Message to Nuns: ‘Be Not Afraid’

April 23, 2012

The initial news cycle centered on the Vatican’s attempted suppression of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the leading organization of U.S. nuns, seems to be dying down.  However, make no mistake: the story is not over! The most important piece of it is yet to come:  How will the nuns respond to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) decision to place an archbishop in charge of their conference, in effect, displacing the women’s leadership of themselves?

At New Ways Ministry, which has had its own encounters with the CDF, it is clear that the recent statement from this hierarchical office is designed to silence dissent by instilling fear, not only from the LCWR, but from other sectors of the church, too.  The Vatican no longer has a Grand Inquisitor to physically torture or jail people it calls “dissenters,” so the only tool left to silence them is fear.

We have seen this time and again at New Ways Ministry.  Whenever the Vatican makes a strong statement against LGBT people, one of the most widespread reactions and responses from church people is to be afraid.  Yes, there are many who express anger and outrage, but many, many more respond quietly by silencing themselves, afraid that if they speak out that they, too, will experience the wrath of Church authorities.

Fear, however, is not the full story.  I believe that though church authorities might be instilling fear through their actions, there is another reality present in these situations.  I believe that when fear is present,  God is calling us to courage.  Though it may seem that the LCWR has few options at this juncture (see the posting about canon law guiding this case), they do, in fact, have the option to respond courageously, relying on God’s power instead of the power of human beings–themselves or their oppressors.

When the CDF tried to suppress Sister Jeannine Gramick, New Ways Ministry’s co-founder, by telling her that she could not do pastoral work with lesbian/gay people and that she could not speak about the Vatican’s investigation of her ministry, she responded with a simple statement filled with eloquent courage, “I choose not to participate in my own oppression.”

Those who see the injustice of the CDF’s attempt to suppress LCWR need to respond with similar courage.  Now is not the time to be afraid, worried, or despairing.  We must rely on our God who promised to be with us and guide us in our times of need.  The only thing we can ever change is ourselves and our responses, not other people or situations.  We have the choice at this juncture to respond with courage.

The LCWR leadership has announced that they will be consulting their members, the heads of women’s religious communities around the country, as to how to respond to the CDF announcement.   One thing that ordinary Catholics  can do is to exercise a ministry of en-courage-ment by writing to the leaders of nuns’ communities that we know and love, and letting them know that they have the support of Catholics in their time of need.   We need to let our Sisters know that they are not alone, and that the Catholic people stand courageously in solidarity with them.  If we want LCWR to respond with courage to this situation, we must en-courage the Sisters that we know and love.

(If you do not know the names and addresses of the leaders of the community of nuns who have ministered to you, ask a local nun for their contact information or call/email New Ways Ministry, and we will help you get that information.  New Ways Ministry phone: 301-277-5674; email: info@NewWaysMinistry.org .)

You don’t have to write a long letter.   Just let the Sisters know that you are praying for them, that you are grateful for their ministry, that you want them to continue to be prophetic, and that you will support them.

In doing so, you will be spreading one of Jesus’ most consistent Gospel messages:  “Be not afraid.”

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

 

Previous Bondings 2.0 posts on the CDF-LCWR story (with some of the links each post contains):

1) April 18:  Vatican Action Against U.S. Nuns; New Ways Ministry’s Response
Links: Associated Press article; CDF document.

2) April 19:  Sister Joan Chittister & Sister Simone Campbell Respond to Vatican Action Against U.S. Nuns
          Links: National Catholic Reporter (NCR) article; Religion News Service article by David Gibson; New York Times article.

3) April 20:  Can There Really Be “Collaboration” Between the Vatican and LCWR?
          Links:  Cardinal Levada’s letter; NCR article on how LCWR learned of the Vatican’s action; NCR article on canon law relevant to the case.

4) April 21:  Support for U.S. Nuns Spreads Quickly Among Catholics and Others
Links:  Online petition in support of nuns; New York Times editorial supporting nuns; U.S. Catholic magazine analysis of CDF document.

