“Come Out”, Do Not Be Ashamed, Filipino Archbishops Tell Gay Catholics

The website of the Filipino television station GMA News has an intriguing report that two Archbishops, Paciano Aniceto pf San Fernando and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz have urged to “come out in the open”, because they have nothing to be ashamed of.

Their full message does not depart from the formal position of Vatican doctrine, as it repeats the standard distinction between “homosexual persons” and  “homosexual acts”, and repeats the warning that these “acts” because they are “contrary to natural law”, and do not flow from “natural complementarity”. In this respect, they are as offensive as many other utterances from our bishops and the Vatican. (The occasion for this remarks was the Philippines launch of the book ”  ” by Fr John Harvey, the founder of Courage).   Nevertheless, I see some good news in this report, supporting my belief that there is a gradual and welcome shift of emphasis underway. There are two elements of this shift evident in the bishops’ message.

Image via Wikipedia

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Boulder parents: ‘They told us in church to love everyone’

In their continuing series on the Boulder school which accepted then turned away the children of lesbian parents, NCR now has the second in a series of four interviews with other parents. In the previous interview, the parents highlighted how the decision in this case contradicted the practice of the school in dealing with other children whose parents were not living in full compliance with Church teaching. In today’s interview, the couple interviewed talk about the contradiction between this rejection, and the church’s own teaching, and its boasts about diversity. They also point out that the school’s reputation in the community will likely suffer, as will its enrolment – and that ironically, a decision which was supposedly taken to avoid having to teach the children about same sex relationships, has instead led to a situation where the children now talk of it constantly.

Here are some extracts. Read the full interview at NCR online:

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The Irish, Again

From RTE News:

Rome investigating abuse complaint

The Vatican is investigating an allegation of child sexual abuse against an Irish Archbishop based in Nigeria.

St Patrick’s Missionary Society, also known as the Kiltegan Fathers, has confirmed that a complaint was made about one of its members, Archbishop Richard Burke, by a 41-year-old Nigerian woman, Ms Dolores Atwood.

Archbishop Burke, 60, from Fethard in County Tipperary, is one of the most senior members of the Catholic hierarchy known to be facing an accusation of this kind. He denies the allegation

More from Irish Times and from the Press Association


Several commentators are reporting that the next man to head Westminster will be Bernard Longley.

I prefer to keep out of this kind of speculation, but if true this will be huge for us.  This is the man who led the diocesan negotiations with the SMPC before our move from the Anglican church of St Anne’s into the Catholic parish in Warwick Street.  It has also been reported that he stood up for us and urged their continuation when Murphy O’Connor allegedly wanted to shut us down.

I vividly recall those negotiations. I think we were all impressed with his sincerity and goodwill.  Early in the very first meeting, he spoke of the importance of speaking ‘freely and frankly’.  He proceeded to do just that, expressing clearly some reservations that the diocese had about the gay community in general, and about what they had heard of our Masses in particular.

Following on his example, I then replied with some frank comments about some reservations held by the LGBT community about the Catholic Church and its hierarchy.  From that point onwards, I certainly felt confident that we were able to speak freely and frankly to each other.  We did not always agree, but established very clear common ground in a shared desire for the Masses to continue and to succeed.

He has been widely described as a ‘conservative’.  I have no knowledge on that score, but am confident in this:  if so, he is one conservative I could most certainly work with.

I hope and pray that this rumour is confirmed.

(The most useful report I have found is from Whispers in the Loggia)