Give me Back That Old Time Religion

 

Gary Macy, a historical theologian, has an article at National Catholic Reporter prompted by the Vatican “Visitation” to US women religious. Macy reminds us in this article that this very concept would have been unthinkable until fairly recently in church history.  Quoting just one example, he notes that

“The abbess (of Las Huelgas near Burgos in Spain) had the power to appoint parish priests for the countryside subject to the convent of Las Huelgas, some 64 villages. No bishop or delegate from the Holy See could perform a visitation of the churches or altars or curates or clerics or benefices under the care of the abbess. The abbess of Las Huelgas was even able to convene synods in her diocese and to make synodal constitutions and laws for both her religious and lay subjects.”

Trappings of the modern church?

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The Tyranny of the Clerical Closet

Over the last 40 years, we who are openly gay and lesbian, inside and outside the church, have been discovering the joy of coming out.  It is widely agreed that at a public level, this has led to increasing public understanding and acceptance of our issues. At a personal level, this is almost invariably a liberating, invigorating experience, freeing us from guilt and fear. As Helminiak has noted, and I discussed here, this is valuable as a growth experience for both spiritual and mental health.

out of the closet Read the rest of this entry »

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.