Category Archives: News

Italian Bishops’ (de facto) Acceptance of Civil Unions.

For years, Italy has been a major, conspicuous anomaly on the Wikipedia map of same-sex unions in Europe: the only country of Western Europe to have neither same-sex marriage, nor any other legal recognition for same-sex couples. Up to now, this has come about with the implacable opposition of the Italian bishops to any form of legal recognition.

With the passage this week of a civil unions bill in the Italian senate, by a comfortable majority, that’s about to change. More remarkably, this has come about with the de facto acquiescence of the Italian bishops. This is a truly remarkable turnaround, in just a few years!

Screenshot 2016-02-27 at 09.38.36 - Edited

Continue reading Italian Bishops’ (de facto) Acceptance of Civil Unions.

Anglican Gay Priest Elected to General Synod Senior Post

An openly gay Anglican priest has been elected to an influential post in the church’s General Synod.


Canon Simon Butler was in the news last February, when he came out as openly gay and not celibate, during a debate at the Anglican General Synod on the Pilling Report on human sexuality, proclaiming publicly  Continue reading Anglican Gay Priest Elected to General Synod Senior Post

Charamsa, on His Future

Continuing with my free translation of gay theologian Monsignor Charamsa’s interview in Religion Digital.

Msgr Krzysztof Charamsa
Msgr Krzysztof Charamsa

Will you remain a priest, will you ask for secularization or will they impose a penalty?

I am and I remain a priest. I’m a better priest than I was before today. Conversely, it is I who will ask Church to open  eyes.

Do you plan to write a book about his experiences in the Vatican?

Yes, I believe it my duty to further explain my experience in the Church, and do it for the good of the Church itself, which must become and apologize for their institutional scandals, for its delays, its irrational paranoia of homophobia. Anyone who sees and experiences it has a duty to awaken the Church, which has already exceeded all tolerable limit.

If the pope asked you personally, would you leave your partner and return to the Vatican?

No, I would not leave my partner because I love him and because there is no doctrinal reason to. For a priest having a partner, whether male or female,  is not against the faith, it is not against the doctrine of our faith. Conversely, it is the Church and the Pope who should start thinking seriously about the inhuman discipline of mandatory celibacy and the Church’s  obsession with homosexuality and human sexuality in general.

Go back to the Vatican? No, never. I would be a masochist, a person who seeks suffering and offennds against their own identity. I’m not a masochist. The Vatican is one of the least holy places I’ve ever met in my life. I want to live happy, I want to be holy, what it means to be happy and live in the light of God and the dignity of man. In the Vatican most people are not happy. It is a place that needs a spiritual and mental conversion. It needs the air of God. air that is lacking there.

See also the full series:

Senior Gay Priest Coming Out: New Ways Ministry Responds

“Gay Priest’s Revelation Is an Important Step  for Himself and for the Catholic Church”

Statement of Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry

MOUNT RAINIER, Maryland—Monsignor Krzystof Charamsa’s announcement of his gay sexual orientation is an important step for him personally and an important step for the Catholic Church.  This Vatican official, who worked at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, exhibited courage and honesty in making his orientation public.

His revelation is an acknowledgement of the truth of the way God has made him, and, like millions of other LGBT Catholics, his self-acceptance and self-affirmation will help him better understand God’s love for him. For the Catholic Church, his news is another step in our growing process of coming to better terms with our LGBT brothers and sisters.

It is sadly disappointing that the Vatican fired him when they learned of his announcement.  He now joins the long list of LGBT people and allies who have been fired from jobs in Catholic institutions because of LGBT issues.  It is unfortunate that Church leaders did not see Charamsa’s announcement as an opportunity for further dialogue with someone they have known and trusted.

We hope that his news will help the bishops of the world gathering in Rome this weekend for three weeks of synod discussions which will include pastoral outreach to families with LGBT members.  His witness to the holiness of the lives of LGBT people and the goodness of their relational lives could help these church leaders discern more appropriate and accepting forms of pastoral care.   His testimony of struggle and overcoming fear should help these bishops see the challenges and joys that many LGBT people and their families face.’

