Happy St. Joseph’s Day! Here are some items you may find of interest:
1) Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a former Maryknoll priest, expelled for supporting women’s ordination, published an ad in The Boston Globe recently which called on Pope Francis to advance the role of women and LGBT people in the Church. He wrote, in part:
“Let’s face it. Being gay is not a problem with our all-loving God who created everyone of equal worth and dignity. The problem is with Church leaders who view homosexuals as lesser than heterosexuals.”
Bourgeois also asked Catholics to write to the pope and local Church leaders asking them to reverse the teaching on homosexuality and recognize same-gender marriages. You can read the full letter here.
2) Cardinal Fernando Sebastian Aguilar of Spain, who was recently appointed to the College of Cardinals by Pope Francis, is being investigated by Spanish authorities for “inciting hate and discrimination.” The New Civil Rights Movement reports that Aguilar’s interview with a newspaper in which he stated “homosexuality is a defective way of manifesting sexuality” and that it should be corrected as much as possible. There is no update on whether charges will be filed against the cardinal.
3) The Scottish Catholic Education Service, which oversees that country’s 366 parochial schools, is protesting new government guidelines about sexual education. The drafted guidelines would require religious schools to teach about homosexuality and contraception equivalent to what and how these topics are taught in public schools, reports the Scottish Express.
4) St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Washington, DC hosted the second annual memorial for Deoni JaParker Jones, a transgender women murdered nearby in 2012. More than 100 people, including the mayor and city council members, were in attendance at the event organized by Jones’ family. Washington Blade reports that a new foundation working to end anti-LGBT violence was announced that evening.
5) Catholic television network EWTN will boycott planned coverage of the Divine Mercy Conference in Dublin after Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, the former head of the Dominicans, was announced as a keynote speaker. EWTN has criticized Radcliffe’s pastoral outreach and vocal support of LGBT people, which one network host said was “at sharp variance to Catholic teaching.” The criticism included his participation in the Soho Masses sponsored by the London archdiocese, as well as Radcliffe’s view that same-gender committed relationships should “be cherished.” Last December, he also called for “new ways of being church.” The full story is available at The Independent.
–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry