“Jesus and Gay Marriage”

While visiting friends in the Baltimore area, I saw Dan Rodricks’ column “A priest speaks up for same-sex marriage” (Nov. 4). As a Catholic priest myself, I am dismayed by Archbishop William E. Lori’s assertion that “preaching … requires subordination of personal views to the word of God” in response to the Rev. Richard T. Lawrence’s nuanced distinctions. It was precisely Jesus’ personal views that led him to freely and frequently dissent in interpreting Torah Law (word of God). This is what prompted the religious leaders of his day to accuse him of “stirring up the people,” according to Luke 23:5. It is the Reverend Lawrence, not Archbishop Lori, who is being faithful to the dissenting tradition of Jesus by distinguishing between marriage as a sacrament and as a social contract.

Emmett Coyne, Exeter, N.H.

(letters page,  baltimoresun.com)

Gay marriage has strengthened Canadian society, Anglican Rev tells New Zealand

Rector of Christ Church Anglican Cathedral in Vancouver tells congregation of Dunedin’s St Paul’s Cathedral that gay marriage has increased respect and tolerance

05 NOVEMBER 2012 | BY ANNA LEACH

Mark Munn

An Anglican leader told the congregation at St Paul’s Cathedral in Dunedin yesterday that gay marriage has strengthened Canadian society.

The Very Rev Dr Peter Elliot, Rector of Christ Church Anglican Cathedral in Vancouver was visiting New Zealand from Canada, where same-sex marriage was legalized in 2005.

Dr Elliot, who is gay, told Otago Daily Times that respect and tolerance for gay people had increased since the legalization of gay marriage.

A marriage equality bill passed its first reading in New Zealand’s parliament in August with support from all major parties.

However some Anglican church leaders have been preaching their opposition to the legislation.

The second reading of the bill, after consideration of submissions from the public, is expected next year.

via Gay Star News.

 

Viral video calls for equal rights of gay parents

Director Mike Buonaiuto questions why same-sex parent families go unrecognised in Europe
05 NOVEMBER 2012 | BY ANDREW WHITTY

Today (5 November) sees the launch of a new campaign focusing on gay parenting rights throughout Europe.

The short film, entitled Invisible Parents, features the voice of a woman reminiscing about a happy childhood with her two fathers, before stating that the majority of Europe does not recognize families with gay parents.

The film is directed by Mike Buonaiuto, the man behind Homecoming, the video that went viral earlier this year. Invisible Parents launches to coincide with the UK’s National Adoption Week.

Michael Cashman, Member of European Parliament, is fully supporting the campaign.

He said: ‘Gay and lesbian parents can often find themselves legally invisible in a large percentage of the continent, putting their entire family in a very vulnerable situation especially with regard to healthcare, holidays or family legal systems.

http://youtu.be/aeBy_q4i40s

A Catholic priest speaks up in favor of same-sex marriage

And the Archdiocese issues admonition against personal views from the pulpit

      Father Richard Lawrence is the long-time pastor of St. Vincent de Paul.

(Doug Kapustin, The Baltimore…)

Last Sunday in Baltimore’s St. Vincent de Paul Church, its longtime pastor, the Rev. Richard T. Lawrence, delivered a thoughtful and nuanced argument for support of the Question 6 ballot referendum.

This, of course, was news in Roman Catholic circles — an opinion from the pulpit fully at odds with the hierarchy of a church that has devoted much time and money to voter rejection of a Maryland law that allows couples of the same sex to wed.

Lawrence is the most eloquent homilist I’ve ever heard. I didn’t attend the Mass where he delivered his pro-Q6 homily. But I saw and listened to the video posted to the parish’s web site. I found it courageous, illuminating and inspiring. That was Monday.

Two days later, the video was gone. It had been deleted from its Vimeo platform at 3:27 am Wednesday.

I inquired about what had happened, but the pastor declined to comment and I haven’t heard back from St. Vincent’s. I assume Lawrence’s superiors might have had something to do with the removal of the video. The same day it disappeared, a message about “the teaching role of priests” appeared on the archdiocesan web site.

Baltimore Sun

Terrence McNally (1939 – ) US Playwright / Screenwriter / Librettist.

b. 3rd November, 1939

American playwright who has received four Tony Awards, an Emmy, and numerous others awards.

 What the gay movement is really about is being yourself. You must be yourself, else you risk becoming invisible.

