Catholics Cited as Top LGBT Faith Voices of 2012

January 2, 2013

While we are still in the season of looking back at 2012 while we jump right into 2013, we’d like to mention proudly that New Ways Ministry’s Co-founder Sister Jeannine Gramick was named as one of the top ten pro-LGBT faith voicesof 2012 by GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)!   Additionally, we are delighted that two other Catholics made the list: Barbara Johnson, the lesbian who was denied communion at her mother’s funeral; and Dominic Sheahan Stahl, the gay man who was disinvited as a commencement speaker from his high school alma mater.

Sister Jeannine Gramick

Sister Jeannine Gramick

In naming Sister Jeannine, GLAAD stated:

“Nuns were a big deal in 2012, and the LGBT community had a great ally in Sister Jeannine Gramick. She was one of the most visible pro-LGBT Catholic voices as Maryland adopted marriage equality and through the ballot process. She spoke about Roman Catholic hierarchy to MSNBC, and created a video series on The Daily Beast to discuss faith and life, including LGBT issues.”

Barbara Johnson

Barbara Johnson

Of Barbara Johnson, they said:

“While Barbara Johnson was grieving the loss of her mother, the presiding priest stated, “I can’t give you Communion because you live with a woman, and in the eyes of the church, that is a sin.” This blatant lack of pastoral care to an LGBT person captured the attention of the nation.GLAAD worked with Barbara to tell her story and to shine a light of the Roman Catholic hierarchy’s internal persecution of LGBT people.”

Dominic Sheahan Stahl.

Dominic Sheahan Stahl.

GLAAD praised Dominc Sheahan Stahl:

“When Dominic Sheahan Stahl was uninvited from speaking at the Sacred Heart Academy graduation for being gay, the graduating class, which included his younger brother, rallied around him. They formed #LetDominicSpeak and worked with GLAAD to express their support for the alum. They formed an inclusive graduation event, in which the entire graduating class, as well as 600 people listened to Dominic give his speech, of which, GLAAD produced a video. Dominic has gone on to establish a “Live Through Love” foundation to raise scholarship money for LGBT students.”

To view the entire list, which includes luminary leaders from other denominations and faiths, click here.

Bondings 2.0 followed the work and activity of all three of these leaders in 2012.  To search for their stories, type in their names into the “Search” box in the right-hand column, and all the relevant posts about them will come up.

We are proud of our co-founder, Sister Jeannine, and of these two lay leaders!  We are grateful for all the work that the three of them have done to make our world and our church a more welcoming place for LGBT people and their families!

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

 


Resolutions and Hopes for the New Year!

January 1, 2013

new yearA happy and blessed new year to all of New Ways Ministry’s friends and supporters!

January 1st is a time for resolutions and hopes for the future.    The following are some of  the resolutions and hopes for the Catholic LGBT world from New Ways Ministry’s personnel.  What are your resolutions and hopes?  Add them in the “Comments” section of this post.

Sister Jeannine Gramick, Co-Founder:

Resolution: A number of folks in our LGBT family have asked about a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. My resolution in 2013 is to plan this pilgrimage so that the pilgrims can both walk in the footsteps of Jesus and also see the reality of the present-day Palestinian/Israeli situation.

Hope: That marriage equality will become a reality in more states in the U.S. and other nations throughout the world.

Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director:

Resolution: To remember that God has a plan for everything, especially for equality and justice for LGBT people.

Hope:  That more Catholic parishes will open their doors to LGBT people and their families.

Bob Shine, Young Adult and Social Media Coordinator:

Resolution: Find new ways to spread the gospel of equality and justice through social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Bondings 2.0.

Hope:  That the hierarchy’s rhetoric around marriage will be less hyperbolic to allow for an open and good faith conversation on the issue of equality.

Matthew Myers, Chair, Board of Directors:

Resolution:  To name one thing every day for which I am thankful.

Hope:  That 2013, as the “Year of Faith” proclaimed by the Pope, will be an opportunity for sincere dialogue and genuine communion among members of our church.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


The Best of 2012 in Catholic LGBT News

December 31, 2012

Thumbs_upYesterday, we posted our list of the worst of 2012 in Catholic LGBT news.  Today, as promised, we end the year on a positive note by presenting our list of the BEST of the previous year.  Much good has happened in 2012, with Catholics at all levels of the church speaking out for justice and equality for LGBT people.