The decision to come out is a highly personal one, and one which only the individual can make.  Only the individual can decide when it is safe and responsible to do so, taking into account the possible negative repercussions that can occur in terms of employment, housing, and relationships.  Only the individual can decide when the pressures of the closet have become too difficult for their emotional and spiritual lives. New Ways Ministry continues to support all LGBT people–including priests, nuns, brothers, deacons, bishops–as they discern when is the appropriate time for them to make such a revelation about themselves.


Queer Church News Digest – Wednesday 23rd September

Canadian Anglicans Present Biblical, Theological Case for Same – Sex Marriage. | Queering the Church

Homophobia, Pope Francis, and Pastorial Ministry | Rainbow Sash Movement

Five Things To Watch For During Pope Francis’s U.S. Visit / Queerty

Canadian Anglicans make theological case for marrying same-sex couples | Ekklesia

An Open Letter to Pope Francis | Gina Messina-Dysert

A gay dad tells the Pope what he would learn if he had dinner with his family | Gay Star News

Pope gives hope to gay Catholics, same-sex marriage supporters

Difficult Questions for Explicitly “Christian” Colleges Over Marriage:

Iglesia Descalza: WOW 2015: What it was…and what it wasn’t

/Pope Francis and the Catholic Church Outsiders – US News

Pope Francis: US Catholics Committed to Tolerance, Opposed to Discrimination| National Catholic Reporter

(Irish) Gay Marriage Bill To Be Introduced In Dail Today – 98FM

How 6 LGBT Catholics Kept Their Faith — Despite Being Shunned By The Church

Pope Francis to meet Catholic teacher Margie Winters fired over her gay marriage | Daily Mail Online

Row as ministers refuse civil partnerships to straight couples (From Herald Scotland)

Catholic Church ‘out of touch’ on marriage and families, say English Catholics | Christian Today

Bigoted, misogynistic, and controlling – scathing critique of Catholic Church by its own members

The Church Is Changing. Are You Ready? (from “Freed Hearts”)

Pope Francis: “I Would Love to Visit and Talk to Gay and Lesbian People” | Bondings 2.0

Unearthing The Surprising Religious History Of American Gay Rights Activism

Canadian Anglicans Present Biblical, Theological Case for Same – Sex Marriage.

In common with many other Christian denominations, Canadian Anglicans have been engaged in programmes of serious study and dialogue, on appropriate responses to LGBT inclusion in church, including access to marriage. In 2013, the General Synod approved a motion “directing the drafting of a motion “to change Canon XXI on marriage to allow the marriage of same-sex couples in the same way as opposite-sex couples”. There followed the appointment of a commission to investigate and consult widely, and to prepare a report and suitable motion to present to General Synod. That commission has now published its report.

This report does not in any way promote, or oppose, the introduction of marriage equality in the Church. Its mandate was to prepare a suitable motion on which General Synod will vote, and either approve or reject. What is important in the report for now, not only for Canadian Anglicans but for all queer people of faith and their allies, is that a major part of the report includes an analysis of the biblical and theological understanding of marriage – and concludes that from both perspectives, a case can be made in favour of same – sex marriage, in church.

The full report may be accessed at

Here follows the last two sections, the conclusion to the section on the Biblical and Theological case in favour, and the concluding chapter to the full report. Continue reading Canadian Anglicans Present Biblical, Theological Case for Same – Sex Marriage.

Sr Jeannine Gramick, LGBT Ministry Pioneer, to Meet Pope Francis.

New Ways Ministry reports that Sr Jeannine Gramick, their founder and a pioneer in Catholic LGBT ministry, will be among the guests at the White House to meet Pope Francis.

I met St Gramick some years ago with the Soho Masses community, then at St Anne’s, after a screening of the documentary on her work, “In Good Conscience”. I’ve followed her progress attentively every since, and look forward to meeting up with her again at the founding conference of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics in Rome, at the start of the family synod in October.

The text following is from New Ways:

Sister Jeannine Gramick, a Catholic nun who pioneered ministry, advocacy, and outreach to the LGBT community over 40 years ago in Philadelphia, will be back in her hometown this week for the World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis’ visit to the City of Brotherly Love. A native of Philadelphia, and a tremendous fan of Pope Francis, she is excited to see how far the Catholic Church has progressed since she began her discussions with LGBT people back in 1971.