In the 1990’s, Terrence McNally emerged as the best-known, and possibly the greatest, American gay playwright since Tennessee Williams, largely on the back of a series of plays dealing with the AIDS epidemic – The Lisbon Traviata (1985, rev. 1989); Lips Together, Teeth Apart (1991); A Perfect Ganesh (1993); and Love! Valour! Compassion! (1994), as well as in the Emmy-award-winning Andre’s Mother (1988, televised 1990).

This success though was the culmination of a long career going back to 1964, when his first play, “Things that go bump in the night” met with a decidedly frosty critical reception, and played only 12 nights.  The intervening years were filled with hard graft, a steady stream of output, an ability to learn and improve his craft, and growing critical recognition.

McNally has spoken of the importance of honesty and coming out early in his personal life, and has never shirked from putting gay characters and gay life characters on stage, even long before it became commonly accepted to do so. (The Ritz was set in a gay bathhouse). Two major themes are the difficulties people find in making human connections between each other (and the importance of the search for those connections), and
the power of art (especially opera, and by implication, the theatre) to help us to make these connections, by breaking down the walls that divide us.

In 1997, McNally stirred up a storm of controversy with Corpus Christi, a modern day retelling of the story of Jesus’ birth, ministry, and death in which both he and his disciples are portrayed as homosexual. In fact, the play was initially canceled because of death threats from extremist religious groups against the board members of the Manhattan Theatre Club which was to produce the play. However, several other playwrights such as Tony Kushner threatened to withdraw their plays if Corpus Christi was not produced, and the board finally relented. When the play opened, the theatre was besieged by almost 2,000 protesters, furious at what they considered blasphemy.

In spite of the big themes he addresses in his plays, McNally insists that he does not set out to write plays about issues: his primary concern is to write characters – because that is what audiences pay to come and see.

In addition to his major work in the theatre, McNally has also written the books for musicals and screenplays, and in opera

Selected Plays:

Sweet Eros (1968)
Next (1969)
Where Has Tommy Flowers Gone? (1971)
Bad Habits (1974)
The Ritz (1975)
Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (1982)
Andre’s Mother (1988)
The Lisbon Traviata (1989)
Lips Together, Teeth Apart (1991)
Love! Valour! Compassion! (1994)
By The Sea, By The Sea, By The Beautiful Sea (1995)
Master Class (1995)
Corpus Christi (1998)
Some Men (2006)
Deuce (2007)
The Golden Age (2010)

Catholic adoption agency loses five year legal battle over gay adoption

A Catholic adoption agency was told today it cannot turn away gay couples if its wants to keep its charitable status in a landmark court ruling.

Defeated: A Catholic adoption agency has been told it cannot turn away gay couples if its wants to keep its charitable status (file photo)

The case is particularly unique because it sets the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church against European law.

Catholic Care, a voluntary adoption agency based in Leeds, asked the Upper Tribunal to sanction its refusal to recognise same-sex couples as potential adopters and to restrict its services to ‘Nazarene families’ of father, mother and child.

‘Nazarene families’ refers to Jesus of Nazareth, who was fathered by a man, Joseph, and a woman, Mary.

But the Charity Commission fought the case every inch of the way, insisting that the charity’s stance is ‘divisive, capricious and arbitrary’ and ‘demeaning’ to the dignity of homosexual couples whose parenting abilities are ‘beyond question’.

Today the Commission won the debate when the tribunal ruled that Catholic Care had failed to come up with ‘weighty and convincing reasons’ why it should be allowed to discriminate against gay couples on grounds of their sexual orientation.

The long-established adoption agency said during the case that it would be forced to close if it lost the dispute.

Catholic Care argued its work in finding new homes for ‘hard to place’ children is of enormous social value and saves the public purse about £10 million-a-year by removing youngsters from the care system and placing them with adopters.

If banned from only recognising married heterosexual couple as potential adopters, it argued children would be the losers as its funding through Church collections and other voluntary donations would inevitably dry up and it would have to close.

However, Emma Dixon, for the Commission, told tribunal judge, Mr Justice Sales, that Catholic Care’s stance was in clear violation of Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which outlaws discrimination on sexual orientiation and other grounds.

-more at  Mail Online.

Related articles

 

Daniel in the Lion’s Den.

The story of Daniel is so well known to us, there is no need to repeat it here:  and that is exactly the problem  Like so many tales from long ago, we hear them as children with modern ears, and then never think to make the imaginative leap back into the historic conditions which completely change their significance.  So familiar are we with the sanitised “Children’s Bible Stories” version, and the familiar, often soppy pictures that accompany it, we lose sight of the fact that the real story probably had sexual overtones.