Thanks to the 286 of you who voted in our poll to determine the selection and ranking of these best news stories.  The percentage following each story is the percentage of people who chose this item as one of their top five.

The Top Ten

1. Catholic lay support aids marriage equality victories in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington State. 23.08%

2. Priests in Minnesota and Maryland publicly counter the local hierarchy’s opposition to marriage equality. 14.69%  

3. Berlin’s Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki suggests that the church should treat gay and straight couples similarly9.09%  

4 & 5.  TIE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Bishop Richard Malone in Maine announces that the diocese will not take an active political role against the state’s marriage equality referendum. 8.39%                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Surveys show increase in support for LGBT issues among Hispanics, especially Catholics. 8.39%

6. At New Ways Ministry’s Seventh National Symposium, Australia’s Bishop Geoffrey Robinson calls for the church hierarchy to re-think its sexual ethics teachings8.04% 

7 & 8. TIE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The University of Notre Dame gives official recognition to a gay-straight alliance after years of student activism. 5.24%                           Austrian Cardinal overturns a pastor’s decision to bar a gay man from serving on a parish council. 5.24%

9. Catholics in Media Associates gives its top award to TV’s Modern Family, a show featuring a gay family. 3.85%  

10. Maryland priest who denied communion to a lesbian woman at her mother’s funeral is removed from pastoral ministry. 3.5%  

Editor’s Note:  One item which we neglected to add to the list for voting was that Vice President Joe Biden, a  Catholic, endorsed marriage equality, paving the way for President Barack Obama to do the same.  Biden also referred to transgender equality as “the civil rights issue of our time.”  We feel these should deserve some mention on the list of the best Catholic news of 2012.  We regret that we didn’t include them for voting.  Mea maxima culpa.

Other items

Cardinal Francis George apologizes for comparing the LGBT community to the Ku Klux Klan. 2.45%  

Ontario requires all schools, including state-supported Catholic schools, to institute gay-straight alliances. 2.1%  

Jesuit author James Martin endorses Spirit Day, a national program to end bullying of LGBT youth. 2.1% 

Pastor at Most Holy Redeemer parish in San Francisco reverses his earlier decision to ban drag queens from parish events. 1.75%

Students at Stonehill College, a Catholic campus in Massachusetts, win a new and improved non-discrimination policy. 1.4%  

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


The Worst of 2012 in Catholic LGBT News

December 30, 2012

thumbs downAs the year 2012 winds to a close, it’s time to review the news of the Catholic LGBT world of the past 12 months. In today’s post, we will look at the  stories of the worst happenings of the past year, and in tomorrow’s post, we will look at the best stories.  Bondings 2.0 asked you for your feedback on what the worst and best news stories of the past year were, so the ranking of these stories is based on your responses.  The percentage following each story is the percentage of people who chose this item as one of their top five. Thank you to all 311 of you who participated.

The Top Ten

1. The Parliament in Uganda, a pre-dominantly Catholic nation, re-introduces a bill to make the death penalty a possible sentence for lesbian and gay people.  16.34%

2. The Vatican censures the Leadership Conference of Women Religious for, among other things, their support of LGBT issues and New Ways Ministry. 15.69%

3. Pope Benedict opens the year by stating that new models of family are a threat to “human dignity and the future of humanity.” 14.05%

4. The Knights of Columbus have contributed $6.5 million to oppose marriage equality over the past seven years, according to an Equally Blessed report. 12.09%

5. A Catholic lesbian woman in Maryland is denied communion at her mother’s funeral Mass. 10.13% 

6. The Vatican censures Sister Margaret Farley, a theologian who has supported the moral goodness of gay and lesbian relationships. 6.86%  

7. U.S. bishops attempt to make religious liberty an issue as a way to defeat marriage equality initiatives. 6.54%

8. Minnesota teen is denied confirmation for supporting marriage equality. 4.9%

9 & 10. TIE:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Catholic University of America again denies a request for recognition of a gay-straight alliance on campus. 2.29%                               Several Catholic church employees are fired because of their support of marriage equality. 2.29%