5) April 22: Comments on LCWR Action from National Catholic LGBT Organizations
Links:  MSNBC interviews with New Ways Ministry’s Sister Jeannine Gramick and DignityUSA’s Jeff Stone; Washington Post article.


Comments on LCWR Action from National Catholic LGBT Organizations

April 22, 2012

Commentary on the Vatican’s attempt to control the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) continues to make headlines, as more Catholic religious leaders offer their thoughts on the April 18th announcement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

Sister Jeannine Gramick

Two New Ways Ministry representatives and a DignityUSA representative have appeared in major media on the issue in the last few days.  Sister Jeannine Gramick, SL, New Ways Ministry co-founder, appeared on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell show along with Jeff Stone, DignityUSA’s director of media relations.  In that interview, Sister Jeannine stated:

“We women come from a different conception of  ‘church’ from the Vatican.  We are following. . . the Second Vatican Council which was in the 1960′s talked about the ‘church’ as a community.  And in a community, people disagree. But in a totalitarian institution, there is no disagreement.  This is the clash that we are seeing.”

Jeff Stone

Jeff Stone commented:

“The highest law of the Catholic Church is the law of conscience.  Pope Benedict himself has spoken eloquently about it. Even if you find your conscience is in disagreement even with the words of the pope, you are obligated in your conscience to follow your conscience.”

You can watch the entire interview of these two leaders by clicking here.

In a Washington Post article entitled “American nuns stunned by Vatican accusation of ‘radical feminism,’ crackdown” Sister Patricia McDermott, RSM, New Ways Ministry advisory board member and President of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, struck a similar note to Sister Jeannine, in noting that women and men in the Church have different approaches:

Sister Patricia McDermott

“McDermott said the connection between priests and nuns has been weakening. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, she said, ‘the mutuality and respect was extraordinary, feeling we were all in this together.’

Today, she said, different approaches to a changing society and the role of the church means ‘that sense of hospitality, many of us would say, is growing dimmer.’ ”

Sister Julie Viera

In the same article, Sister Julie Viera, IHM, (who is not associated with either New Ways Ministry or DignityUSA) observed that though nuns take a vow of obedience, that vow is clearly defined:

“[O]ur vow of obedience applies to God . . . it doesn’t reside in a bishop, a body of bishops or even the pope. For us, that sense of obedience has to do with listening deeply to the call of the spirit.”

These commentators join a host of others, including Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, renwoned Catholic author, and Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, executive director of NETWORK, who have already criticized the Vatican’s directive.   You can read about Sister Joan’s comments here, and Sister Simone’s comments here and here.  For New Ways Ministry’s statement, click here.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


Support for U.S. Nuns Spreads Quickly Among Catholics and Others

April 21, 2012

The attempt this week by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) to control the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the leading national organization of Catholic nuns in the U.S., is being widely criticized by Catholics and others, as people across the country start to express outrage at the decision and support for these women of faith.

A group of Catholics concerned about the religious sisters have organized an online petition at Change.org which has already attracted over 4,000 signatures in less than two days.  The petition’s text:

“On April 18, 2012, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) launched a crackdown on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an umbrella group that represents more than 80 percent of the 57,000 women religious in the United States.

“We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). We are shocked by the Roman Catholic hierarchy’s recent crackdown on nuns in the United States. The mandate forced upon LCWR, which threatens their works of justice, is a prime example of how the hierarchy in the Roman Catholic Church misuses its power to diminish the voice of women. We value the prophetic witness of women religious and appreciate their commitment to social justice. “

You can access and sign the petition here.

A New York Times editorial supports LCWR and nuns’ ministries, pointing out that the Vatican’s accusations are

“. . .a misreading of the very fine work in schools, charities, prisons and impoverished neighborhoods being done by about 60,000 nuns across the nation.

“These nuns and their leaders continued to bolster the reputation of the Roman Catholic Church even as it suffered one of its greatest scandals in the sexual abuse of schoolchildren by rogue priests and the cover-ups by diocesan authorities. . . .

“It would be a tragedy, far beyond the church, if their fine work and their courageous voices were constrained.”

