Tag Archives: Catholic

“Indiana Catholic bishops issue statement on gay marriage ban” – Indianapolis Star

Indiana’s Catholic bishops issued a statement Thursday on the proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage — but they stopped short of taking a position on the hot-button topic.

Arcbishop Joseph W Tobin

The statement, signed by Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin and Indiana’s five bishops, emphasizes the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, but also the dignity of all people.

“The Church upholds the dignity of every human person, including persons with same-sex attraction, who ‘must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,’” the statement says. “At the same time, the Church upholds the dignity and sanctity of marriage, a natural institution established by God. By its very nature, marriage is a permanent partnership between one man and one woman ordered to the good of the couple and the procreation and education of children.”

Church officials said the statement isn’t intended to stake out a political position, but to inform people about Catholic teachings as they weigh the issue.

“People have the right to make their own decisions on these issues, but it needs to be done with an informed conscience,” said Greg Otolski, a spokesman for the Indianapolis Archdiocese

-continue reading at Indianapolis Star

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Townsend, other Md. Catholics to push same-sex marriage – Maryland Politics – The Washington Post

The group leading Maryland’s same-sex marriage campaign is highlighting Catholic supporters, including former lieutenant governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D).

Gov. Martin O’Malley, center, and House Speaker Michael E. Busch, right, after O’Malley signed Maryland’s same-sex marriage law in March. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Gov. Martin O’Malley, center, and House Speaker Michael E. Busch, right, after O’Malley signed Maryland’s same-sex marriage law in March. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)Townsend, a member of one of the most prominent Catholic families in American politics, is scheduled to appear at a news conference Tuesday morning in Baltimore, alongside parents of gay children.

The Maryland Catholic Conference, the official lobby for the church, was among the more vocal opponents of Maryland’s same-sex marriage legislation this year and is also working for its repeal in the November election. Among other arguments, the group stresses the importance of having both fathers and mothers in children’s lives.

But Catholics are not of one voice on the issue in a state where the church played a central role in its founding.

Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), who sponsored this year’s same-sex marriage bill, is a practicing Catholic. He has argued that all families should have the same legal rights. House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) also broke with the church in shepherding the legislation through his chamber.

More recently, both O’Malley and Busch have appeared at fundraisers to benefit Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the group hosting the news conference Tuesday in Baltimore.

full report – The Washington Post.

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Cardinal Keith O’Brien declares war on gay marriage

Leader of Scotland’s Roman Catholic Church has promised an ‘unprecedented backlash’ if marriage equality is legalized

08 JULY 2012 | BY JOE MORGAN

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the man that compared legalizing gay marriage with bringing back slavery, has declared war.

The leader of Scottish Roman Catholic Church has warned of an unprecedented backlash if Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first minister, presses ahead with plans to legalize gay marriage.

The Sunday Times reports O’Brien has revealed a strongly-worded letter to be read out on 26 August, on a day he calls ‘Support Marriage Sunday’, in each of the church’s 500 Scottish parishes.

It will urge Catholics to donate money to help fund a £100,000 advertising campaign against the plans.

O’Brien said: ‘Marriage is under threat and politicians need to know the Catholic Church will bear any burden and meeting any cost in its defense.’

‘We will use this opportunity to remind Catholics of the importance of marriage as a union of a man and a woman and to urge them to be generous in contributing to a special collection which will be used to support initiatives in defense of marriage,’ he added.

Scotland’s ministers will announce the results of the wide spreading consultation this month, with a finalized bill likely to appear by 2013.

Unlike England and Wales’ legislation, it is planned Scottish churches will be able to bless gay unions but would be free to opt-out.

A Catholic Church spokesman said: ‘This is a straight-forward plan by the church to up the stakes in the war on gay marriage.’

In a recent Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, there was 61% support for the legislation and just 19% opposition.

via Gay Star News.

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On Being a Catholic Lesbian at Georgetown University

Catholic college campuses are among the most gay-friendly church institutions in the United States.  Young people are increasingly more and more supportive of LGBT issues, and campuses reflect that spirit of inclusion.

Meghan Ferguson

Meghan Ferguson, a student at Jesuit-run Georgetown University, Washington, DC, has praise for her school in terms of their record on LGBT issues.  In a recent article on NextGenJournal.com, Ferguson delineates the many surprises she has had coming to the campus as a Catholic lesbian woman, and she concludes:

“Being out at Georgetown is nothing like I had expected, and I have been very fortunate to have such a positive experience, because I know it isn’t always the case for everyone.  There have been ups and downs, and Lord knows I’ll gripe about something or other, but all in all, I owe a great deal to this community for creating a space that has challenged me to look closely at myself, my priorities, and grow into the person I want to be.”

She notes that the school has helped her to integrate her identities as a Catholic and a lesbian woman:

“My experience of being out at Georgetown is predominantly colored by two identities: namely, that I am Catholic, and that I am a woman.  ’What?’ I hear you cry ‘you’re Catholic?!’ It’s shocking, I know. I spent most of high school as a closet Catholic around all of my gay friends, lest I hear more exclamations like that. . . .

“I suppose I had expected a similar situation at Georgetown, keeping those two spheres of my identity separate, so it was a surprise to say the least when I found a whole community of us. For the first time, I was able to be out as a Catholic lesbian and not only be accepted by both communities, but be a part of my own community.

“I have had some of the most profound conversations with friends about what it means to be queer and Catholic, the unique struggles we face, our doubts, how we reconcile those two identities and also the joys we have experienced.  These conversations, and this community, are something I think is very unique to Georgetown, and it has helped me grow in my faith in a way I never thought possible; I dare even say it has made me a better lesbian, because I have learned to grapple with and embrace the intersection of my faith and sexuality.”

