A few years ago, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn hit the headlines, saying that at a time when so many people are not bothering to get married, the Church should reconsider its approach to divorced people who do want to remarry. At the same time, he said that it was time to shift the emphasis, in responding to gay couples, from an obsession with genital acts, to consideration of the quality of the relationships. On both counts, he was ahead of the pack – and remains so. Speaking about the response of Austrican Catholics to the global survey in preparation for the synod, he has now said that the Church must adjust to the reality of co-habitation, divorce and remarriage, To which LGBT Catholics would add, and to the reality of same – sex couples – and if the “Church” should adapt, then so too should Catholic schools.
JUSTICE MINISTER ALAN Shatter has, today, published the General Scheme of the long-anticipated Children and Family Relationships Bill.
The proposed legislation, which would clarify the legal status of children in in civil partnerships, surrogacy arrangements and assisted human reproduction, will now go forward for discussion at Oireachtas committee level.
The new laws will allow civil partners to jointly adopt a child for the first time.According to the Minister, this measure “removes the current anomaly where single lesbian and gay individuals can adopt children, but civil partners cannot jointly adopt”.
Today’s law relating to adoption provides for the adoption of children by married couples and by single persons (irrespective of their sexual orientation), but not jointly by civil partners.
Shatter has asked the Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality – in conjunction with members of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children – to undertake a consultation process on his proposals for the Bill.
The cross-party TDs and Senators will have until Easter to furnish any observations to his department before the outlined proposals which, according to the Minister, “seek to put in place a modern legal architecture to underpin family situations”.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Justin Welby and John Sentamu, have today issued a joint communiqué to all Primates of the Anglican Communion around the world and to the Presidents of Nigeria and Uganda, expressing their opposition to the new laws that in many countries – especially in Africa – are discriminating against gay people.
“The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us. We assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and valued by Him and deserving the best we can give” in terms of “pastoral care and friendship”.
In this regard, Welby and Sentamu recall in their statement the words of a communiqué issued in 2005 by the Primates of the Anglican Communion: “We wish to make it quite clear that in our discussion and assessment of moral appropriateness of specific human behaviours, we continue unreservedly to be committed to the pastoral support and care of homosexual people”.
Hence the two English Archbishops call upon the leaders of Anglican Churches across the world to “demonstrate the love of Christ and the affirmation” expressed in the communiqué of 2005.
A new review of research by the Australian Government’s Institute of Family Studies has found that kids who are being brought up in families headed by gays and lesbians do as well as their heterosexually parented peers
24 JANUARY 2014 | BY ANDREW POTTS
The Australian Institute of Family Studies has released a report on the well being of children raised by gays and lesbians and found they did just as well as those raised by heterosexual men and women.
The Australian Institute of Family Studies is the Australian Government’s key research body in the area of family well being and provides an evidence base for developing policy supportive of the well being of families in Australia.
The report was authored by Dr Deborah Dempsey – a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the Faculty of Life and Social Sciences at Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology.
‘Research to date considerably challenges the point of view that same-sex parented families are harmful to children,’ the report found.
Ex-vice principal reacts to resignation at Wash. school
“I think it’s a shame that Eastside Catholic has lost another administrator,” Zmuda said Wednesday.
In a statement released Tuesday, Eastside Catholic said Tracy’s decision “was a difficult but necessary decision so that a new leader can be brought in to ensure the entire Eastside Catholic community is on a positive path forward.”
Zmuda acknowledged that families at the school have been unhappy since his departure.
“The school has been in some transition, and they want some more stability,” he said. “They would like some strong leadership to kinda help move the school forward.”
Students staged protests at the school and the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle in support of Zmuda. They also had a change.org petition that has 35,000 signatures.
“I would love to have my job back at Eastside Catholic,” Zmuda said. “I think that a lot of the students have stood up for me for this one particular reason and if they did decide to offer me my position back, I would definitely go back and work at Eastside Catholic.”
Zmuda is in the early stages of planning a foundation to be called Stand With Mr. Z. Foundation.
“We are just trying to stand up for what we believe in,” he said. “A lot of people have stood up for me and so now it’s time for me, and hopefully this foundation, to stand up for others. … We want to focus on tolerance; we want to focus on equal rights … whether it is religious or LGBTQ rights. We just want to stand up and possibly even stand up for change.”
Students at Eastside Catholic say they are one step closer to reinstating their ousted vice principal after the head of the school suddenly resigned on Tuesday.
Mark Zmuda was forced out of his job last month after the school discovered he married his male partner.
Many students and parents were are sad to see Sister Mary Tracy leave the private school, but some kids say its exactly what needs to happen to change the school’s stance on same-sex marriage.
