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.
By Marianne Duddy-Burke and Mary Ellen Lopata
In an Easter morning appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the archbishop of New York, spoke words that some gay and lesbian Catholics thought they might never hear.
Asked by the host, George Stephanopoulos, what he would say to people who felt excluded from the Roman Catholic Church because of their sexual orientation, the cardinal said: “Well, the first thing I’d say to them is, ‘I love you, too. And God loves you. And you are made in God’s image and likeness.’ ”
In the spirit of compromise, then — and realizing that we and the cardinal are not soon going to agree on how the church and state should treat same-sex couples who want to make a lifetime commitment to each other — we offer a few suggestions that do not require the hierarchy to adjust its teachings on the nature of marriage, but would send a clear message against distaste and mistrust.
Mark Kroilkowski wore his hair at shoulder length, his nails long and well manicured, and his ears pierced. His appearance, which evolved over the 32 years he'd spent teaching at St. Francis Prepatory School in Queens, had always been considered a bit unconventional for a Catholic school teacher, but it had caused no poblems until October 2011 when the parent of a freshman student complained, setting in motion a series of events that culminated in Kroilikowski's dismissal.
The former teacher says he was laid off because he informed school officials that he was transgender. He has filed suit. The school’s attorney says Krolikowski was fired for “nondiscriminatory reasons.”
The acronym LGBT has entered into common use in recent years, as a quick way of referring to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. But even individuals who are L, G and B don’t always know much about those who are T. As Christians we believe that the church must work to dispel this ignorance, and to support this deeply stigmatized population.
By Casey and Mary Ellen Lopata
As the new year begins, our list of threats to world peace includes the usual suspects: poverty, hunger, disease, environmental degradation, the availability of devastating weaponry and sectarian violence. To this list, Pope Benedict XVI would like to add our neighbor Bob.
In his message for the World Day of Peace, which takes place January 1, the pope said that allowing gay and lesbian people to marry “constitutes an offense against the truth of the human person, with serious harm to justice and peace.” That the pope holds these notions is not news. He has previously said that gay marriage threatens the “future of humanity itself.”
We are fortunate enough to be able to contrast the pope’s rhetoric with the reality of Bob’s life, and those of many other gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people whom we know. They don’t seem like threats to world peace or the future of humanity. They are men and women trying to earn a living, love their spouses, raise their children and contribute a little something to their churches and their communities.