A letter from the Vatican to a gay male couple who wrote to Pope Francis about their joy in having their three adopted children baptized after three years of repeated requests has caused excitement and consternation among Pope-watchers. LGBTQI Catholics and advocates greeted the news as an important pastoral signal; […]
Thomas Paprocki, the Catholic Bishop of Springfield, IL, recently made international headlines with a Decree that banned people in same-sex marriages from receiving Communion, the Sacrament of the Sick, or even Catholic burial unless they showed signs of repentance. Now, in a video posted by CNS,com, the Bishop extends the ban to […]
In a recent column in the Catholic Times, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki addressed transgender issues in the context of the Boy Scouts’ recent decision to accept transgender youth among their ranks. After clarifying that local troops affiliated with Catholic schools and parishes will not follow suit, he proceeded to spread […]
The following op-ed by Jim Smith of Equally Blessed was published in the National Catholic Reporter on August 25, 2015, in preparation for the upcoming Equally Blessed pilgrimage to the World Meeting of Families in September. In just a few weeks, throngs of Catholics will enter the Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. These people […]
For several years now, we have seen a troubling trend in Catholic places of employment. Bishops are overstepping to meddle in employees' personal lives. Firing competent, beloved teachers for same-sex marriages, requiring whole staffs to agree to statements calling contraception evil, and forbidding discussion of women's equality in the church are now being included in morality clauses that administrators, teachers, and staff must sign.
New contracts, like the most recent one in San Francisco, now govern whom one can marry, use of birth control and other reproductive choices, and in the most egregious of cases, what events one can attend and whom one can and cannot associate with. Attending your nephew's wedding to his husband, or posting a congratulatory message on Facebook, could now cost you your job.
November 18, 2014- Such an open discussion is what is needed here in the United States, and it was exactly that kind of discussion that Equally Blessed, a coalition of Catholic groups that work for LGBT equality, asked of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) last week. Coalition members including Call To Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, New Ways Ministry, sent a letter to the conference last week in which they asked the bishops the following:
(Originally published on The Advocate.) November 14, 2014: As the U.S. Catholic bishops met in Baltimore this week, they discussed the synod on marriage and family that took place in Rome last month. That meeting sent shockwaves around the globe because of the frank discussion of birth control, cohabitation, divorce and […]
The list keeps getting longer.
A teacher in New York City. An organist near Atlanta. A teacher in Chicago. A music director in Charlotte. A teacher in Columbus.
At an accelerating rate, Catholic schools and churches around the country are firing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees who have decided that they can no longer deny who they are and whom they love.
By Francis DeBernardo and Sister Jeannine Gramick, SL
Reform-minded Catholics are often told that the church is not a democracy. In the conventional political sense, that may be true. But the church ministers in democracies. And in country after country, Catholic voters have gone to the polls, ignored the often heavy-handed lobbying of their bishops, and voted in favor of marriage equality, or legislators who support marriage equality. They are changing the teachings of the church by changing the culture in which the church functions.
The choice before our bishops now is whether to continue a divisive battle that will only diminish their own authority, or to follow where the laity has led.