NEWS NOTES: January 25, 2012

January 25, 2012

Here are links to some articles you might find of interest:

1) In a Washington Blade article, Maryland’s Catholic Governor Martin “O’Malley says marriage bill brings dignity, religious freedom.”  In attendance at the Governor’s prayer breakfast, and quoted in this article in support of marriage equality, is New Ways Ministry’s co-founder, Sister Jeannine Gramick.

2) Announcing that he will veto New Jersey’s marriage equality bill and prefers a referendum on the issue,  Catholic Governor Chris “Christie Wants Voters to Decide on Gay Marriage” reports the New York Times.

3) Both Pope Benedict XVI and John Boswell, the late Catholic gay historian, are quoted in “The ‘Art’ and Rhetoric of Stereotyping and Scapegoating LGBT People,” published on

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


NEWS NOTES: January 24, 2012

January 24, 2012

Here are links to some items you might find of interest:

1) In an announcement in all parish bulletins this past weekend, Seattle’s Archbishop Peter Satrain called on Catholics to contact their state legislators to oppose the marriage equality bill there.  Details can be found in a Seattle Post-Intelligencer  blog post,  “Archbishop Sartrain: ‘Protect Marriage.’ “

2) The Seattle Post Intelligencer reports “In Haugen casts key marriage equality vote” that Washington State’s marriage equality bill has received the 25 needed votes for passage in the Senate.  Passage in the state’s House is expected, and Catholic Governor Christine Gregoire has pledged to sign the bill.

3) Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland, a Catholic, has introduced a marriage equality bill to the state legislature, reports the Baltimore Sun in “O’Malley introduces same-sex marriage bill.”  Strengthened exemptions for religious institutions distinguish it from last year’s bill, which was tabled.  The Sun also reports that “O’Malley will back transgender rights bill,”  too.

4) The first gay man nominated to the New Jersey Supreme Court was named by Governor Chris Christie, a Catholic.   In “Christie Names a Gay Man and an Asian for the Top Court,” the New York Times reports that Christie, who has opposed marriage equality in his state denied that this pro-gay appointment is any indication that he will support marriage equality in this legislative session.

5) The Catholic Catechism’s directive that lesbian/gay people ‘must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity’ is cited in a Malta Times article, “NGOs call for ‘hate crime’ to also cover anti-gay acts.”

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

NEWS NOTES: January 20, 2011

January 20, 2012

Here are links to some items you might find of interest:


a) We posted earlier this week about Catholic University students protesting   a campus visit by Cardinal George., a Washington, DC, gay newspaper, has provided further detail about the action in a story entitled “Protesting Through Prayer:  Catholic University’s LGBT students, allies protest Cardinal George’s comments on homosexuality.”

b) Yesterday we posted about Fr. Mike Tegeder, “A Priest of Integrity,” who is speaking out for marriage equality in Minnesota, despite a gag order on priests from the archbishop.  Tom Roberts, editor of The National Catholic Reporter, supports Fr. Tegeder in his column, “Despite threat, pastor holds his ground over marriage amendment.”

2)  The website offers a column: “Most Catholics Support Same-Sex Marriage, While Church Stifles Dissent.”

3) As background for Maryland’s debate about marriage equality, The Washington Blade, D.C.’s gay newspaper,  interviews Delegate Peter Murphy, an openly gay man who identifies as Catholic:  “Md. gay delegate speaks out on marriage, family.”

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

NEWS NOTES: January 19, 2012

January 19, 2012

Here are links to some items you might find of interest:

1) Pope Benedict XVI urged American bishops in Rome for their ad limina visit to protect religious freedom.  Though marriage debates were not mentioned, the American bishops are increasingly using the supposed threat to religious freedom as a way to oppose marriage equality initiatives.  The National Catholic Reporter has a news story about the pope’s speech: “Pope warns of threat to religious freedom, conscience in US”  You can read the entire text of the speech on .

2) What’s wrong with the way secular opponents of marriage equality argue their case? Conor Friedersdorf examines their arguments in The Atlantic’s “The Logical Fallacy Gay-Marriage Opponents Depend On.”

3) Michael Bayly of continues his excellent series “Beyond the Hierarchy: The Blossoming of Liberating Catholic Insights on Sexuality” with an excerpt from an article by the esteemed Fr. Charles Curran entitled “A Vatican II View Could Allow for Gay, Lesbian Unions.”

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

NEWS NOTES: January 18, 2012

January 18, 2012

Here are links to some articles you might find of interest:

1) If you ever get into a discussion about whether lesbian/gay couples make good parents, you probably should read “Gay Parents Better Than Straight Parents? What Research Says” by Stephanie Pappas on  This information can come in handy when the topic of Catholic adoption agencies forbidding lesbian/gay couples to be parents comes up.

2) Waymon Hudson looks forward to Chicago’s Gay Pride parade, not in spite of but because of, the recent flap over Cardinal George’s insensitive comments.  Read “Gays and Catholics: It’s about leadership” on

3) “Religious Leaders Debut New Tactic on Marriage” by Chuck Colbert on examines the recent anti-equality statement signed by four Catholic bishops, and reactions to it.

