Holy Week Begins In America And Around The World This Week For Christians, Jews And Muslims. And That Includes For The LGBTQ Community. Tonight We Explore The Worlds Largest Religious Organization, The Catholic Church And The Vatican. Last Week The Church Made Worldwide Headlines When Pope Francis And The Church Said It Could Not Bless LGBTQ Unions Because God Could Not Bless Sin. The Church Has Many Contradictions And We Explore Why The Church Continues To Take This Position. After All, What Happens When Gay Priests, Bless LGBTQ Unions. This Contradiction Is Now Be Explored By The Church Itself. Wisconsin’s Father Greg Griton, An Openly Gay Priest Discusses This Contradiction, And We Thank Our News Partners At CBS. You May Wonder If The Vatican Is Concerned About Their Congregation, Participation And Money. That Does Not Seem To Be The Case When Studies Show More Than 75% Of Catholics Support LGBTQ Equality. Father Griton’s Congregation Shows Support. Much Of The Issue In The Vatican And The Catholic Church Is Asking Their Priest To Be Silent In Who You Are. But That Doesn’t Stop The Love That Occurs Among Those Same Priests. What Happens For These Priests That Are Moral Leadership In Their Community. The LGBTQ Community Had Hopes When The Pope Said About LGBTQ “Who Am I To Judge.” That May Be Exactly What Pope Francis Is Doing And Many Priests Feel Its A Cancer Growing In The Church. In The Book About Catholic LGBTQ “Building A Bridge”, Father James Martin Is The Most Visible LGBTQ Advocate In The Catholic Church And Suggests This Holy Week That More Than Half Of All Priests Are Gay. In Frederic Martel’s Book, “In The Closet Of The Vatican”, He Makes Explosive Statements Calling The Situation In The Church “50 Shades Of Gay”. Martel Says That Priests Are The Last Silent Community And That Gay Priests Make Up A “Vast Silent Majority”. A Rome Sex Worker Who Has A Law Degree, Franchesco Monchocapra, Has Documented His Work With Vatican Priests. He Has A 1200 Page Summary Of Interactions With More Than 100 Vatican Priests Including Graphic Pictures, Texts And Other Documentation. We Have To Wonder What Is Happening In The Catholic Church. The Issue Is Not That So Many In The Church Are Gay. The Issue Doesn’t Seem To Be Sexual In Nature. But Rather, Why It Must Be Hidden. First Inside The Inner Circles Of The Vatican And The Church As A Whole. These Priests Are The Clearest Example Of Literally Living In The Closet. At Queer News Tonight We Think It’s Time For The Church To Come Out. As Wisconsin’s Father Greg Griton Suggests, The Church Is His Home.
Pope Francis has appointed Juan Carlos Cruz, a gay Chilean actor who survived sexual abuse by a priest, to a Vatican panel. Cruz has been appointed as a member of the Pontifical Council for the Protection of Minors, which was set up by the Pope in 2013 in response to the Catholic church’s sex abuse scandal. The panel has had clerical child sex abuse survivors appointed to it since its creation, but Cruz is the first openly gay person and first person from Latin America to be appointed. Cruz said “I’m very honoured. I’m a survivor. I’m gay. I’m a lay person. I’m Catholic. It just renews my commitment to change things from within. For survivors, for every person who feels disenfranchised from the church.”
