Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-05-25
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Catholic conference confronts marriage
by Chuck Colbert
2012-03-21

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


BALTIMORE—A Catholic case for same-sex marriage took center stage over the weekend during a national conference when a church theologian advocated marriage equality from faith-based perspective and a bishop called for a "new study of everything to do with sexuality," which he suggested, "would have a profound influence of church teaching concerning sexual relationships, both heterosexual and homosexual."

Martin O'Malley, the governor of Maryland, addressed the gathering at New Ways Ministry's Seventh National Symposium on Catholicism and Homosexuality. A niece of President John F. Kennedy, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, also spoke, providing additional star power.

Barbara Johnson, the lesbian recently denied communion at her mother's funeral, addressed the closing session, rounding out the event headliners.

New Ways Ministry—based in Mt. Rainier, Md.—is a gay-positive advocacy organization of justice, healing and reconciliation for LGBT Catholics and the church.

If [ church ] teaching on homosexual acts is ever going to change, the basic teaching governing all sexual acts must change," retired Auxiliary Bishop Geoffrey Robinson told the gathering of nearly 400 Catholics at the Seventh National Symposium on Catholicism and Homosexuality.

"For centuries the church has taught that every sexual sin is mortal sin," said Robinson, an auxiliary bishop of Sydney, Australia.

"The teaching may not be proclaimed as loudly as today as much as before, but it was proclaimed by many popes, it has never been retracted, and it has affected countless people," Robinson said.

"There is a serious need for a change in the church's teaching on heterosexual acts," he said, adding, "If and when this change occurs, it will inevitable have its effect on teaching on homosexual acts."

"The teaching fostered a belief in an incredibly angry God," explained Robinson, "for this God would condemn a person to eternity in hell for a single unrepentant moment of deliberate pleasure arising from sexual desire. I simply do not believe in such a God. Indeed, I positively reject such a God."

Robinson is the author of the 2007 book,Confronting Power in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus, which addressed the clerical sex-abuse crisis and was controversial among his fellow bishops in Australia who faulted him for a 2008 lecture tour in the United States to speak about the issues his book addressed.

A high point of the March 15-17 conference came when O'Malley, who weeks earlier signed a same-sex marriage bill into law, briefly addressed the faithful—but without ever saying the words "gay" or "lesbian."

"I am not here as a Catholic, I'm here as the governor of all Maryland," he said. "Each of us in the public arena brings with us our own perspectives, our own traditions, our own faith traditions, and our own perspectives. We hope and what we should expect of all our leaders is when they look at the Constitution is to protect equality among all people."

O'Malley received a sustained, standing ovation at symposium, held at the Renaissance Inner Harbor Hotel.

"At the end of the day, all of us want the same thing for our kids—we want our children to grow up in caring, committed, and loving homes, protected equally under the law," said O'Malley, who went on to say success in the state legislature, rested on a "belief in the dignity of every individual."

In advocating equal marriage rights, O'Malley has framed the issue as a balancing of protections for religious liberties and provisions for equal rights. He is not alone among other Catholic governors, including New York's Andrew Cuomo and Washington's Christine Gregoire, both of whom have recently signed same-sex marriage into law.

However Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn ( also Catholic ) , while favoring civil unions, which he signed into law, falls short in his support of full marriage equality.

New Ways Ministry advocated equal-marriage rights in Maryland, with representatives of the group testifying on their behalf in Annapolis, the state capital, during legislative hearings.

The new law in Maryland does not take effect until 2013 and is almost certain to face a referendum drive, a rollback fight.

For now, Maryland is among eight states and the District of Columbia that have legalized marriage for gay couples.

Meanwhile, Patricia Beattie Jung, a professor of Christian ethics at the St. Paul School of Theology, Kansas City, Mo., presented a theological argument for same-sex marriage, which relied on the Catholic tradition and church teaching.

While a Catholic argument for same-sex sacramental marriage has yet to be fully developed, Beattie Jung makes a strong case for embracing at least same-sex civil marriage.

"Sexuality is ambiguous," she said. "It can be dangerous and a grace. So we channel it in marriage. Monogamy entails promises to be steadfast and sexually exclusive."

I'm pretty conservative," explained Jung, who said her main reason for promoting sexual fidelity is its service to "love" and to "life."

"Great sex is wholehearted," she said. "This is what makes it graceful and us vulnerable and vicious. These promises give us the time and focus to learn how to love."

"Can fidelity serve same-sex lovers the same way?" asked Jung, who taught for 13 years at Loyola University Chicago from 1995 to 2008. She was tenured there in 1998.

"Yes!" Jung said.

"Fidelity in service to life," she said, means "marriage is good for the life of spouses, children, and elders bonded together as kin by marriage."

For these reasons, "The state promotes marriage by linking to it a broad array of economic and legal benefits and rights that cannot be accessed any other way," said Jung, who also said that same-sex marriage does not harm children or opposite-sex marriage. Nor will it unduly violate religious liberty.

Jung's talk generated a variety of responses during a question and answer session following her presentation.

One gay man, Arthur Fitzmaurice, 31, of Los Angeles, Calif., who attends St. Monica parish, asked her about same-sex divorce, wondering if same-sex and opposite sex couples break up for the same or different reasons.

Another gay man asked about emotional fidelity or steadfastness in same-sex marriages, but not necessarily sexual exclusivity.

"I asked the question because there is an acceptance, at least among my young gay male community, mostly secular, of open relationships that are emotionally committed but sexually open," with "a variety of rules about threesomes or whatever," said Kenneth Dowling, a member of Dignity Washington, D.C.

"And that's pretty well accepted," he said afterwards in a short interview.

"I think it comes from an attitude that fidelity is for straight people, for women, for lesbians," said Dowling, 22, who recently graduated from the University of California at San Diego.