Bryan Cones, managing editor of U.S. Catholic offers an insightful analysis on the magazine’s blog.  His conclusion:

“When you boil it all down, the CDF’s complaints are trumped up, giving the U.S. bishops the excuse to act against a relatively independent Catholic voice that they don’t like—and a warning to others (perhaps such as Sister Carol Keehan of the Catholic Health Association) not to offer an alternative Catholic voice in the national debate. Sister Simone Campbell of NETWORK said it best, I think: ‘I think we scare them.’ ”

Sister Simone Campbell elaborated on that idea in an interview with National Public Radio.  Commenting on what might have motivated the Vatican’s leaders to take such an action, she said:

“. . .it looks like from the outside that they are not used to strong women who took the urging of Pope Pius XII very seriously. Pope Pius XII urged women religious – way before I was in the community – to be educated in theology, to get educated in advanced degrees.

“So we took him seriously, and we did it. The leadership doesn’t know how to deal with strong women. And so their way is try to shape us into whatever they think it should be, not realizing that we’ve been faithful to the call this whole time.”

Responding to a line of questioning as to why the Vatican and U.S. nuns’ differ in their approach to issues, including lesbian and gay issues, Sister Campbell stated:

“There’s certainly an experience difference. We as Catholics believe our experience informs our faith and our faith informs our experience. It’s – how can I say this? When you don’t work every day with people who live on the margins of our society, it’s much easier to make easy statements about who’s right and who’s wrong.”

PreviousBondings 2.0 posts on the LCWR case:

April 18, 2012: Vatican Action Against U.S. Nuns; New Ways Ministry’s Response

April 19, 2012: Sister Joan Chittister & Sister Simone Campbell Respond to Vatican Action Against U.S. Nuns

April 20, 2012: Can There Really Be “Collaboration” Between the Vatican and LCWR?

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


Can There Really Be “Collaboration” Between the Vatican and LCWR?

April 20, 2012

The Vatican’s document announcing that an Archbishop Delegate has been placed in charge of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) concludes with a paragraph which begins:

“It will be the task of the Archbishop Delegate to work collaboratively with the officers of the LCWR to achieve the goals outlined in this document, and to report on the progress of this work to the Holy See.”

The letter from Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which accompanied the decision’s announcement, states in its opening paragraph that the action was taken with the goal of

“. . .fostering a patient and collaborative renewal of this conference. . . “

One wonders how “collaborative” such work will be, however, since the very announcement of this decision was handled in such a one-sided way.   In a statement released yesterday, the LCWR presidency (comprised of President, Past President, and Vice President) said they were “stunned” by the public announcement, which came without any advance notification even though these three leaders were at the Vatican itself on the day news of the decision was released to the press.

A National Catholic Reporter (NCR) article reports on how the LCWR leaders learned of the Vatican’s decision:

“[LCWR] sent an email Thursday to the heads of each of the congregations it represents, explaining how the group became aware of the news.

“That email, obtained by NCR, says LCWR leadership was in Rome to meet Wednesday with members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding the doctrinal assessment. When the leaders came to the meeting, the congregation had already communicated with the U.S. bishops’ conference news of [Archbishop Peter] Sartain’s appointment, the email states.

“Additionally, the email says LCWR membership was told during the meeting that news of the appointment would only be shared Wednesday at the bishops’ conference internally and not with the general public in order to give the group time to communicate with its leaders.

” ‘When we met with Cardinal (William) Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on April 18, where we received the assessment results, CDF’s communication had already been sent to the USCCB for release at noon,’ the email states.

” ‘We understood that the documents would be put on USCCB’s members-only web page,’ it continues. ‘Consequently, we had hoped to communicate the conclusions with you ourselves. That was not possible.’ “

Another NCR article explains the background of the church’s canon law in regard to the Vatican’s decision and discusses the options which LCWR has for making a decision about its future:

“. . .experts say the options available to the group [LCWR] are stark.

