Here is the (late ) News

Earlier, I was trying to find a format to bring you at least headlines and links to key news events.  I stopped doing so because I wasn’t very happy with the way it was working out, but I now realise that was wrong. It is clear from the blog stats that it is one of the pages people have been most frequently accessing and want to read.  If I haven’t been entirely satisfied with how it’s working, I need to find better methods- not simply suspend the concept.  So, I revive it here.

The key concept is that this will be a running post with (reasonably) current headlines and very brief comment.  For fuller comment, and links to my sources, go to the LG BT News page.

Some current stories you may have missed:

Hope in a new Oakland Diocese appointment? Feb 5th
The new man in charge of Oakland Diocese, California, has a distincly progressive background – it is reported he once ‘blessed gay marriages’  in his parish.

Benedict Completes The Turnaround Feb 5th
In extraordinary contrast with the discouraging messages implied in his early announcements, Benedict has now stated that further reconciliation with the Society of Saint Pius X will not proceed without “full recognition of the Second Vatican Council”.

Good News From Benedict? Feb 4th.
In what appears at first glance to be a dramatic turn around by Benedict, he has now gone beyond merely distancing himself from Williamson’s views, and has demanded a full recantation before further progress can be made on re-admission to the Catholic church. This appears to be a response to unprecedented criticism by very senior figures in the church – most recently the leader of the church in England & Wales

Women Respond to Excommunication Feb 2nd
W
omen have responded to the recent excommmunication of  Fr Roy Bourgeois, who assisted at the ordination of a WomanPriest, with a Liturgy of Lament. I like it.

If You’re Gay, GoMaltese Bishop.   Feb 2nd, Malta.
The Bishop says that if we LGBT people are not ‘happy’ with official church teaching, we should just pack up and leave.  I don’t know about you, but if a bigoted bishop so badly wants me out, I am all the more determined to stay in.

Portuguese Bishops SUPPORT Civil Partnerships.
1st February.
With a political battle looming in Portugal over gay marriage, the Catholic Bishops have taken a surprising stance.

Another Nutcase Bishop?
1 Feb
In Austria, another of Benedict’s decisions is causing an uproar

Scottish Bishops Oppose Adoption Decision
28th Jan
The hierarchy is using poor science to oppose a legitimate decision by the adoption authorities to place a child with a gay couple.

Maledict’s Mercy.

One last time, before I stop commenting on this debacle:

 

In trying to calm the storm he created himself, Benedict has clarified that he took his decision in the interests of church unity, and in a spirit of mercy. “I decided to carry out this act out of paternal mercy” he said, adding that he hopes his gesture will lead to their commitment “to realise full communion with the Church, by their fidelity to and full recognition of the Magisterium and authority of the Pope and the Second Vatican Council”.

 

Note that he “hopes” that this will lead to their full acceptance of Vatican II – there is no indication that assurances have already been received, or even sought.

 

And does his concern for church unity, and mercy to the suffering of those excluded from the church, extend to those many priests and religious whom he has forces out because in conscience they disagree with the official line of sexuality, or on women priests?

Maledict & Lefevrists Revisited.

Okay, I’ve calmed down.

On the one hand, it’s not (quite) as bad as I first feared.  on the other, it’s worse.  The Vatican spin control has kicked in sharply,  to reassure the world that revoking the excommunication is emphatically not an endorsement of Williamson’s antediluvian ideas on the Holocaust.  There are also various soothing noises about this being just the first step in a process, and that the precise future place of these men in the church has still to be decided – i.e., their status as ‘Bishops’ is not ratified. There is also a bizarre claim Read the rest of this entry »

Maledict Does It Again!

I am so angry I am ready to spit.

This week marks the completion of one month blogging on this site – my first, very tiny milestone.  In the much bigger scheme of things, this week also marks the 50th anniversary of Vatican II.  For both of these reasons, I was anxious to return to the original spirit I promised in launching – to ‘celebrate’ our place in the church, and to focus on the Good News inherent in Scripture, and in the rest of the Christian tradition.

