EB in the News

For Catholics, open attitudes on gay issues

As the tranquil tones of church bells and choirs usher in another Easter Sunday, you may hear stirrings of controversy beneath those sounds — set to the pounding of a Lady Gaga tune.
It’s no accident that Lady Gaga decided to release the video for her provocative single, “Judas,” this Easter. From wearing see-through nun habits to suggestively swallowing a rosary, the pop star, who was raised a Catholic, has consistently prodded her faith’s strict sexual conventions.

US bishops reiterate statement New Ways Ministry is not Catholic group

The publication of a recent booklet about a "Catholic approach" to same-sex marriage by New Ways Ministry prompted the chairmen of two bishops' committees to reaffirm a year-old statement that the organization cannot be considered a Catholic group.
"Marriage Equality: A Positive Catholic Approach" is a 45-page booklet written by Francis DeBernardo, the organization's executive director.

New Ways Ministry discusses gay marriage during conference

Several speakers voiced support for marriage equality for Roman Catholic gay and lesbian couples during New Ways Ministry's all-day conference in Pikesville on Saturday — a view not shared by the Vatican.
But the 70 attendees were buoyed by the hope that the amended version of the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, approved by a Senate committee Thursday and headed to the full Senate for debate, would soon make Maryland the sixth state to recognize same-sex marriages.

Parents of gay children should push their churches

When Casey and Mary Ellen Lopata's son Jim told them in 1983 that he is gay, the coming-out turned their world upside down. They never wavered in their love for Jim, 19 at the time, or in their love for and devotion to the Catholic Church.
For Casey, the question was, "Can Jim be Catholic and gay?" For Mary Ellen, the challenge of Jim's revelation was about love. "There was no doubt in my mind that he was a good person and that God loved him," she says.

NOM, Catholic church gear up to block civil unions

Any day now the Illinois General Assembly is expected to vote on civil-unions legislation. The governor has voiced his support, and a recent a Chicago Tribune poll showed 57 percent of the public favors the legislation.
"I think we're awfully darn close," state Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, an openly gay lawmaker, told the Chicago Sun-Times recently.

Election of Archbishop Dolan signals bishops will target LGBT people

As Marian Ronan noted yesterday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' surprise election of Archbishop Timothy Dolan as its president signals an escalation of the USCCB's engagement in culture war issues, particularly those surrounding sexuality and gender.
The leaders of Equally Blessed, a coalition of Catholics working for justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, put it more bluntly: that it signals continued "targeting of gay and transgender people."

Catholic schools should accept gay couple's children

The Associated Press is reporting that Archdiocese of Boston Superintendent of Schools Mary Grassa O'Neill has offered to help the lesbian parents find a different Catholic school for their 8-year-old boy.
Earlier stories said the child was accepted, then rejected from St. Paul Elementary School in Hingham after a priest told one of his parents that the mothers were "in discord" with church teachings that marriage should be between one man and one woman. ....

Changing the Vatican's response to abuse

Jim FitzGerald is the executive director of Call To Action, a national Catholic justice organization, and Nicole Sotelo is the group’s communications director and the author of “Women Healing from Abuse: Meditations for Finding Peace.”

Cardinal George's unprovoked attack

It seems we spoke too soon last week when we defended Cardinal Francis George, Chicago Archbishop and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops top dog, against gay activists' call for protest of the Holy Name Cathedral Sunday. Last week, Cardinal George issued a statement condemning the Washington, D.C.

Cardinal George picks a fight

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is warning that a Maryland-based ministry to gay and lesbian Catholics has neither the approval of the church nor the authority to speak on behalf of Catholics.
Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop of Chicago, spoke about New Ways Ministry, founded in Mount Rainier in 1977 by the Rev. Robert Nugent and Sister Jeannine Gramick.