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February 26, 2015

Pontiff is not what he seems

Pope Francis is a complicated, confusing pontiff to the LGBTI community –especially its transgender members.

On the surface Francis displays a pastoral countenance to his papacy that extends to us all.

He set off global shock waves, when flying home after a weeklong visit to Brazil in 2013, when he was queried about the ‘gay lobby’ in the Vatican.

February 25, 2015

Our laws as they stand are having an unjust and disproportionate impact on those of religious faith', says Northern Ireland Bishop

The Catholic Church has spoken out in favour of a proposed equality clause that would permit anti-gay discrimination.

In December, DUP minister Paul Given introduced his Freedom of Conscience Bill to the Northern Ireland legislative assembly, which would allow people with strongly held religious views to deny access to goods, facilities and services on the grounds of sexual orientation. 

February 19, 2015

Unprecedented move is seen as a 'sign of movement' in the church

In an unprecented move Wednesday (18 February), the Vatican gave a group of gay Catholics VIP seats at Pope Francis' weekly general audience.

The 50 pilgrims from the US sat front and center in St Peter's Square but were only identified on the list of attendees as a 'group of lay people accompanied by a Sister of Loretto.'

And a Vatican monsignor skipped over New Ways Ministry entirely when he read out the list.

Nevertheless, New Ways Ministry co-founder Sister Jeannine Gramick said the gesture was a 'sign of movement' in the Catholic church.

February 19, 2015

Head of the Catholic Church claims those who transition are opposing 'God's order of creation'

Pope Francis has appeared to compare trans and genderqueer people to nuclear weapons, saying both do not 'recognize the order of creation'.

The head of the Catholic Church has claimed people who 'manipulate' their bodies are similar to 'Herods' that 'destroy, that plot designs of death, that disfigure the face of man and woman, destroying creation.'

The comments were made in a new book published in Italy, Pope Francis: This Economy Kills, calling on Christians to safeguard God's order of creation.

February 19, 2015

Head of the Catholic Church claims those who transition are opposing 'God's order of creation'

Pope Francis has appeared to compare trans and genderqueer people to nuclear weapons, saying both do not 'recognize the order of creation'.

The head of the Catholic Church has claimed people who 'manipulate' their bodies are similar to 'Herods' that 'destroy, that plot designs of death, that disfigure the face of man and woman, destroying creation.'

The comments were made in a new book published in Italy, Pope Francis: This Economy Kills, calling on Christians to safeguard God's order of creation.

February 12, 2015

Measure is passed despite opposition from lawmakers who fear the bill will pave the way for gay marriage

A bill banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity has hurdled the committee level at the Philippine House of Representatives.

The committee on women and gender equality Tuesday (10 February) voted 10 to 2 in favor of the bill authored by Dinagat Islands Rep Kaka Bag-ao.

'This is not only a triumph for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, but for all Filipinos,' she said in a statement.

January 27, 2015

First time a pontiff meets with a transgender person

Pope Francis held a private meeting with a transgender man after he wrote to the pontiff about the rejection he experienced by the Catholic church after transitioning. 

Diego Neria Lejárraga and his fiancée Saturday (24 January) were received at the Vatican, in what marked the first meeting between a pontiff and a transgender person.

Last year, Neria sent Francis a letter, in which he described how the church he attended in Plasencia, Spain had rejected him after he underwent sex-reassignment surgery. One priest even called him 'the devil’s daughter.'

January 23, 2015

A statement signed by 30 church leaders had said that gay marriage poses a greater risk to society than divorce or cohabitation

Despite the fact that same-sex marriage is now legal in the majority of US states, senior Roman Catholics and Evangelicals in the US have united to warn of the grave ‘threat’ posed to society by allowing gay couples to wed, reports Christian Today .

January 16, 2015

The NFL's first openly gay draftee and Vito Cammisano were at top of St. Peter's Basilica when he popped the question

It seems that Michael Sam wanted to make a statement when he proposed to boyfriend Vito Cammisano.

The first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team got down on one knee and popped the question while the couple were at the top of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.

Whether it is meant to be or not, the location Sam chose would seem to be a statement to the Catholic Church which is still officially against same-sex marriage.

January 16, 2015

Once the leader of the Catholic Church, always a leader of a Catholic Church

Pope Francis has claimed the family is being threatened by gay marriage.

Speaking in the Phillippines, the leader of the Catholic Church criticized what he called the 'ideological colonization of the family' - language that many have taken to mean the marriage of same-sex couples.

'The family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life,' Francis said.

January 16, 2015

Once the leader of the Catholic Church, always a leader of a Catholic Church

Pope Francis has claimed the family is being threatened by gay marriage.

Speaking in the Phillippines, the leader of the Catholic Church criticized what he called the 'ideological colonization of the family' - language that many have taken to mean the marriage of same-sex couples.

'The family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life,' Francis said.

January 8, 2015

Staff are warned to 'exercise discretion' when using social media

The Archdiocese of Miami has threatened to fire employees who openly show support for gay marriage, on the same day the first same-sex marriage licenses were issued in Florida.

The Archbishop of Miami, Thomas Wenski, Tuesday (6 January) sent a letter to staff warning them that they could be sacked for unCatholic behavior – even outside of work and on social media.