“The goal of this whole thing is to get Mr. Zmuda back,” said senior Julia Burns.
What started as sit-ins and protests nearly a month ago has turned into a national movement to reinstate Zmuda.
“Now that she’s gone we can hopefully hire a new head of school that can be more open minded and definitely more sympathetic to the situation and get Zmuda back,” Burns said.
The president of the school, Sister Mary Tracy, suddenly resigned on Tuesday. The news sent shockwaves through Sammamish.
Now some Eastside Catholic alumni say it’s time for Zmuda to get his job back, and they’re circulating a petition.
Alumni plan to turn in their petitions to the school’s board of trustee’s during Thursday’s meeting
A Jesuit priest recently observed that the Seattle students who were insisting on the reinstatement of their gay deputy principal were following Pope Francis’ hope that young people would “make a mess” in their dioceses. Just before that, a report in the Seattle Post concluded from available evidence that the students were winning. News today that the school principal has now resigned, following the earlier example of the chairman of the school board, indicates that he was right – the students clearly are winning.
But they have their own standards, they have not won, yet. First, must come the reinstatement of Mr Z. Thereafter, a much tougher ask – a change in church teaching. That’s less likely than their primary demand, but no longer an impossible dream.
A month of walk outs, petitions, and intense media attention is creating change at Eastside Catholic High School as the school’s president and CEO announced her resignation abruptly yesterday. In December, Sr. Mary Tracy terminated Vice Principal Mark Zmuda after he married his husband, triggering an ongoing movement for his reinstatement called #KeepMrZ2013. The Seattle Times reports further:
“It comes just days before a planned schoolwide meeting Thursday, during which board members — who have been the target of persistent lobbying by students, alumni and parents — are expected to field parents’ questions…
“Tracy’s statements about whether Zmuda was fired or resigned, and what role the Seattle archbishop played in that decision, at times contradicted those of the school’s attorney and the archdiocese.”
Zmuda also claims that Tracy told him divorcing his husband would allow him to keep his job. Her resignation is seen by Zmuda’s supporters as a sign that Eastside Catholic’s board is now seriously engaging this issue. It is not, however, an end for their movement, which seeks both Zmuda’s reinstatement and reform of the Church’s approach to sexuality issues.
The president’s letter follows the resignation of Eastside Catholic’s board chair earlier this month. This whole situation highlights how widespread the harm is when Catholic schools implement anti-LGBT policies.
You can read Bondings 2.0‘s past coverage of #KeepMrZ2013 below. We will continue to update this story as it develops.
At the same time court rejects gay adoption in case where neither man proved biological connection to child.
Man with baby born to surrogate mother. Photo: REUTERS
The High Court of Justice on Tuesday night, by a split 5-2 vote, ordered the state to recognize the gay adoption of a child born through surrogacy, including registering both the biological father and his partner as fathers of the child. Simultaneously, the High Court rejected 7-0 the request of another gay couple for recognition of their right to gay adoption. Related: Health Ministry advocates allowing gay couples to use surrogate mothers Both gay couples based their claim on a birth certificate and declaration from the US that they are the child’s parents. The difference between the two cases is that the court granted the request from the gay couple after it underwent genetic testing to prove the biological connection to at least one of the men, while the couple whose request was denied did not do genetic testing.
Writing about St Joan of Arc, I observed that she carries a particular importance for us as gay men, lesbians and transsexuals in the church, as her martyrdom at the hands of church authorities can be seen as a powerful metaphor for the persecution we receive from parts of the church, just for being honest about ourselves, for refusing to renounce our God-given identity. I’ve been thinking further along these lines, and in fact all the Christian martyrs can similarly seen as role models – although the others were not typically executed by the church itself. One martyr in particular has been closely identified as a gay (male) icon – St Sebastian.
This is strictly speaking inappropriate, because there is not anything about Sebastian or his martyrdom that is particularly gay . The main reason quite frankly, that he has acquired this cult status is that painters for centuries have made striking images of his martyrdom, featuring half naked, desirable young men pierced with arrows: soft porn masquerading as inspirational religious art. ( The Independent newspaper has an excellent analysis, still available on-line, on just how this association developed through the art works.) Now, I have no problem with gay men enjoying pictures of St Sebastian, but have had some trouble seeing him as a specifically gay saint. However, I have come across one particular painting, quite different from the original, which immediately put me in mind of a concept I have written about before as a possible model for us in negotiating a proper relationship with the church. Here’s the picture:
This is how I wrote about his death, in an earlier post:
In the readings for the second Sunday of the year, two themes predominate: that of being called (even from the womb), and that of bearing witness. From the perspective of queer Christians, these are powerful themes – because it’s clear throughout that they are fully inclusive.
In the second verse of the first reading (from Isaiah), we read