"I am caught in the middle and don't know what is actually right, and I am still figuring this out," he said. "While I appreciate Catholic moral teaching, I also know it has been wrong, especially on the gay issue."

"Open relationships, with lots of rules. It's playing with fire," Dowling said. "I just wanted her to know that some people, including Catholics, do not rule out sexual openness and emotional fidelity and are exploring it."

In her reply, Jung said sexual exclusivity is "not just an issue in the gay community."

"I truly believe because of human finitude and limits, we really don't have the time and energy to give people what they deserve," she explained.

"I understand the appeal and attraction to other people and know that would energize my life," Jung said, adding, "I don't think I can be fair to my spouse in terms of loving."

It's an "important question," she said. "Why would anyone promise to be exclusive? Steadfast maybe, but exclusive—that's a question for gay and straight alike."

The New Ways Ministry symposium drew attendees from 35 states, including a dozen from Illinois and Chicago, the District of Columbia, Canada, England and Scotland, said Francis DeBernardo, the organization's executive director.

About 10 percent, he added, were under the age of 30.

In addition to plenary speakers, the event included workshops dealing with lesbian nuns, gay priests, Catholic marriages through gender change, LGBTQs among Latinos and African Americans, and coalition-building among gay-affirming advocacy organizations.

Chicagoans Karen Allen and her partner, Mary Jo Hoag, attended the gathering, this their second one.

"What brings me here is the chance to be rooted in my faith and with the people of God and to be sent forth to create loving communities," said Allen, who leads a gay and lesbian family-and-friends ministry at St. Nicholas parish in Evanston.

Allen said the parish group grew out the idea she and others got 10 years ago at the Louisville, Ky., New Ways symposium.

In proposing the idea, she explained, "We were welcomed to do so by our pastor at the time, who said, 'Where have you been?'"

The ministry is about education and prayer and not so much advocacy, Allen said, but "more about how can we as gay and lesbian Catholics live fully integrated, authentic lives in our tradition."

"Many have walked away [ from the church ] but returned in mid-life," she explained, while readily acknowledging, "struggling mightily" with "clericalism and the hierarchy."

"The church is our church," said Hoag, explaining why she stays. "Many of us are cradle Catholics who grew up with the rituals, sacraments, and the teachings and feel comfortable. We are gifts to the church and shouldn't go away, as we provide those gifts of love and understanding and outreach."

New Ways Ministry, Allen added, provides us "a shot in the arm" to keep up our work in ministry.

-Copyright. Chuck Colbert. All rights reserved.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Church, Black gay caucus host 'Empowerment' event 2016-05-26
Speakers discuss being 'Out, Proud and Muslim' 2016-05-25
A Church 4 Me's cabaret benefit May 28 2016-05-25
Illinois state GOP: Marriage is still one-man, one-woman 2016-05-23
Mexico's Wild Ride to Marriage Equality 2016-05-18
Anti-gay organization among Gov. Rauner breakfast hosts 2016-05-15
Italy approves civil unions 2016-05-12
Local singer Terell marries partner 2016-05-11
First United Methodist Church in Charlotte Performs Same-Sex Wedding 2016-04-25
First Circuit removes district judge in marriage case 2016-04-13
World: Swedish stamp, Saudi Arabia report, marriage allowed in Norway, Colombia 2016-04-12
Puerto Rico marriage ban stuck down hours after Lambda Legal victory 2016-04-08
Group says Pope statement not 'joyful' for LGBTs 2016-04-08
1st Circuit removes judge, reaffirms ban's unconstitutionality in Puerto Rico marriage 2016-04-07
Wedding expo unites same-sex couples with supportive vendors 2016-03-23
Lambda Legal asks Court of Appeals to intervene in Puerto Rico marriage case 2016-03-21
Puerto Rico upholds marriage ban 2016-03-16
Faith In America names Eliel Cruz Executive Director 2016-03-10
BOOK REVIEW Charity & Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America 2016-03-09
Puerto Rico Court rules same-sex marriage law does not apply there 2016-03-09
Chicago man files discrimination suit against Chicago Archdiocese 2016-03-08
SSA grants spousal benefits to Texas widow in Lambda Legal case 2016-03-08
Lambda elects Bishop Gene Robinson to board, Tracey Guyot-Wallace co-chair 2016-03-04
Debate Recap: Kasich, Cruz and Trump double down on overturning marriage equality 2016-03-04
VIEWS The pope and the Catholic Church's homophobia 2016-03-01
National Black Church Initiative calls Trump biggest racist since Bull Connor 2016-02-29
Plaintiffs in Supreme Court marriage cases to be honored at LGBT military event 2016-02-25
One South Dakota religious refusal bill is dead, another still open 2016-02-25
Windy City Times Wedding Guide 2016-02-23
Lambda to Court: Religious belief should not block equal health care 2016-02-18
World: Prime minister vs. church; pope and patriarch; Tom of Finland 2016-02-16
National: Walmart lawsuit; Puerto Rican justice; gay GOP in Texas; Huey Newton 2016-02-16
FRANKLY SPEAKING What's hot and what's not: Wedding trends for 2016 2016-02-10
National: Conversion therapy in N.Y.; church takeover; Tyler Clementi 2016-02-09
The 21st-century wedding movie: Not your mother's wedding video 2016-02-09
NYC LGBT youth agency reaches goal in plan to purchase anti-gay church 2016-02-09
Priest publicly comes out in newspaper article 2016-02-07
World: Marriage in Mexico; hate-crime survey; gay diver retires 2016-02-02
Relationships & the Law Today: Divorce considerations following marriage 2016-01-27
Survey shows Indiana lost $60M in convention money over religious objections law 2016-01-26
 



Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.