s been almost two years from the first time the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics gathered, for its genesis in Rome on October 2015 and in parallel to the Extraordinary Synod of the Family. Since then Pope Francis, male and female religious, lay members and our local LGBTI pastoral care groups pronounced diverse speeches or took different actions related to LGBTI issues within the Catholic Church. While some of them are great approaches for justice and inclusion for LGBTI´s and their families, there are still many others that sustain the need to keep an open and direct dialogue with the whole Church and society. “We have made a lot of local efforts, but indeed a single and global voice with our lay Community, the Curia and the Vatican itself is needed”, explains Benjamin Oh, member of the GNRC Steering Committee and part of Acceptance Sydney (LGBTI Pastoral Care Group based in Australia). “We have made these journeys as independent initiatives, when there are a lot of synergies we can develop together as a Global Network”, complements Benjamin O.
So recognizing the benefits of the GNRC existence we are pleased to inform you that our 2nd GNRC Assembly will be held from 30th November to 3th December 2017 in Munich-Dachau (Germany). The conference title is “Hear a just cause” from Psalm 17. “Our time has come for social justice and our plea must be heard because it is indeed a just cause – and above all, urgent!” said Joseanne Peregin, also a member of the GNRC Steering Committee and part of Drachma´s Parents Group (LGBTI Pastoral Care Group based in Malta).
- Rainbow Catholics Call for LGBT “Listening Process”
- “Rainbow Catholics” Welcome New Era for LGBT Pastoral Care
- Rainbow Catholics’ Letter to Synod Fathers
- Global Network of Rainbow Catholics Provides Alternative to Vatican Document
- Inspiring First Day for LGBT Catholic Global Conference
- It Begins: Global Network of Rainbow Catholics
For too long, LGBT people have suffered under Biblical textual abuse, with our opponents brandishing a handful of cherry – picked scriptural texts as weapons to accuse and condemn us, It is not surprising then, that so many of our community view the Bible with suspicion, or even reject it entirely, and with it very often, all religious faith and practice. But this abuse is a gross distortion of what scripture is all about, as the second reading for today, the second Sunday of Advent (year A) makes clear:
“Gospel” derives from “Godspell”, that is “good news” – and the hope and good news apply as much to gay, lesbian and trans Christians as to any other:
Everything that was written long ago in the scriptures was meant to teach us something about hope from the examples scripture gives of how people who did not give up were helped by God. And may he who helps us when we refuse to give up, help you all to be tolerant with each other, following the example of Christ Jesus, so that united in mind and voice you may give glory to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.It can only be to God’s glory, then, for you to treat each other in the same friendly way as Christ treated you. The reason Christ became the servant of circumcised Jews was not only so that God could faithfully carry out the promises made to the patriarchs, it was also to get the pagans to give glory to God for his mercy, as scripture says in one place: For this I shall praise you among the pagans and sing to your name.Romans 15:4-9
re: Your statement on “redefining” marriage :
Everyone has a right to marry, but no one has the right to change the nature of marriage. Marriage is what it is and always has been, no matter what a Legislature decides to do; however, the public understanding of marriage will be negatively affected by passage of a bill that ignores the natural fact that sexual complementarity is at the core of marriage.
- In Biblical Israel, marriage was polygamous, arranged exclusively between men (the groom, and the fathers of his wives). The Hebrew patriarch, if he could afford it, would also keep concubines as well as wives.
- In classical and medieval times, marriage was not a contract between two people based on love to raise children, but a financial and legal arrangement to protect property and inheritance.
- In the early Christian church, there was no obligation for couples to marry in church – unless the groom was a priest.
- There was, on the other hand, provision for same sex unions to be blessed, in church, by formal liturgical rites.
- The idea of marriage as a “Christian Sacrament” came relatively late in Church history. The popular Western understanding of “traditional marriage” is a very modern invention, dating mostly from the nineteenth century.
- Boswell, John: Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe
- Bray, Alan: The Friend
- Glaser, Chris: As My Own Soul: The Blessing of Same-Gender Marriage
- Jordan, Mark D: Blessing Same-Sex Unions: The Perils of Queer Romance and the Confusions of Christian Marriage
- An Ignorant Mexican Cardinal, v an Authentic History of Marriage (my-queer-spirituality.blogspot.com)
- A Catholic Case For Blessing Civil Unions. (queertheology.blogspot.com)
- Catholic Theology of the Body: Bogus Science Propping Up Bad Theology (bilgrimage.blogspot.com)
- Celibacy, Homosexuality, Jeffrey John and Cardinal Newman (queertheology.blogspot.com)
- The Church’s Changing Tradition (queertheology.blogspot.com)
- Gay Marriage: The Fallacy of the Church’s Argument Against. (queertheology.blogspot.com)
- Blessed John Henry and Ambrose: Newman’s Last Sermon (queertheology.blogspot.com)
Here’s a refreshing change: instead of the spurious, religious arguments against gay adoption and gay marriage, two more voices (this time, from Jewish perspectives) speaking out on the positive faith-based reasons in favour of each.
In the first of these, at the Jerusalem Post, the orthodox Rabbi, television host and author of religious books on relationships Shmuley Boteach argues strongly in favour of gay adoption. Last month, he participated with Rosie O’Donnell in a New Jersey public discussion on the subject. In an article published before this event, he reflected on these issues, and especially on an aspect that I see as the most important of all. When a friend he spoke to expressed regret that Rosie’s four adopted children would never have a father (the standard, theoretical argument against gay adoption), Rabbi Shmuley replied with the obvious and important, reality-based response:
that without Rosie they wouldn’t have a mother either.
Lest We Forget: Remember the Ashes of Our Martyrs
The New Pope’s In-tray
The Papal Resignation: Response from New Ways Ministry
Catholic MP’s Back Gay Marriage
Joseph Gentilini – Hounded by Heaven
French Bishops: Respect Gay Relationships (2).
Gay Marriage Debate: A Quotable Quote, on Jesus
Should Catholics accept gay marriage? Austen Ivereigh and Tina Beattie
A Big Day for Marriage Equality, UK – and for Queer Catholics, Worldwide
Lepers, Social Outcasts – and the Church
Promote LGBT Ministry: Write to Rome, Write the Bishops”!
Is gay marriage really about sex? Is sex only about procreation?