January 8, 2015

Staff are warned to 'exercise discretion' when using social media

The Archdiocese of Miami has threatened to fire employees who openly show support for gay marriage, on the same day the first same-sex marriage licenses were issued in Florida.

The Archbishop of Miami, Thomas Wenski, Tuesday (6 January) sent a letter to staff warning them that they could be sacked for unCatholic behavior – even outside of work and on social media.

January 2, 2015

‘Love your children’, says Deacon Ray Dever of St Paul Catholic Church, Tampa, Florida

The death last Sunday morning of Leelah Alcorn in Ohio has again led many to question the impact of religious doctrine upon the lives of LGBTI people.

‘We don't support that, religiously,’ said Carla Alcorn – Leelah’s mother – when asked by CNN reporter about her daughter’s desire to transition.

December 17, 2014

He was protesting against a cardinal who said he believed gay people didn't exist

A gay Italian teacher is being forced to hang a crucifix on his classroom wall after the school cited a Mussolini fascist-era law.

Professor Davide Zotti, a philosophy teacher in the city of Trieste, northeast Italy, took down the crucifix in protest of homophobic statements made by the Catholic Church.

He said he was especially offended by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, who in October claimed he had no reason to support 'imaginary rights' as he believes gay people do not exist.

December 9, 2014

Also says same-sex marriage has 'not crossed our minds'

Pope Francis says the Catholic Church must help parents faced with the 'somewhat unusual situation' of having gay children

He wants the parents to stand by those children but as far as those children growing up and being able to marry someone of the same sex, the Pope says that's not something church leaders have even discussed.

December 9, 2014

Also says same-sex marriage has 'not crossed our minds'

Pope Francis says the Catholic Church must help parents faced with the 'somewhat unusual situation' of having gay children

He wants the parents to stand by those children but as far as those children growing up and being able to marry someone of the same sex, the Pope says that's not something church leaders have even discussed.

December 8, 2014

The Catholic Bishops of Northern Ireland say they can no longer support the agency now that it’s ‘legally obliged’ to allow same-sex couples to adopt

The Catholic Church has announced that it is ending its relationship with an adoption service in Northern Ireland following changes in legislation that mean the service must accept applications from unmarried and same-sex couples as potential adoptive parents.

The agency in question is The Family Care Society NI. The agency was originally founded by the Church and has offices in Belfast.

December 4, 2014

Catholic church launches a 16-page pastoral statement against gay marriage

The Irish church has said the legalization of gay marriage would be a 'grave injustice' in a 16-page pastoral statement it is distributing ahead of a referendum on the issue early next year.

The pamphlet, titled The Meaning of Marriage, was launched yesterday (3 December) at the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference in Maynooth, and is currently being distributed to more than 1,300 parishes across the country.

The statement said that 'to redefine the nature of marriage would be to undermine it as the fundamental building block of our society.'

November 29, 2014

Fr Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin, likens gay relationships to ‘sexual friendships’, and says that although he is in favor of inheritance and visitation rights for long-term couples, is against same-sex marriage or adoption rights

With Ireland set to hold a referendum on the issue of same-sex marriage in early 2015, an increasing number of its religious leaders are weighing in on the debate.

The latest is the recently appointed Bishop of Elphin, Fr Kevin Doran – one of the country’s most senior Roman Catholic bishops.

November 26, 2014

And he didn't even need to unwrap it

The rainbow could be seen as a representing two main concepts: the gay rights movement and a 'blessing' from God.

So one lesbian politician thought of the perfect gift to give to Pope Francis: a rainbow scarf.

Austrian Green MP Ulrike Lunacek, the gay Vice President of the European Parliament, gave the leader of the Catholic Church his early Christmas present yesterday (25 November).

'Today I handed Pope Francis a rainbow scarf for gays, lesbians, and for peace,' Lunacek proudly said.

November 18, 2014

Once the leader of a Catholic Church, always a leader of a Catholic Church

Men and women are at the 'root of marriage', Pope Francis has said in a blow to gay rights.

In what is being seen as a huge step backward in the liberal pope's tenure, it looks unlikely that the Catholic Church will support same-sex marriage for years to come.

In an address at the opening of a three-day conference at the Vatican, he called family 'an anthropoligical fact...that cannot be qualified based on ideological notions or concepts important only at one time in history'.

November 18, 2014

Once the leader of a Catholic Church, always a leader of a Catholic Church

Men and women are at the 'root of marriage', Pope Francis has said in a blow to gay rights.

In what is being seen as a huge step backward in the liberal pope's tenure, it looks unlikely that the Catholic Church will support same-sex marriage for years to come.

In an address at the opening of a three-day conference at the Vatican, he called family 'an anthropoligical fact...that cannot be qualified based on ideological notions or concepts important only at one time in history'.

November 14, 2014

Another senior figure in the church has lashed out at gay people who wish to marry and start families

A Catholic Cardinal in Italy has said this week that gay couples that wish to have children are undermining traditional families and are ‘irresponsible’.

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, who is the Archbishop of Genoa and the President of the Italian Bishops Conference, is regarded as a senior figure in the church.

Addressing a meeting of Italian bishops in Umbria on Monday, he spoke out against same-sex civil unions, saying that they ‘confuse people’, especially if children are involved.

‘It is irresponsible to weaken the family by creating new forms.’