“Ultimately, several canon lawyers told NCR, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious has two choices: Either comply with the order or face ouster as a Vatican-recognized representative of sisters in the United States.

“What’s more, the lawyers say, LCWR has no recourse for appeal of the decision. . . “

The two canon lawyers quoted in the article,Oblate Fr. Frank Morrisey, professor of canon law at St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada, and Jesuit Fr. Ladislas Orsy, visiting professor at Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC, explained why appealing the decision does not seem feasible:

“Morrissey said part of the problem regarding the question of whether the sisters can appeal the decision is the fact that, when a decision comes from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ‘there’s no appeal except to the Doctrine of Faith itself.’

“While Morrissey said the LCWR ‘could always ask’ the congregation to reconsider its own decision, he doubted the congregation would be willing to re-evaluate, considering the number of the meetings that have already been held on the matter since announcement of the investigation in 2009.

“The situation regarding the chances of appeal is so dim, Orsy said, that no canon lawyer would advise LCWR to spend time even trying to prepare a case to present.”

One of the reasons that the Vatican undertook the doctrinal assessment of LCWR was because the hierarchy was concerned about the sisters’ support of  lesbian/gay issues, including support of New Ways Ministry’s programs, in particular.  Background on the Vatican’s decision, as well as New Ways Ministry’s response, can be found in the previous two days’ Bondings 2.0′s blog posts which can be accessed here and here.  Both contain links to primary documents and other news sources.

The Vatican’s failure of communication with LCWR in announcing the decision and the one-sidedness of any “appeals” process does not bode well for any true “collaboration” between the two groups.   There can be no collaboration when one side holds all the power, especially if it does not act honorably and fairly.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

 


Sister Joan Chittister & Sister Simone Campbell Respond to Vatican Action Against U.S. Nuns

April 19, 2012

We’re continuing our coverage of the news which broke yesterday that the Vatican has appointed an overseer to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the association of heads of nuns’ communities in the U.S.   The National Catholic Reporter (NCR) article on the action highlights the tasks that the appointee, Archbishop Peter Sartrain of Seattle, will undertake:

  • Revising LCWR statutes;
  • Reviewing LCWR plans and programs;
  • Creating new programs for the organization;
  • Reviewing and offering guidance on the application of liturgical texts; and
  • Reviewing LCWR’s affiliations with other organizations, citing specifically NETWORK and the Resource Center for Religious Institutes.

“According to the [Vatican] letter, Sartain’s mandate runs for ‘up to five years, as deemed necessary.’ Sartain is also expected to set up an advisory team including clergy and women religious, to ‘work collaboratively’ with LCWR officers and to ‘report on the progress of this work to the Holy See.’ “

Sister Joan Chittister

LCWR has yet to issue a statement concerning the statement from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), but the NCR article quotes  a response to the announcement from Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, the renowned Catholic author and speaker, who is a past-president of LCWR:

“Although LCWR officers did not immediately return requests for comment on this story, a former leader of the group told NCR that the appointment and the order for the group to revise itself was ‘actually immoral.’

” ‘Within the canonical framework, there is only one way I can see to deal with this,’ said Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister, who has served as president of the group as well as in various leadership positions. (Chittister also writes a column for NCR.) ‘They would have to disband canonically and regroup as an unofficial interest group.

” ‘That would be the only way to maintain growth and nourish their congregational charisms and the charism of the LCWR, which is to help religious communities assess the signs of the time. If everything you do has to be approved by somebody outside, then you’re giving your charism away, and you’re certainly demeaning the ability of women to make distinctions.’ “

David Gibson, a premier reporter on Catholic issues, noted in a Religion News Service story appearing in USA Today, that concern about the nuns’ silence on marriage equality was referred to in the Vatican directive:

“. . . ‘[C]rucial’ issues like ‘the church’s biblical view of family life and human sexuality, are not part of the LCWR agenda in a way that promotes church teaching. Moreover, occasional public statements by the LCWR that disagree with or challenge positions taken by the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals, are not compatible with its purpose.’ “

The criticism of LCWR’s approach to lesbian/gay issues is also explicitly referenced in the Vatican document:

“In this wider context, the CDF notes the absence of initiatives by the LCWR aimed at promoting the reception of the Church’s teaching, especially on difficult issues such as Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Ordinatio sacerdotalis [in which the pope said there could be no discussion on women's ordination in the church] and Church teaching about homosexuality.”