Georgetown University is perhaps one of the best examples of a gay-friendly Catholic college.  They have an LGBT Resource Center on campus, which last year received a $1 million gift from former National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

New Ways Ministry maintains list of gay-friendly Catholic campuses,, which continues to grow, as more and more schools respond to the needs of their students, faculty and staff.   The schools on the list all have some policy, program, or organization on campus which is supportive of LGBT people.  If you would like to consult the list, click here.

– –Francis DeBernardo,  at  New Ways Ministry/ Bondings 2.0.

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Soho Masses Provide Welcome and Community for London’s LGBT Community

While in London, England, for World Pride, I was blessed to be able to attend one of the Soho Masses, sponsored here by the Archdiocese of Westminster (London) for the LGBT community.  It was a beautiful service filled with a great spirit of hospitality and solidarity.

Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Gregory

The Masses are held on the first and third Sundays of the month, 5:00 pm, at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption & St. Gregory, Warwick Street, in the Soho neighborhood of London, which is the center of the LGBT community.  When I attended yesterday, the church was packed, with what I estimated to be about 125 people.

The community gathered for liturgy was amazingly diverse in terms of age, gender, race and ethnicity.  At the social hour afterward, even I, as a newcomer, was made to feel very welcome by people I had never met, and who did not know that I was a foreign visitor

The Soho Masses are clearly doing the work of God here in London, not only providing a welcome to the ostracized, but providing an opportunity for people to be of service to one another and to the church and the world.  If you visit  London, you should be sure to schedule a visit for one of these wonderful liturgies.   For more information, click here.

– full post at  Bondings 2.0/ New Ways Ministry.

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Will the Catholic Church Split?

In the recent Vatican notification criticizing Margaret Farley’s book Just Love, under the heading “General Problems,” the reader is warned that:

The author does not present a correct understanding of the role of the Church’s Magisterium as the teaching authority of the Bishops united with the Successor of Peter, which guides the Church’s ever deeper understanding of the Word of God as found in Holy Scripture and handed on faithfully in the Church’s living tradition. In addressing various moral issues, Sr. Farley either ignores the constant teaching of the Magisterium or, where it is occasionally mentioned, treats it as one opinion among others.

“[T]reats it as one opinion among others.” That’s a separate issue, of course, from whether, inJust Love, Farley arrives at conclusions that contradict official Catholic teaching. But taking the notification at face value, surely we may ask: is there any coherent opinion of the world in which official Catholic teaching on sexual ethics is not precisely one opinion among others? By any honest reckoning, that is in fact the state of things, no? One could certainly argue that the teaching of the magisterium (i.e. the pope and bishops) ought to be taken as authoritative. But in making that case, such a one would need to begin by acknowledging a range of opinions, of which official Catholic teaching is precisely one?

Well, you might think so. Such would seem to cohere with the approach advocated by David Gibson, writing for dotCommonweal that he will “settle for that deeper, broader, more satisfying—if crowded and complex and maddening—Common Ground, thanks.” Catholic Common Ground, the organization to which he links, has this as their mission statement:

The Catholic Common Ground Initiative, inspired by the call to be one in Christ, invites Catholics with differing views about critical issues in the Church to engage in prayerful dialogue for the sake of building up the communion of the Church.

– full analysis by Sarah Morice – Brubaker, at Religion Dispatches

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New York councilwoman talks being gay in the church

A unique new voice has been added to the debate stirred by Bill Keller’s New York Times column: Should liberal Catholics simply leave a church that clearly no longer wants them? Her answer to that question may surprise you.

Christine Quinn is the speaker of the New York City Council and a leading candidate to succeed Michael Bloomberg as mayor. She is Catholic, and she is gay.

Quinn gave a free-wheeling interview this weekend to NPR, covering everything from her political views to her family history (her maternal grandmother survived the sinking of the Titanic). But toward the end of the segment, the topic turned to her sexual identity and her faith.

Quinn spoke movingly of how her father first rejected her when she came out but then apologized and reconciled. He now comes over to City Hall to visit her every day and was to march with his daughter in the Gay Pride parade over the weekend. All well and good, said NPR interviewer David Greene — but what about your faith and your church? How does that work?

She gave a very New York, no-nonsense answer:

QUINN: Well, it’s just who I am. I mean, I’m Catholic and I’m gay. There’s not much to deal with. It’s who I am. It’s how I wake up every morning.

GREENE: But your church, obviously, doesn’t, you know, officially accept that.

QUINN: Right. That’s kind of their problem, not mine. I mean, I just don’t dwell on it. I’m not really sure what the upside of me dwelling on it would be. I mean, I was raised Catholic, I take a lot of comfort and inspiration and motivation and support from my faith. I get what they kind of see in some political issues. They get that we’re not in agreement on that. But that doesn’t make me not who I am. It’s still who I am.

GREENE: Do you ever wake up and think I need to leave this church, I need to leave this faith, I …

QUINN: No. Well, how can you leave a faith? A faith is who you are. It’s what’s inside of you. It’s how you see the world. It’s what inspires you. It’s what comforts you. It’s what uplifts you in the dark days. You can’t leave a faith. The faith is who you are. It’s what you have. Why should I leave the church? It’s my church. They’re the ones who have the wrong perspective. I’m not going to leave. If I leave, it’s as if they won. I’m going to go into any church any time I want to, whenever I want to. It’s my church. And no one’s ever asked me to and no one ever will.

To me, Quinn’s directness and confidence about her place in the church was a breath of fresh air. There’s an honesty that even New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan might appreciate.

And she might even have coined a rallying cry for people feeling pushed out of the church by its current direction: “That’s kind of their problem, not mine.”

National Catholic Reporter

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