Here’s a secret that has stopped the Equality Act in its tracks in the U.S. Senate. The Republicans and religious leaders have framed the subject as one of “religious freedom,” and have, so far, seemed to have won that debate since we are not framing this as religious institutions wanting special rights to discriminate. And let’s not forget the boogieman/women they use is our trans community. But why does the religious right put up so much of a fight against the Equality Act? The secret, the reason many churches don’t like the Equality Act, is that it will shine a light on their finances, and what they use our tax dollars for. Simply put: they are afraid it will take money out of their coffers. The Equality Act has the support of the significant majority of American voters, Fortune 500 companies, unions, civil rights organizations and human rights groups. But that is not enough. Religious organizations, primarily the Catholic Church, Mormons and Evangelicals, are putting up a lobbying and publicity campaign against its passage under the guise of “religious freedom.” The Equality Act does not have any enforcement in religious practices. But religious freedom is a defense to protect Federal money. The Catholic church, as well as others, have “charity organizations” which bring in large sums of your tax dollars. Many are funded completely by these taxes and The religious right uses their funding to discriminate against the very people who fund them. They even pay for lawyers to lobby against the legislation such as the Equality Act. Among the religious charities include community centers, adoption agencies, child services, food pantries, and even counseling services that support conversion therapy. And example is The Boy Scouts, who refused to have gay members. The largest funding mechanism for Boy Scout Troops was directly connected with the church. The Equality Act will ensure that these organizations, the community centers, adoption agencies, and so on, do not discriminate. How much is that worth? With the latest Paycheck Protection Program, which is supposed to support business, according to the Associated Press, the Catholic church and it’s diocese alone received somewhere between 1.4 billion and 3 billion dollars. They received this money even though they had 10 billion dollars in reserve. As we have reported at Queer News Tonight, the passage of the Equality Act is in jeapordy because of this conflict with Religious Freedom. The filibuster super majority rule of 60 in the Senate means the time for full LGBTQ equality has likely not arrived. Yet. Follow this space.
The Vatican said today that the Catholic Church would not bless same-sex unions, in a combative statement approved by Pope Francis that threatens to widen the chasm between the church and much of the LGBTQ community. Explaining their decision in a lengthy note on Monday, the Holy See referred to same-sex unions as a “choice,” described them as sinful and said they “cannot be recognized as objectively ordered” to God’s plans. The stance is certain to disappoint millions of gay and lesbian Catholics around the world. The church wrote in the statement “The blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit,” the Vatican’s top doctrinal office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, God does not and cannot bless sin. Pope Francis, who has frequently been praised for his welcoming tone towards LGBTQ people both within and outside the Church, approved the note. The decision is a setback for Catholics who had hoped the institution would modernize its approach to homosexuality. Dozens of countries, include many in western Europe, have legalized same-sex marriages, and the Church’s reticence to embrace LGBTQ people has long held the potential to alienate it from younger followers.
Towne View Baptist Church in Kennesaw, Georgia is about to get tossed out of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and everyone knows it. The congregation’s sin? They welcomed a gay couple to services. While Jesus may have preached radical inclusivity and the Bible demands churches welcome all “sinners,” the SBC’s Executive Committee is more worried about what the neighbors would think. A staffer at Religion News Service said “It’s about the bottom line, and that more churches than not in the Cobb County region would be against the acceptance of the LGBTQ community being members in their churches.” A third of the church’s members have already left after the couple and their three adopted children began attending. John Reynolds said “We had been attending church of other more ‘liberal’ denominations prior to moving to Georgia. Due to being a part of the LGBTQ community and being ineligible for membership, or in some cases even attendance in Baptist churches.” Rev Jim Conrad, the churches pastor said ”I knew that we couldn’t put this decision off and that we were going to have to deal with this. It was a painful season when 30% of your congregation leaves, (people) who you’ve done life with for the past 25 years.” The church’s assistant pastor agreed with the decision and the Reynolds report that “other couples our age” embraced them. But a large chunk did not. For their part, the Reynolds have left the church after moving out of town. Reynolds said “God is working in a very special way to open the door to the Baptist church community just a little wider.” The door, apparently, is the exit.