Other items:

In several cases, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development withdraws funding from organizations which support LGBT equality. 1.96% 

Catholic theologian Tina Beattie is disinvited from a fellowship appointment at the University of San Diego because of her support of marriage equality. 1.63%  

The U.S. Catholic bishops investigate the Girl Scouts of America for connections to liberal causes, including LGBT equality. 1.63%  

Minnesota’s Archbishop John Nienstedt instructs his priests not to speak publicly in support of marriage equality. 1.63%

A Catholic high school in Indianapolis refuses to call a female-to-male transgender student by his male name. 0.98%

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


Help Us Determine the Worst and Best of 2012!

December 26, 2012

best worstOn the last two days of the year, Bondings 2.0 will review the news of the past year in the Catholic LGBT world by posting “The Worst of 2012″ and “The Best of 2012.”

Please help us prepare for these posts by taking a moment to take the two one-question surveys below.  You can choose up to FIVE responses to each question.  One of those responses can be “Other” where you can write-in your own selection.  Please respond by the end of the day, Saturday, December 29th,12 midnight, Eastern Standard Time.

If you would like to refresh your memory of what happened this past year, just use the tools in the right hand column of this blog to find stories that have been reported on here.  You can search by clicking on a category, by using a search term, or by reviewing posts by month.

Thanks for your help with this project!  We look forward to reading your responses!

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


Christmas Party for New Ways Ministry Volunteers

December 24, 2012
New Ways Ministry Volunteer Christmas Party:  Standing: Vern Smith, Patrick McNelis, David Lamdin, David Vespa; Seated: Mark Clark, Thom Krupa, Bob Shine, Matthew Myers; Kneeling:  Sister Jeannine Gramick

At the New Ways Ministry Volunteer Christmas Party, staff and volunteers join “Santa” in sending a pro-marriage equality message. Standing: Vern Smith, Patrick McNelis, David Lamdin, David Vespa; Seated: Mark Clark, Thom Krupa, Bob Shine (dressed as Santa), Matthew Myers; Kneeling: Sister Jeannine Gramick

As Christmas draws near,  we’d like to share a little holiday cheer from New Ways Ministry by presenting this photograph of our annual dinner party for our dedicated volunteers.  We took a moment during the party to send a message of Catholic support for marriage equality to all.

Almost every Tuesday evening, a group of volunteers from the local Washington, DC metropolitan area stop by New Ways Ministry’s offices in Mount Rainier, Maryland, to help us prepare the bulk mailings that we send out to our constituents and supporters.  Without these volunteers,  our communications folks around the country and the globe would be much slower and more expensive.  These stalwart worker help spread the word about our programs of education, spiritual development, and advocacy on Catholic LGBT issues.

We are extremely grateful for their service.  If you live in the DC metro area and are interested in volunteering some time, please contact New Ways Ministry either by phone, 301-277-5674, or email, info@NewWaysMinistry.org, so that we can let you know what the upcoming schedule is.

The work is not difficult, and it’s a great way of spending an evening together with like-minded souls.  We always end each evening with pizza and soda as refreshments.

We’d love to see you some volunteer night in 2013!

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


Blog Birthday Redux

December 13, 2012

At the end of last month, we celebrated the first anniversary for the Bondings 2.0 blog, with several posts marking this milestone.

New Ways Ministry co-founder Sister Jeannine Gramick poses with Bondings 2.0's birthday cake!

New Ways Ministry co-founder Sister Jeannine Gramick poses with Bondings 2.0’s birthday cake!

Here at New Ways Ministry, we also had some “offline” celebrations, including a birthday cake for the blog!

If you are able to support the blog into the new year, we suggest two different ways:

1) Make a contribution to the blog by clicking the “Contribute” tab above.  Please make sure to write the word “blog” in the “Comments” box of the donation form to which you will be directed.

2) Take a moment to complete our survey of Bondings 2.0 readers by clicking the “Reader Survey” tab above.  Your answers will provide us valuable information so that we can make the blog more effective, meaningful, and convenient for you and other readers.

Thanks for your continued support of this blog and of LGBT Catholic issues!

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

 


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