As Bondings 2.0 reported yesterday, the Vatican’s criticism of LCWR’s approach to lesbian/gay issues also included nuns’ support of New Ways Ministry.  From the Vatican document:

“Policies of Corporate Dissent. The Cardinal [William Levada, CDF Prefect] spoke of this issue in reference to letters the CDF received from “Leadership Teams” of various Congregations, among them LCWR officers, protesting the Holy See’s actions regarding the question of women’s ordination and of a correct pastoral approach to ministry to homosexual persons, e.g. letters about New Ways Ministry’s conferences. The terms of the letters suggest that these sisters collectively take a position not in agreement with the Church’s teaching on human sexuality. It is a serious matter when these Leadership Teams are not providing effective leadership and example to their communities, but place themselves outside the Church’s teaching.”

You can read New Ways Ministry’s response to this criticism here.

Sister Simone Campbell

Besides New Ways Ministry, another Catholic organization, NETWORK, a national social justice lobbying group, was also cited in the CDF’s criticism of LCWR.  The New York Times article explains the reference and reports NETWORK’s  reaction:

“ ‘I’m stunned,’ said Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby founded by sisters. Her group was also cited in the Vatican document, along with the Leadership Conference, for focusing its work too much on poverty and economic injustice, while keeping  ‘silent’ on abortion and same-sex marriage.

“ ‘I would imagine that it was our health care letter that made them mad,’ Sister Campbell said. ‘We haven’t violated any teaching, we have just been raising questions and interpreting politics.’ ”

In 2010, NETWORK supported President Obama’s health care bill, while the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opposed it.

Bondings 2.0 will be following the news and commentary on the decision about LCWR in the coming days and weeks.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


Vatican Action Against U.S. Nuns; New Ways Ministry’s Response

April 18, 2012

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has announced that it will appoint an Archbishop Delegate to oversee the activities of  the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the national association of the heads of nuns’ communities throughout the United States.    An Associated Press article  about this action says the Vatican cited the organization

” . . .for using materials that ‘do not promote church teaching’ on family life and sexuality, for sometimes taking positions in opposition to the nation’s bishops and for being ‘silent on the right to life from conception to natural death, a question that is part of the lively public debate about abortion and euthanasia in the United States.’ ”

You can read the full text of the CDF document here.

Because support for New Ways Ministry was mentioned in this document as one of the factors leading up to this doctrinal investigation of LCWR,  Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director of New Ways Ministry issued the following statement today:

“For all of our 35-year history, New Ways Ministry has been strongly supported by Catholic women religious in the United States.  This support, manifested by so many generous and courageous acts, has, indeed, been the backbone of our bridge-building ministry for lesbian/gay Catholics and the wider church community.

“So, it was with great dismay that we learned that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) today released a document on the recent ”Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious,” (LCWR) in which the Congregation announced the appointment of an Archbishop Delegate to oversee LCWR’s activities.   We are even more deeply saddened that support of New Ways Ministry by women’s religious communities and by LCWR leaders was singled out as one of the reasons that a doctrinal assessment was undertaken.  From the document:

“ ‘Policies of Corporate Dissent. The Cardinal [William Levada, CDF Prefect] spoke of this issue in reference to letters the CDF received from “Leadership Teams” of various Congregations, among them LCWR officers, protesting the Holy See’s actions regarding the question of women’s ordination and of a correct pastoral approach to ministry to homosexual persons, e.g. letters about New Ways Ministry’s conferences. The terms of the letters suggest that these sisters collectively take a position not in agreement with the Church’s teaching on human sexuality. It is a serious matter when these Leadership Teams are not providing effective leadership and example to their communities, but place themselves outside the Church’s teaching.’

“In 2007, many leadership teams of women’s religious communities wrote to the CDF to express their concern about the CDF’s directive to the Archbishop of St. Paul, Minnesota, to deny permission to our organization to celebrate the Eucharist at our national conference in that archdiocese.  As far as we are aware, the content of these letters questioned the Vatican’s denial of the Eucharist without addressing the other issues of pastoral care of lesbian and gay people or Catholic teaching on human sexuality.

“The CDF’s criticism of receiving letters seems intended to silence discussion of important issues in the church.  Why are Vatican leaders afraid to hear what women religious think on topics such as homosexuality that is being so widely discussed in all other quarters of society?  The Catholic faith is a living faith that requires dialogue and discussion, not only to thrive, but also to be a viable witness of God’s love in the world.

“If the leadership of the Catholic Church is unwilling to listen to the idea of the leaders of some of its most dedicated members, then our Church will never be able to grow or to respond in a Gospel way to the needs of our world. The CDF’s repressive action towards LCWR further erodes Catholicism’s ability to be a vital force in the world.

“New Ways Ministry, in gratitude for all we have received from women’s religious communities, pledges our prayerful support to LCWR and all its members during this period of trial.  We know that our God, who has graced these women with gifts of justice, fortitude, and wisdom, will guide and sustain them at this critical time. “

Stay tuned for news and commentary as this story develops.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


Strong Support for LGBT Issues Among Hispanics–Especially Catholics

April 18, 2012

Catholics who support LGBT equality know only too well that the long-standing media image of Catholics as hostile to accepting LGBT people is blatantly false.   So, it may come as no surprise to them that a new survey shows that Hispanics, another population often whose LGBT attitudes are often depicted in similarly negative fashion, are actually very supportive of equality and justice.

According to a Seattle Times article, the report conducted by Social Science Research Solutions (SSRS) research group and  the National Council of La Raza, a major Hispanic advocacy organization

“found Latino support for many pro-gay policies at least on par with that of the population as a whole.

“Latinos in the SSRS study, for example, support same-sex marriage at a rate of 54 percent, compared with 53 percent of those in the general population who indicated such support in a Gallup poll last year. [Note: in most polls on marriage equality that track religious affiliation, about 50-55% of Catholics usually indicate support.]

“And by even wider margins, respondents in the SSRS study favor policies aimed at protecting gays against hate crimes and discrimination related to jobs, housing and military service.”

The Times article highlights the fact that this new information dispels old myths about Hispanic people:

” ‘There is a clear misperception among the general population about where Latinos stand’ on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, said David Dutwin, vice president of SSRS and author of the report.

” ‘In reality, as society is evolving on LGBT issues and becoming more accepting of this community, so too are Hispanics.’ “

When Catholic Hispanics are looked at separately in the report, support for LGBT issues is even stronger:

“Three out of five Hispanics in the U.S. identify as Catholic. And while polls put support for same-sex marriage among lay Catholics at around 56 percent, church teachings and most church leaders oppose same-sex marriage.

“Among Catholic Latinos in the SSRS survey, 57 percent said they support same-sex marriage, while support among other Christians was around 43 percent.”

Interestingly, the researchers themselves admit that they expected to find Catholicism fueling anti-LGBT sentiment among Hispanics, but in fact, that hypothesis did not prove true.   In an interview with Candace Chellew-Hodge for an article on ReligionDispatches.org, Dutwin, the lead researcher confessed:

“With somewhere between three out of five Hispanics identifying as Catholic there was a thought walking into the survey that if there is a lack of support and acceptance in the Hispanic community, then it’s the Catholic nature of the community that’s driving it. Turns out that’s not the case at all. A majority Catholic Hispanics support legal gay marriage. It’s actually Protestant Hispanics that are under 50% support of gay marriage.

My own belief about strong Catholic support for marriage equality is that one reason it is so strong is because Catholics maintain strong family ties.   Since Hispanic culture is also very centered on the family unit, I speculate that this reason may be one of the motivators for such strong support among this group, too.

You can read the full text of the SSRS report and data by clicking here.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


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