The Worst Catholic LGBT News of 2015

Only two days left to 2015, so let’s take stock of the year that is passing.  All week, Bondings 2.0 readers have been voting for what they considered the ten best and ten worst news events of the Catholic LGBT world that occurred over the last 12 months.  Below are the results of the voting for your choices for the worst events.  The ranking is based on the polling numbers received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, U.S., on Tuesday, December 29th.

Tomorrow, we will close out the year with a report on what you voted in as the best events.  The event with the most votes is in the number one position, and the others follow in descending order.  A simple analysis of the results follows the list

  1. The firing of LGBT church employees continues. 
  2. Cardinal Robert Sarah compares LGBT advocates to Nazis and says marriage equality has “demonic origins” in remarks at the Synod on the Family.
  3. Pope Francis fails to address crminalization laws against LGBT people during his visit to Africa in November.
  4. A married gay man in Louisiana is denied communion at his mother’s funeral. After a news story about the incident contained a link to the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ positive webpage on gay ministry, the information is taken down from the web.
  5. Pope Francis endorses Slovakian and Slovenian proposals to ban same-sex marriage.
  6. Vatican Secretary of State calls Ireland’s enactment of marriage equality “a defeat for humanity. 
  7. U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke compares committed lesbian and gay couples to murderers. 
  8. Cardinal in Dominican Republic, who once used an anti-gay slur, made repeated homophobic remarks against U.S. Ambassador James Brewster. 
  9. Pope Francis coins the term “ideological colonization” and applies it to new forms of marriage.
  10. TIE: i) Pope Francis likens “gender theory” to nuclear arms.   ii) Despite recommendations from Pope Francis and many bishops, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops votes to retain work against marriage equality as a top priority.

Here’s some simple analysis of the results.  It seems that what gets people angriest are when high-ranking church officials–particularly Pope Francis–make negative comments about LGBT people.  Of the 11 top choices listed above, seven of them have to do with offensive statements made by top prelates around the globe.

But, with the top choice being the firing of LGBT church workers, Bondings 2.0 readers show that they believe actions are much harsher than words.

Interestingly, with the exception of the first item, all the other choices for worst news events feature a church official in a top leadership position.  Perhaps, in a way, this has a silver lining which is something we’ve been aware of for many years now:  Catholic lay people are overwhelmingly supportive of LGBT people.  Perhaps in the new year, more bishops will continue to follow their example.

Do you notice any other trends or lessons in these results?  Offer your thoughts in the “Comments” section of this post.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry


7 thoughts on “The Worst Catholic LGBT News of 2015

  1. John Hilgeman December 30, 2015 / 2:14 am

    As distasteful as some of Francis’ statements and actions have been, the difference between Francis and John Paul II/Benedict XVI is day and night. Francis is definitely a step in the right direction. Maybe before I die I will see a pope who is more aware and enlightened.

  2. amagjuka December 30, 2015 / 5:50 am

    The main problem is that the institutional church retains dogma that is discriminatory. It is not good enough that church officials stop saying offensive things. Our tenets of faith must be right, not wrong. Otherwise, how can we stay in the church? With discriminatory “rules” on the books, firings, marginalization, and discrimination of all kinds is allowed and condoned. This is not ok. This must be addressed. We cannot be a religion that has as its official stance that a group of people cannot live, find love, and be accepted. There must be unequivocal support for LGBT people so firings cannot be condoned. It cannot be up to the individual church officials to spew hate or not. It has to be against church teaching. Otherwise, we are all participating in a system like Nazi Germany, where groups of people were systematically oppressed. Most Catholics do not want the church to discriminate in our names. It must stop. Period.

  3. Paula Mattras December 30, 2015 / 9:02 am

    We who truly know and love our LGBT family members and friends, their intrinsic goodness, their valuable contributions to society, their perseverance and patience with those who do not know, now witness the force of conscience – true conscience – their love of and confidence in God. What else could possibly maintain their equilibrium to carry on with their lives?

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