4) In Canada, the debate about what to name gay-straight alliances in state-funded Catholic schools has reached part of a decision as “Board says no to ‘gay-straight alliances.’ “  Teri Pecoskie reports on the controversial decision on

5) DignityUSA’s Marianne Duddy-Burke is interviewed on a local radio show about the pope’s recent anti-marriage equality statement.  For excerpts and to listen to an audio file of the interview, visit “Gay Catholic Group Responds to Pope’s Homophobic Comments” on

6) Why are politically conservative evangelicals backing the overtly Catholic Rick Santorum in the Republican presidential candidates’ race?  Is it just because of his opposition to marriage equality?  Mary C. Curtis tries to tease out this puzzler in “Rick Santorum endorsement: An evangelical-Catholic truce or marriage of convenience?” on’s blog, “She The People.”

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

NEWS NOTES: January 14, 2012

January 14, 2012

Here are links to some articles you might find of interest:

1) In “Bishop:  Italy Should Recognize Gay Couples,” the UPI reports that a Sicilian bishop has called for governmental recognition of civil unions for gay/lesbian couples.  He joins Archbishop Vincent Nichols of the United Kingdom and Father Frank Brennan, SJ, a professor of law in Australia,  who have recently supported civil unions in their countries, too.

2) On January 13th, we commented on the “Open Letter on Marriage and Religious Liberty” signed by conservative religious leaders.  In a column in the National Catholic Reporter entitled “Churches seek–and find–greater exemptions from employment laws,” Jamie Manson does a good analysis of some of the issues involved in this debate.

3) The four Catholic bishops of Washington State have called on Catholics to oppose that state’s marriage equality legislation, reports  the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Joel Connelly in “Catholic bishops to flock:  Fight same-sex marriage.”

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

NEWS NOTES: January 10, 2012

January 10, 2012

Here are links to some articles that might be of interest to you:

1) In a reference to marriage equality initiatives, Pope Benedict XVI, in a new year address to the Vatican’s diplomatic corps said, “. . .policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself.”  For a full report on the speech, read the article, “Gay Marriage a Threat to Humanity’s Future: Pope.”

2)  In an editorial entitled, “Gov. Gregoire Comes Around,” The New York Times applauds Christine Gregoire, the Catholic governor of Washington State, for her support of marriage equality.

3) New Jersey’s marriage equality legislative debate will be a struggle between two Catholic political leaders:  Senate President Stephen Sweeney (pro) and Governor Chris Christie (con).   Read background on this contest in “Sweeney: N.J. Gay Marriage Fight Will Be with Christie, Not Legislature.”

4) Josh Zeitz, an aide and spokesperson for former N.J. Governor Jon Corzine, opines “Marriage Equality in N.J. a  Civil Rights Issue.”

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

NEWS NOTES: January 6, 2012

January 6, 2012

Here are links to some items that may be of  interest:

1)  CNN’s “Belief Blog reports on the “Courage” story which we commented on yesterday:  “Controversial Catholic program for gays begins in Connecticut.”

2) On, Joseph Amodeo points out that there are better ministry alternatives than  “Courage” in “Redefining Courage:  What the New Apostolate for LGBT Catholics Gets Wrong.”

3) The Catholic governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, will be including a marriage equality bill and a transgender non-discrimination bill in his legislative package this year reports The Washington Blade in “Maryland to take up marriage, trans bills.”

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

NEWS NOTES: January 5, 2012

January 5, 2012

Here are some links to stories that might be of interest to you:

1)  Governor Christine Gregoire, a practicing Catholic, pledges support for Washington State’s marriage equality bill.  The Seattle Times’  account, “Gregoire proposes legislation to legalize gay marriage,”  alludes to her struggle with faith.

2) Theologian and columnist Fr. Richard McBrien reflects on how Albany’s “Bishop Considers Reasons American Leave Catholic Church.”  Gay and lesbian people are mentioned among those who struggle.

3) National Catholic Reporter columnist Jamie Manson (who will be a focus session speaker at New Ways Ministry’s upcoming Seventh National Symposium) considers a possible motivation for Cardinal George’s comparison of the LGBT movement to the Ku Klux Klan in “Pushing Away the Marginalized to Reach Out to the Fringe.”

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


NEWS NOTES: January 4, 2012

January 4, 2012

Here are some links to articles that may be of interest:

1) Vanessa De La Torre reports in the Hartford Courant that the local “Archdiocese Planning to Offer Pro-Abstinence Group for Gays, Lesbians”.

2) In The American Prospect magazine, E.J. Graff writes  in “Catholic Bishops versus Tolerance” that children are the victims of bishops closing adoption agencies.

3) Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney, a gay Catholic man, has been asked to join in a demonstration at the city’s Holy Name Cathedral to protest Cardinal Francis George’s KKK comments.  See the article, “Tunney Asked to Join LGBT Catholics in Demonstration Against Cardinal George.”

4) The Vatican has established a special Ordinariate for Episcopalians who want to join the Catholic church–many of whom are leaving because of their opposition to marriage equality and the ordination of  lesbian/gay people.  See the LA Times Blog post for details.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


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