Tag Archives: Bondings 2.0

Germany Leads the Way, on Catholic Church LGBT Inclusion and Welcome.

For years now, some Catholic bishops’ obsession with opposing same – sex marriage has led to a vicious crackdown on Church employees who marry same – sex spouses, allegedly because they are in conflict with “Church teaching”. In the USA, there is little evidence of any progress being made, but in Germany, there’s been an important reversal. The German church used to have a firm policy in place which prevented people in same – sex relationships from being offered any Church employment. In Germany there is no legal provision for gay marriage, so this applied to any same – sex relationship, and in effect, was more stringent than most US practice: gay people in Church employment needed to stay carefully in the closet.

No more: in May, the German bishops formally, and overwhelmingly, approved the overturning of the regulation, which went into effect on August 1st, just weeks ago. Already, one lesbian who had been previously fired from her job, has been reinstated.

Bob Shine reports at Bondings 2.0 Continue reading Germany Leads the Way, on Catholic Church LGBT Inclusion and Welcome.

The Pope, the Archbishop, & the Lesbian: Hopes for the Philippines Encounter

Bondings 2.0

As he journeys to the Philippines this week, Pope Francis will be met there by an archbishop who, like the pontiff, is opening the door to greater openness to the LGBT community. He can also listen to advice from a Filipina lesbian woman in the U.S. about what he needs to teach the Church in her native land.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas

Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, who is also president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, gave an affirmative and categorical statement to a question about whether the pope condemned the LGBT community.  Villegas stated:

“Being a homosexual is not a sin. It is a state of a person.”

The archbishop’s remarks came during an interview on a television show hosted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper.  The show was aired in anticipation of the pontiff’s visit to that nation between January 15th-19th. You can view the video by clicking

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SYNOD 2015: Preparations Begin with Key Questions About Collecting Data and the Goal of Church Ministry

Bondings 2.0

The next Synod on the Family is not until October, but already Catholics from all quarters are discerning how to prepare well and what the next meeting may entail.

The purpose of the Synod on the Family is to discern pastoral responses to the questions that a dynamic world has about marriage and sexuality. Today, Bondings 2.0 ruminates on the key question of just why the church exists and how it can respond to families today.

As was reported in December, the Vatican has released a second questionnaire to better understand the realities of family today. Its impact, however, is unknown. Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, told The Advocate:

” ‘Regardless of the merits or drawbacks of these questions, the real import will be in whether bishops actually do the wide consultation that is called for by this document.’

” ‘In 2013, the U.S. bishops did very little in terms of consulting the laity in…

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Picking Between LGBT Children and a Family’s Faith is a False Choice, Says Catholic Advocate

Bondings 2.0

Caitlin Ryan

In a piece for The Washington PostCaitlin Ryan, a Catholic woman who heads the Family Acceptance Project, reminds parents they do not have to choose between LGBT children and their faith

Ryan’s piece comes after the high profile suicide of Leelah Alcorn, a 17 year old transgender girl whose Christian parents refused to accept her gender identity. Ryan writes that Alcorn “should never have died,” but “profound misinformation” stopped her from receiving the necessary health care and counseling she desired.

A major part of what held Leelah back from receiving help was family rejection, of which Ryan notes:

“Our research shows that LGBT youth like Leelah who encounter family-rejecting behaviors are at higher risk for suicide, depression, drug abuse, HIV and other health concerns. In fact, LGBT young people who were highly rejected by their families during adolescence were more than eight times as likely to attempt…

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ALL ARE WELCOME: Parish Discussions Keep Synod on Family’s Efforts Going

Bondings 2.0

The ALL ARE WELCOME series is an occasional feature on this blog that highlights Catholic parishes and faith communities that support and affirm LGBT people. 

Two parish events in recent months reveal the ways in which Catholics are expanding LGBT welcome and propelling conversations about family in the Catholic Church.

The first example comes from the Life Questions group at St. Edward Church in Racine, Wisconsin, which held two events last November, according to The Journal Times, dealing first with marriage and second with pastoral care of LGBT people.

In the first session, attorney Mark Hinkston explained the differences between civil and sacramental marriage. Given marriage equality’s inevitability in civil law and the Catholic bishops’ opposition, he asked participants:

” ‘Can there be a middle ground?…It will be interesting to see how the practical situation plays out and to what extent the church will take notice.’ “

In the second session, Fr. Allen Bratkowski, the pastor, and…

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Resolve to Create a Trans* Epiphany in 2015

Bondings 2.0

Leelah Alcorn

One question is occupying my mind on today’s Feast of the Epiphany: what does God’s rupture into humanity mean following a 17-year-old trans* girl’s suicide?

Leelah Alcorn walked onto a highway and ended her life via a truck three days after Christmas. As Christians worldwide celebrated Jesus’ birth, the Alcorns were instead confronted by their own child’s death. Leelah had written about the suicide on her blog shortly beforehand. That note, found here in full, says the following:

“The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in… because I’m transgender. I could go into detail explaining why I feel that way, but this note is probably going to be lengthy enough as it is. To put it simply, I feel like a girl trapped in a boy’s body, and I’ve felt that way ever since I was 4. I never knew there was a word for that feeling, nor was it possible for a…

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Where Do You Find Hope for the Church in 2015?

Bondings 2.0

As many of you may know, I am currently pursuing graduate studies in theology at Boston College. Last semester, a professor framed an entire course as a way of answering 1 Peter 3:15 which says:

“Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.”

That question sticks with me as the new year begins. With 2015 underway, Bondings 2.0 wonders what sources of hope Catholic LGBT advocates look to for the coming year. What is the reason for our hope?

One possibility is the church’s bishops, whose corporate identity is shifting under Pope Francis. He recently announced twenty new cardinals to be incardinated in February, whose names you can find here. Of this Joshua McElwee writes at the National Catholic Reporter:

“Continuing to diversify global representation in the most select body of Catholic prelates, Pope Francis announced Sunday that he will be creating 20 new cardinals from 18…

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