Read more »

University withdraws theologian’s invitation after pressure from financial contributors

The University of San Diego has canceled a visiting fellowship for a British theologian less than two weeks before her scheduled arrival at the university because of pressure from financial contributors, according to a letter from the university’s president.

Tina Beattie, a professor of Catholic studies at London’s private University of Roehampton known for her work in contemporary ethical issues and Catholic understandings of feminism, received notice of the cancellation Oct. 27. She was scheduled to take residence at the university on Tuesday.

Beattie — who also serves on the board of directors of the British Catholic weekly The Tablet and is a theological adviser to the Catholic Agency For Overseas Development, the Catholic aid agency for England and Wales — announced the withdrawal of the invitation in an email to friends and other theologians Thursday.

Beattie said in an interview with NCR that cancellation of her fellowship was “symptomatic of something very new and very worrying.”

“It’s unheard of, certainly in Britain, for a theologian in my position to feel threatened by this kind of action,” Beattie said. “It’s not about me; it’s about some change in the culture of the Catholic church that we should be very, very concerned about.”

Prominent theologians in the U.S. and the UK called the university’s treatment of Beattie “an insult” and “dispiriting” and worried that it might have a chilling effect in the academic world. Several said they had written directly to university president Mary Lyons about the matter.

National Catholic Reporter.

Lesbian answers bishop’s call for dialogue on gay marriage

What do you do when your spouse of 10 years — the person you’ve spent a decade sharing spiritual, intimate and intellectual moments with — is suddenly lying unconscious on her deathbed?

If you’re Catholic, you make sure her body is anointed with oil. You kiss her goodbye, even if you have to force the doctors to remove the breathing tube, and you slide the wedding ring gently off her finger and whisper a promise to take care of it forever.

That’s what Charlene Strong did on Dec. 14, 2006, after torrential rains flooded the Seattle home she shared with Kate Fleming, leaving her partner trapped and dying in her basement studio. But first, hospital administrators had to call a relative of Fleming’s to get permission for Strong to bid farewell the way the couple would have wanted.

‘’They were willing to take the word of someone on the phone, 300 miles away,” Strong said. “Who knew her allergies? I did. Her knew what her wishes were? I did.”

With the family’s blessing, Strong was able to see her partner one last time. But the battle continued, she said, when the funeral director refused to allow her to make final arrangements.

That’s when Strong decided that she would do whatever she could to make sure other same-sex couples would have equal rights in Washington state.

It is an emotionally powerful story, and one that brought tears to the eyes of many of the 200 or so students, faculty and community members at Gonzaga University Law School where Strong recounted it on Monday (Oct. 29).

more at  – The Washington Post.

 

Gay seminarian leaves Methodist denomination to be ordained

As soon as Michael Overman announced that he was gay, the Southern Baptist church that raised him, led him to attend an evangelical Christian college and inspired him to pursue ministry left him feeling abandoned.

Michael Overman, an ordination candidate at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, withdrew from the Methodist denomination last month because of its policy requiring gay clergy stay celibate.

He stayed estranged from Christianity for about six years before eventually finding his way to Holy Covenant United Methodist Church, a congregation in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood that welcomes gays and lesbians.

Reinvigorated by the church’s acceptance, he enrolled at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston and sought ordination in his new denomination.

But the United Methodist Church does not ordain gay clergy in committed relationships. That created a predicament for Overman, who joined his partner in a civil union last spring. He knew he could try keeping his relationship private as some partnered gay clergy opt to do. But that approach made him uncomfortable.

“If I’m going to be in ministry, I’m going to be in ministry as my whole self,” said Overman, 28, who lives in the city’s Uptown neighborhood. “When I look at Christian faith, it was always Christ’s mission to restore people in the community and restore people to wholeness. It didn’t make sense to me to go into ministry as a closeted person. That felt inauthentic.”

Following a number of gay and lesbian former Methodists who find themselves unable to serve in the church that cultivated their calling, Overman withdrew from the denomination last month to seek ordination instead in the Disciples of Christ Church, which accepts openly gay clergy in committed relationships. The departure of Overman and others spotlights the internal drama in one of the last mainline Protestant denominations that require gay clergy to stay celibate. Methodist teaching states that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.

more at– chicagotribune.com.