Ever since I first released news of my tumour, I’ve been overwhelmed by expressions of support and prayers. This has again been the case after writing a little more about it here, earlier this week, with more good wishes for my “recovery”. This seems odd, because even though this thing is technically that dread condition, a cancer – it doesn’t feel that way, at all. In fact, apart from some minor inconvenience, I feel generally much better than I’ve done for months and months.
From the Tablet:
God’s commandments are not rules but an expression of mercy, cardinal tells lesbian and gay Catholics
12 May 2015 12:27 by Liz Dodd
Follow God’s commandments but never forget his mercy, Cardinal Vincent Nichols told lesbian and gay Catholics during a pastoral visit to the London parish where they celebrate Mass together.
The service at the Jesuit-run church in Farm Street, in central London, on Sunday evening marked the first time a cardinal has presided at a Mass specifically welcoming LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Catholics, its organisers said.
The group, LGBT Catholics Westminster, moved their regular community Masses from Soho to the Immaculate Conception church in Farm Street two years ago at Cardinal Nichols’ request.
The cardinal’s homily opened by remembering St Peter’s words to the Gentile Cornelius in Acts 10 that “God does not have any favourites” – something he described as a prelude to opening the Church to those thought of as “beyond its boundaries”.
He told the congregation that God’s mercy and his commandments were not in opposition to each other.
“The commandments of God are given to us precisely as a mercy. They are not, in some strange way, more important than mercy. They are not rules imposed from the outside that above all else have to be obeyed. They are given to help us to live the pathway of our true dignity and highest calling,” he said.
-more at The Tablet – News.
In a remarkable document published by the Swiss Bishops Conference, it is noted that in Switzerland, there is strong support for the recognition of same – sex relationships, including blessings of such partnerships.
Following a comprehensive national consultation with the nation’s Catholics, in which more than 6000 people participated, the Swiss Catholic bishops have reported that Swiss Catholics want to see blessings for same – sex partnerships, and also a change in the teaching on communion for divorced and remarried people.
Thought for Day: “Jesus Didn’t Die on the Cross to Preserve Gender Complementarity”
In a hard-hitting essay published last fall, Rachel Held Evans looks at the false gospel of gender binaries and how that false gospel, with its talk of gender complementarity that is all about upholding male-dominant gender roles, has become a “dangerous idol” in the Christian community. An idol, because it “conflates cultural norms with Christian morality and elevates an ideal over actual people” . .
– read more at Bilgrimage:
From the Tablet News
Westminster LGBT representative ‘snubbed by Krakow archdiocese’ on visit to encourage pastoral care
11 May 2015 14:23 by Paul Wilkinson
A member of the Catholic lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in London has claimed he was snubbed by Polish church leaders during a visit last month.
Martin Pendergast, from the Westminster diocese, said his invitation to meet Krakow diocese representatives to discuss LGBT pastoral care was suddenly withdrawn, despite Cardinal Vincent Nichols providing a letter of introduction to Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, the Archbishop of Krakow.
Mr Pendergast said that although he knew that neither Cardinal Dziwisz nor his auxiliary, Bishop Grzegorz Rys, would be in Krakow at the time, it was agreed he would meet with diocesan officials. He said: “A range of excuses for cancellation was offered but successively contradicted – Cardinal Nichols’ letter of introduction had not been received, nobody was available for such a meeting, and finally that I and my hosts had failed to arrive.”
via The Tablet – News.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols was welcomed by a packed Farm Street Jesuit Church on Sunday, 10 May 2015, when he presided at the scheduled 18.15 Mass which welcomes LGBT Catholics, their parents and families. This was the first time that an Archbishop of Westminster had presided at such a Mass which was concelebrated by Monsignor Keith Barltrop, the Cardinal’s Liaison with the LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council, Farm Street’s Parish Priest, Fr. Andrew Cameron-Mowat SJ, and Fr. John O’Leary, Cardinal Nichols’ Secretary.
Specially-composed music, including Live every day in my love, based on the day’s Gospel reading, and a new version of Psalm 97 were sung by the Beacon Music Group which accompanies Farm Street’s 2nd Sunday evening Masses. Members of the LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council were among the readers at the Mass.
Celebrating Mass at the Jesuit parish of Farm Street London last night, Cardinal Vincent Nichols made abundantly and explicitly clear, his message of welcome and support for the inclusion of the LGBT Catholic group in the parish life.
Advance information about the Cardinal’s visit had been decidedly mixed. The LGBT group at the parish, which has been meeting regularly at the parish since the group was moved by the Cardinal from their previous base at Warwick Street two years ago, was enthusiastic, and actively promoted the event as a Mass which Cardinal Nichols would celebrate with the LGBT Catholic group in the parish. The usual suspects of hostile rule – book Catholic bloggers and other commentators interpreted it in similar fashion, but in tones of horror, not delight. Meanwhile, the diocesan office tried to be more neutral, presenting it as simply a conventional “pastoral visit”, such as the cardinal regularly makes to parishes around the diocese. Continue reading Cardinal’s Clear Welcome & Support to Westminster LGBT Catholics.
From Pink News:
A Catholic priest in Ireland has said he plans to ignore the wishes of his Church and vote for same-sex marriage in the upcoming referendum.
The Republic of Ireland is set to vote on May 22 on a proposal to introduce civil same-sex marriage.
Powerful Catholic lobbying groups have quietly channelled support to the ‘No’ campaign, capitalising on opposition among religious communities – but one priest will not be joining them.
Father Brian Ó Fearraigh – who is based in( Gweedore, County Donegal – told Highland Radio that he believes the State should not discriminate against same-sex couples.
He said: “I understand that this referendum is purely a civil matter, and it is to do with civil marriage.
(More at PinkNews).
It’s an extraordinary experience to be told, quite unexpectedly, that you have cancer – or in my case, maybe not. (Is a GIST cancer? That depends on who you speak to). I’ve learned a lot about the condition over the last eight months, including the terminology.