Jeannine Gramick

She will be attending the World Meeting of Families for most of next week, but will be taking a short side-trip to Washington, DC to greet Pope Francis at President Obama’s White House reception, and to take part in a Mass led by the pope at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Continue reading Sr Jeannine Gramick, LGBT Ministry Pioneer, to Meet Pope Francis.

Pope Francis: The Current Refugee Crisis is “The Tip of the Iceberg”

Pope Francis - AP

If you’re a European feeling overwhelmed by the current refugee crisis, Pope Francis has news for you: this is just “the tip of an iceberg”. It will not end until we’ve addressed the underlying cause – and this is not just the disastrous wars in the Middle East that we have helped to create. There are also fundamental socio – economic causes, in the vast global inequalities of opportunity and wealth.

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis spoke about the refugee crisis during an interview with Portugal’s Radio Renascença which aired on Monday, calling it the “tip of an iceberg.”

“These poor people are fleeing war, hunger, but that is the tip of the iceberg. Because underneath that is the cause; and the cause is a bad and unjust socioeconomic system, in everything, in the world – speaking of the environmental problem –, in the socioeconomic society, in politics, the person always has to be in the centre,” Pope Francis said.

The Holy Father said the world must work to help people not feel the need to emigrate.

“Where the causes are hunger, we have to create work, investments. Where the cause is war, search for peace, work for peace,” he said. “Nowadays the world is at war against itself, that is, the world is at war, as I say, in instalments, bit by bit, but it is also at war against the land, because it is destroying the land, our common house, the environment.”

He’s right.

It’s now widely agreed that “genuine” refugees fleeing war or persecution need and deserve help, and many people are now opening their hearts to offer it. It’s also widely agreed than not all the current migrants are in this category. Many others are economic migrants, seeking a better life. Europeans are far less sympathetic to these.

To resolve the refugee crisis, it is said, we must work to resolve the conflicts and bring peace to the Middle East. That’s a tall order, but even if it is achieved, that will not alone solve the problem  The challenge of dealing with economic migration will remain – and economic inequalities, together the devastation being wrought by climate change, are part of the reasons underlying the civil conflicts in the first place, along with a huge clash of values.

In Britain, one common response to the British Muslims leaving to fight for ISIS in Syria or Iraq, or being “radicalised” here in the UK, is to say that we need to promote more effectively “British values”. But what are these? The British themselves assume that these are the things now endorsed across Europe and North America – democracy, justice, freedom, tolerance and equality. To some others, especially to those who feel themselves to be outsiders in the wider society, I fear that “British values” in practice are things like greed and excessive consumption, drunkenness, sexual licence, and lack of compassion for the needy. When I was preparing to leave South Africa to come to the UK, I was warned by my spiritual director that I was coming to a post – Christian society. No wonder that some Muslims, whose core religious values are so much in keeping with those of those of the Gospels, feel that the society they live in, is hostile to those values.

As I have observed this current wave of migration across the Mediterranean and through Turkey, along with European attempts to limit it, I’ve had a strong sense that I’ve seen it all, before, back in South Africa. For many years, previous South African governments tried to deal with the economic migrants moving from impoverished rural areas to the wealthier cities, by simply prohibiting it, in a system they called “influx control” – and the rest of the world called “apartheid”. We all know how that ended. Now, economic migration within the country continues, as it has always done – but instead of trying to do the impossible by limiting it, the response is to plan for it, and provide for the new arrivals in the cities.

Mozambique officially makes gay sex legal | Gay Star News

New law will make clear that security measures cannot be taken against those who engage in ‘vices against nature’



Gay sex was officially made legal in Mozambique today (29 June).

The southern African nation has officially been added to the list of countries with no law against same-sex relations, 180 days after the government agreed to the revised Penal Code.

Legislators specifically revised the penal code that allowed ‘security measures’ to be taken against people ‘who habitually engage in vices against nature’.

This was used to discriminate against and prosecute LGBTI people that could have sent them to a workhouse for up to three years.

A hangover from when it was colonized for the Portguese, the law was rarely enforced and it was considered by many to be a meaningless clause in the statute books.

via Mozambique officially makes gay sex legal | Gay Star News.