Indeed there is good news, and I will return to it the rest of the week – but for now, I have to express my anger at the latest affront from the Vatican.  (Until I have had time to calm down though, I will not attempt comment of my own – just present the bare facts, and link to flesh out the story. ) In the  week of the Vatican II anniversary, in a move clearly timed to coincide with it, Benedict has chosen to mark the occasion by reinstating 4 Lefevrist bishops, one of whom is so off-the-wall right wing it makes one’ s hair stand on end. Oh, and the timing gets better:  not only were the Vatican rebels welcomed back with open arms to co-incide with the 50th Anniversary, but the rehabilitation of the holocaust denier was done just days before the rest of the world remembers international Holocaust Memorial Day.

Lifting the ban on these wingnuts, whose original fall from grace was based on their opposition to Vatican II, follows hard on the heels of the silencing of more progressive voices:

There is a lot more I would like to say on both of these, but will wait until I have calmed down.

I hope to have more positive material later.

“Yes, We Can!”

Today, we congratulate the US on the inauguration of Barack Obama, the culmination of an extraordinary story of the triumph of hope.

When he first emerged on the national stage at the Democratic convention in 2004, he was just a little known state senator from Illinois.  he impressed with his convention speech, and several commentators noted that he could be a good presidential candidate in years to come – but few could have expected Read the rest of this entry »

In the Bleak Midwinter: An Epiphany Reflection on Benedict.

As a Jo’burg boytjie, I prefer warmer climes and do NOT enjoy the current freeze here in Surrey – temperatures are at the lowest in 20 years, and approaching -10C.   Even back in Joey’s, I did not appreciate the then much milder winters, so used to console myself every winter by looking for encouraging signs of Spring, Read the rest of this entry »

Good News from the Vatican?

Benedict’s Christmas address to the Curia provoked a firestorm of comment – but the important stuff, buried inside, was ignored.

Yes, the implied criticism of ‘homosexuals’, and more direct criticism of gender theory was disappointing. But the media frenzy overlooked a whole lot of stuff to encourage gay catholics. (Read the whole speech at ‘Whispers in the Loggia”). There was a long riff in the theme of the importance of joy as a sign of the Holy Spirit. Now I don’t know about you, but I have certainly experienced a great deal of ‘Joy’ (which Benedict reminds us is a sign of the Spirit) in physical, erotic love. So, by following the papal argument, I can claim to have found God in sex, gay sex. (No, I didn’t need Benedict to tell me what I already know – but it is good to have the Rottweiler agreeing with me for once.)

Benedict XVI Read the rest of this entry »

The Vatican: Changing Feet

After the Vatican’s initial statement that it would not support the proposed UN declaration on homosexuality was met by world wide protest, they attempted to calm the opposition by explaining that “of course” they opposed the execution of homosexuals and all other “injustice”, but could not support the declaration because it “could” lead to the enforcement of gay marriage. The declaration, of course, says nothing about marriage. Read the rest of this entry »

Good News for LGBT Catholics

The first time (as a young student) that I came across the title “Good News for Modern Man”, I did not realise it was an unconventional name for a new Bible translation. Later I made the connection, but could not see the relevance. “For Modern Man” I could understand, but in what sense “Good News”? After drifting away from the Church as a young adult, and later facing my sexuality, the description of the Bible as “good” news seemed even less appropriate. After all, ‘everybody’ knew how it was riddled with condemnations of any touch of sexual impropriety, most especially of the shameful sin of ‘sodomy’. There were a sprinkling of liberal churchmen, I knew, who took a more enlightened and tolerant view, but the Catholic Church in which I had grown up was implacable and instransigent. Like birth control, homosexuals were just not acceptable. So, like so many sexual minorities, I stayed outside the Church where I knew I was not welcome.

CB024386

Read the rest of this entry »