Monday, September 15, 2014

Another Suicide of a Gay Teen: Catholic Context

This heart-breaking story of the suicide of yet another gay teen is a reminder of why it matters — why it should matter — that the Catholic church in the U.S. (or anywhere else) is moving backwards  regarding welcoming and including gay members. And this story is a reminder of why it matters that, as Jerry Slevin notes, as the synod on the family nears, Pope Francis appears to be signaling a complete "non-approach" to the families of gay Catholics.

Question for Synod on Family from Belgian Bishop Johan Bonny: "What Kind of People Did Jesus Mix with and in What Way?"

The Catholic bishop of Antwerp, Johan Bonny, has published a statement on his expectations for the forthcoming synod on the family. An English translation of the statement by Brian Doyle is online now at (pdf file) the website of the Belgian Catholic bishops' conference. I'm struck by the following passage, in which Bonny explains that he hopes the synod won't be a Platonic one that withdraws into "the distant safety of doctrinal debate and general norms," but will "pay heed to the concrete and complex reality of life" and will remember the calling of the church to be a "travelling companion" for its members on their life journeys:

Betty Clermont on Vatican Setting Its Sights on Asia, Questions from a Ewe on European and Male Hegemony in the Church (and Synod on Family)

Here are the opening two paragraphs from two sharp, thought-provoking essays I've read online this morning. To my way of thinking, the two essays intersect, though they were written independently of each other and don't in any way advert to each other. What do you think? I'm hoping that by providing the opening paragraphs of each essay, I'll spur you to read both in their entirety:

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Quote for the Day: "I Find Very Little Evidence in Christian Scriptures That Jesus Preferred Ritual Purity to Compassionate Love"

In a sermon-essay just uploaded (pdf file) to her Enduring Space website, Ruth Krall talks about the struggle within the Mennonite church, in which she is actively involved, over issues of LGBT inclusion. She notes the deep theological-scriptural roots pointing towards an inclusive stance that is being hotly contested by some Mennonite leaders and by groups using threats of financial reprisal if the Mennonite church becomes more welcoming to gay members.

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: "Catholics Have Difficulty Understanding One Another Because There Are not Many Places Left Where They Can Listen to One Another"

More on National Congregations Study's Finding That U.S. Churches Are Moving in Gay-Inclusive Direction — Except Catholics: Whys and Wherefores

Yesterday, I briefly discussed the results of the National Congregations Study's survey released on 11 September, a survey that shows all religious bodies in the U.S. moving in a gay-inclusive direction in recent years except the Catholic church. The survey is receiving wide attention. Its results have been summarized by Cathy Lynn Grossman at the Religion News Service site and at the new CRUX site, and by Michael Paulson for New York Times.