Category Archives: 00 Uncategorized

Making news headlines in many publications, is that science and Catholicism are not incompatible. Well, of course not- I was taught this about evolution at least, nearly 50 years ago in Catholic high school religion class.

Now, if only the Vatican would pay as much attention to the science of sexuality and gender!

‘God is not a magician’

Pope says Christians should believe in evolution and Big Bang

The “Big Bang” and evolution are not only consistent with biblical teachings, Pope Francis told a Vatican gathering – they are essential to understanding God.

“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything — but that is not so,” the pope told a plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

“He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment,” Pope Francis said.

The earth’s origins were not chaotic, the pontiff said, but were created from a principle of love, reported Religion News Service.

“He gave autonomy to the beings of the universe at the same time at which he assured them of his continuous presence, giving being to every reality, and so creation continued for centuries and centuries, millennia and millennia, until it became which we know today, precisely because God is not a demiurge or a magician, but the creator who gives being to all things,” the pope said.

via Rawstory

Cardinal Kasper’s Corriere Interview: the Complete Text

The full text of Cardinal Walter Kasper’s interview with Corriere has far more important points than only those included in second hand reports, such as at La Croix. I post below my translation of the original Italian, which may be seen in this facebook post at LGBT Chretiens.

The headline, subheading and questions and interventions in bold are those of Corriere. Paragraphs in blockquotes are the reported words of Cardinal Kasper.

cardinal-walter-kasper

“Many faithful want civil unions. It is time that the Church accept this challenge”

Continue reading Cardinal Kasper’s Corriere Interview: the Complete Text

Gay Marriage, Civil Unions, and the Synod

I’m ready to put my head on a block and say it:

The institutional Catholic response to same-sex relationships is undergoing a major sea-change. Here’s the evidence.

The existing formulation of Vatican doctrine is that all forms of genital expression of “same-sex attraction” is strictly verboten, that any form of legal recognition of same – sex unions should be strenuously opposed, and that there is not need for legal protection against discrimination, because if we do not disclose our orientation (i.e.., stay in the closet), the question of discrimination simply will not arise, because no-one will know we’re gay.

How times have changed!

The German bishops have recently removed from their employment contracts the clause that penalizes openly gay or lesbian employees. LGBT Catholic teachers, hospital workers, and parish workers need no longer remain closeted.

A steadily expanding list of Catholic bishops, including some in very senior positions, has given direct support to the value of legal protections for same – sex couples. for example, by civil union or civil partnership legislation

And outside the Catholic Church, recognition and support for church blessings (or even full marriage rites) for same – sex couples is gaining ground, rapidly. (Two recent examples are the French Protestant church, which has accepted the possibility of such church blessings, and the Scottish Kirk, which has approved appointing ministers in same – sex civil partnerships. Other denominations have even approved full marriage).

Catholics “leading the way” on gay marriage.

A steady stream of opinion polls, in North America, in the UK, in Europe, and now in Australia, consistently show that where voters are asked about their support for marriage equality, Catholics are supportive and generally more so than the general population.  similarly, many polls show that most Catholics do not see that homosexuality is morally objectionable at all.

 

Irish Referendum: Foreign “Elves” Boosting Yes Vote

It’ll be a while before we have results from the Irish gay marriage referendum (the final result is expected sometime mid- afternoon, Saturday). Meanwhile, we have some terrific and heartwarming  reports from the ground, especially from the  crowd, who’ve been returning from foreign parts, far and wide, just to cast their votes.

Naomi O’Leary tweeted

“This is the scene on the 9:10 London to Holyhead train as Irish abroad return  “

I  also especially enjoyed this.

The is like when you’re watching The Hobbit and an army of elves you’d forgotten from earlier in the film arrive over a hill.

There’ll be a wait for results, but early indications are encouraging. Turnout is high, especially in urban areas, and with young voters  – both

Irish Archbishop: Same – sex Relationships Should “Cherished”

In Ireland, Catholic Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has buried inside a lengthy, carefully thought defence of the Catholic Church opposition to gay marriage, a clear and direct admission that balancing the exclusion of same – sex couples from marriage, we should nevertheless recognize and cherish their relationships “in a culture of difference”.

Here’s the money quote:

An ethics of equality does not require uniformity. There can be an ethic of equality which is an ethic of recognising and respecting difference. A pluralist society can be creative in finding ways in which people of same-sex orientation have their rights and their loving and caring relationships recognisedand cherished in a culture of difference, while respecting the uniqueness of the male-female relationship. I know that the harshness with which the Irish Church treated gay and lesbian people in the past – and in some cases still today – may make it hard for LGBT people to accept that I am sincere in what I am proposing.

– from The Tablet – Texts, speeches, homilies.

(The link above is to the full text of his address. Or, you could read a shorter news report here)

For years, Catholic bishops in one country or state after another have been strenuous in their opposition to marriage equality – frequently unsuccessfully. Much of the rhetoric employed has been offensive and divisive, but one of the important benefits to gay Catholics coming out of this vocal opposition to same – sex marriage, has been clear signs of a softening of approach, and a moderation in language, by many bishops in respect of same – sex relationships, and gay and lesbian people, themselves.

In some cases, this has been a fairly grudging recognition that there is value in supporting the legal provision of civil unions as a lesser evil than full marriage equality – even though in the early years of the struggle for equality, many bishops opposed even the introduction of civil unons (and continue to do, in countries like Italy and Colombia).  In other cases, there have been bishops who accept that civil unions have direct value in themselves, by providing same – sex couples with legal protection. This statement by Archbishop Martin goes further than most however, in its clear recognition that same – sex relationships deserve to be not only accepted, but even “cherished”. Elsewhere in his address, he also acknowledges, as many of his peers did at the first session of the Rome family synod, that in the past, much of the language used by the Church, and its actual treatment of gay people, has been harsh and hurtful.

He acknowledged that the Church had given “harsh” treatment to gays and lesbians in the past – “and in some cases still today”.

………

The archbishop said the Church had at times used “harsh”, “insensitive and overly judgemental” language to present a message of love, and had presented rational argument as a dogma everyone must accept. But this was no justification for people today to replace dogmatism with “sound-bite-ism” as a way of avoiding rational debate, he said.

The Church still needed to learn to voice its criticism “clearly and without fear”, but in language that “which respects her Master”.

– from the Tablet

I agree with the archbishop that at times, both sides in the marriage arguments have been guilty of harsh and insensitive language, and that both sides should attempt rational and respectful discourse. His own words are an excellent example of this. It is notable for instance, that he does not use the offensive phrase “same – sex attraction”, which is the standard terminology of Vatican apologists, but the more usual and accurate, “same – sex orientation“.

So far so good. One could take issue with his defence of restricting marriage on the basis of its alleged basis in “complementarty”, but I’m not going into that, here. Just the recognition of the need to cherish same – sex relationships, and that for more sensitive language, represent substantial improvement on what we were hearing from bishops just a few years ago.

The next step has to be to clarify, just what does it mean in the context of the Church, to “cherish” same – sex relationships, when the Vatican documents are so clearly hostile? Some of this will undoubtedly be hotly debated at the final session of the family synod later this year, but that will not be the end of it.

It’s becoming ever clearer, that sooner or later, the key doctrinal statements on our relationships will inevitably have to be fundamentally rewritten. As James Alison has noted previously, “It’s an exciting time to be a gay Catholic” – now, more than ever.