In honor of Black History Month, PBS has launched the new documentary series The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who wrote the book that served as the basis for the show, also hosts. The series offers an in-depth look at the origins and effect of the church in African-American life, as well as its far-reaching cultural influence, particularly when it comes to music. In an exciting reveal, the show also traces the origins of gay disco music back to the church. The Black Church features interviews with prominent African-Americans, including Oprah Winfrey, John Legend, Jennifer Hudson, Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock, Dr. Cornel West, and Rev. Al Sharpton, all of whom share memories and anecdotes of their upbringing in this church. The show also examines the roots of gay disco music within the church itself. The panelists in the film also discuss the hypocrisy of the black church–which was formed out of oppression–having such a nasty history of condemning and disowning its LGBTQ congregants.
The head of the German bishops’ conference, George Bätzing, has called on the catholic church to alter its teachings on LGBTQ+ people. In an interview with a german magazine, Bishop Bätzing says he wants church blessings for couples who cannot marry in the Catholic Church to be introduced. This refers to people who have previously divorced and same-sex couples.
The Bishop said “We need solutions that are not only effective in private, but also have public visibility — yet make it clear that no marriage is being solemnised,” The current church teachings state that homosexual sex is “intrinsically disordered,” but LGBTQ+ people are to be treated with “respect, compassion and sensitivity” and without discrimination. Bishop Bätzing wants this to change saying that homosexual sex should no longer be considered a sin.
Faith leaders from around the world have joined forces to support the well-being of LGBTQ+ people and call for an end to the harmful practice of conversion therapy.
The Global Interfaith Commission on LGBT+ Lives has organized more than 370 religious leaders from at least 35 countries to sign onto a declaration that unequivocally supports the LGBTQ+ community and advocates for an end to violence that often stems from faith-based bigotry. The initiative is supported by the Ozanne Foundation, a charity that works with religious organizations to challenge anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination. The declaration affirms that all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions are a precious part of creation and are part of the natural order. In addition, the document laments and expresses regret for long-standing religious teachings that have caused deep pain and offense to LGBTQ+ people, perpetuated injustice, fueled intolerance, led to family and faith-based rejection and alienation, and resulted in violence. Notable signatories include human rights activist and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Americas The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ+ suicide prevention nonprofit, praised the declaration from the Global Interfaith Commission on LGBT+ live, and noted the negative mental health outcomes and increased suicide risk that stems from faith-based conversion therapy.
At Queer News Tonight we have frequently reported anti-LGBTQ individuals that have powerful positions that are hypocritical because they are gay. It happened again this week when Father George Rutler a Catholic priest known for his work on Eternal Word Television Network and now hes being accused of assaulting a security guard who caught him watching a gay porn video. He also has a long history of anti-LGBTQ statements.. Ashley Gonzalez was hired this past month as an overnight security guard at the St. Michael the Archangel Church in New York City and she said that she caught Father Rutler watching the video and recorded him on her phone on November 4, her second day on the job. The National Catholic Reporter has reported that it obtained the 18 seconds of cell phone footage that shows the incident. Rutler, a Trump supporter, has a history of anti-LGBTQ statements. In 1990, he wrote that the priesthood should be reserved for men because God made males and females equal but different and any contradiction of that is a homosexual vision of culture. New York authorities and the Vatican have investigations underway.
Longtime homophobe and Trump ally Franklin Graham is claiming that LGBTQ people are pushing a godless, secular agenda onto President-elect Joe Biden. Graham, who has previously compared LGBTQ people to drug addicts and called gay people the enemy of churches, made the comments in a Facebook post this week. Graham wrote LGBTQ activists within the Democratic Party are pushing their godless, secular agenda with a potential Biden Administration. If you dont conform to their ideology, agree with their sinful beliefs, teach what they say is right, they want to close you down. They will pressure and bully politicians to get their way. Graham said it was extremely dangerous if LGBTQ people were permitted to proceed unchecked. claiming without evidence that they would go after the accreditation of Christian colleges, then Christian ministries and churches next, to strip them of tax-exempt status and try to force them to operate under policies that go against biblical teaching. This is not only an attack on free speech and expression, but also an attack on our religious liberty. Graham has previously said he loves homosexuals enough to care to warn them that if they want to continue living like this, its the flames of hell for you.