Leaders of the Catholic LGBT movement will join with other Christians this fall for an exciting conference on the history and future of the interfaith movement for equality.
Organizers of “Rolling Away the Stone: Generations of Love and Justice” say it will bring together an “unprecedented array of elders, saints and prophets.” The gathering hopes to preserve the stories of early LGBT Christian leaders, host dialogue about present issues, and raise the visibility of the many movements for LGBT equality in Christian churches.
More specifically, “Rolling Away the Stone” will explore how faith communities were involved with HIV/AIDS, marriage equality, and aided theological development. It will be happening October 31st to November 2nd in St. Louis.
Several Catholic leaders will participate, including DignityUSA’s Marianne Duddy-Burke who is on the ecumenical planning team. Others include:
Sr. Jeannine Gramick, the co-founder of New Ways Ministry, who began pastoral outreach to the lesbian/gay community in 1971. In addition to helping to found Dignity chapters in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., she started New Ways Ministry in 1977, with the late Father Robert Nugent, to be a national bridge-building ministry between the sexual minority community and the Church. . She has continued writing, speaking, and educating on LGBT Catholic issues since then. Sr. Jeannine was censured by the Vatican in 1999, but in conscience chose not to collaborate with her own oppression and continued her ministry.
Mary Hunt is a married lesbian theologian who co-founded, with her wife Diann Neu, the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER) and participates in the Catholic women-church movement. She is a prolific scholar, having written several books and many articles at the intersection of feminism and religion. She has written chapters in books that include Sexual Diversity and Catholicism, Queer Christianities: Lived Religion in Transgressive Forms, Heterosexism in Contemporary World Religion: Problem and Prospect.
Jamie Manson is the only out queer women in Catholic media, serving as books editor at the National Catholic Reporter where she also writes the award-winning column, “Graces on the Margins.” Manson studied theology, specifically sexual ethics and spirituality, with Margaret Farley at Yale Divinity School. She also speaks and gives retreats on and for LGBTQ Catholics, young adults, and the church.
Brian McNaught is a married gay Catholic writer and speaker who engaged in a seventeen day hunger fast in 1974 to protest his column being dropped from a Catholic newspaper after he had come out. Two bishops in Detroit promised to support gay Catholics as a result of McNaught’s fast. He also helped found Dignity/Detroit, worked in Dignity’s national office, and help secure the passage of a pro-gay resolution at the 1976 Call to Action conference. He authored several books, including A Disturbed Peace – Selected Writings of an Irish Catholic Homosexual.
Bernard Schlager is the Executive Director at The Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies (CLGS) at Pacific School of Religion, and is a professor, as well.
Nickie Valdez is a married lesbian Catholic who, after coming out in the early 1960’s, helped found the LGBT Catholic organization Dignity, Inc., as well as Dignity/San Antonio, the oldest LGBT organization in that city. She has also worked with several other LGBT organizations in San Antonio.
This historic gathering, which is bringing together dozens of LGBT Christian leaders needs your support. They are seeking financial assistance not only from individuals, but from faith communities. You can find out about the multiple ways to give (financial support, airline miles donations, volunteering, etc.) by clicking here.
Thank you for your generosity!
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, August 5, 2017