The Vatican is scrambling to tamp down yet another crisis in the ongoing clergy sexual abuse scandal, this time over the revelation of a 1997 letter from a senior Vatican official telling the bishops of Ireland not to implement their new policy of reporting abusive priests to law enforcement authorities.
Advocates for victims and other critics say the letter from the Vatican's envoy to Ireland at the time is a "smoking gun" proving their claims that the Vatican helped direct an effort to conceal abuses for years.
"The letter is of huge international significance, because it shows that the Vatican's intention is to prevent reporting of abuse to criminal authorities. And if that instruction applied here, it applied everywhere," said Colm O'Gorman, director of the Irish chapter of the human rights watchdog Amnesty International…
Vatican officials on Wednesday sought to downplay the letter's importance and to shield Pope Benedict XVI -- formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a top Vatican official during the era of scandals -- by noting that the Vatican had begun dealing more forthrightly with abuse cases in 2001 when the late John Paul II gave Ratzinger responsibility for coordinating Rome's efforts on clergy abuse cases.
Read complete report:
Vatican Letter Warned Bishops on Abuse Policy
By Laurie Goodstein,
January 18, 2011
The New York Times
A newly disclosed document reveals that Vatican officials told the bishops of Ireland in 1997 that they had serious reservations about the bishops’ policy of mandatory reporting of priests suspected of child abuse to the police or civil authorities. photo
Benedict XVI’s Child Sexual Abuse Cases - COVERT OPERATIONS that Hierarchy Maintain Secrecy – “Vatican official expresses "SERIOUS RESERVATIONS" about requiring bishops to report suspected abuse by priests to police” January 19, 2011
Irish abuse victims 'disgusted' at Vatican letter
January 19, 2010 – CNN World
Belfast, Northern Ireland (CNN) -- Irish victims of sexual abuse are "disgusted" by a newly revealed letter in which a Vatican official expresses "serious reservations" about requiring bishops to report suspected abuse by priests to police, they said Wednesday.
Abuse survivors will question the cardinal leading a special papal delegation to Ireland about the letter, they said.
"We are disgusted by details revealed in the letter. Many of our members just can't take this in and have been deeply affected by the revelations," Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse spokeswoman Margaret McGuckin told CNN.
The 1997 letter from the Vatican's envoy to Ireland warns bishops to follow church law in investigating cases of suspected child sex abuse by priests.
The envoy expresses "serious reservations" about requiring that such cases be reported to the police.
Read complete report:
Despite outrage, little progress in church scandal
By: Robin Washington,
January 2, 2010, Duluth News Tribune
Over the past week, the News Tribune’s “Whatever Happened To?” series has updated some of the newspaper’s most significant stories of 2010.
The follow-up to last year’s articles about the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal can be answered in two words: Not much. Photo
That’s despite the fact one of those articles — “Pope linked to cover-up in Superior Diocese priest sex abuse case,” appearing March 25 in the News Tribune, with a similar version in the New York Times — subsequently ran in nearly every paper in the world.
The immediate response was outrage. The article revealed that the Vatican had direct knowledge of an attempt to cover up the molestation of as many as 200 deaf boys by the Rev. Lawrence Murphy, a Milwaukee Archdiocese priest later assigned to the Diocese of Superior. It also documented that now-Pope Benedict XVI, or his immediate subordinate, invoked the “sacramental seal of the confessional” to stonewall efforts to expose the now-deceased priest.
The Vatican responded to the story by calling the case “tragic,” yet denied a written assertion by former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland that Rome had told him to “keep this as quiet as possible” and not report the abuse to authorities. In a later story, the News Tribune found Murphy may have continued molesting children in the Superior Diocese after leaving the Milwaukee church.
Beyond the outrage and blame and apologies, however, little tangible resulted from the stories, with Murphy long dead and the pope not accountable to victims’ groups demanding his ouster…
December 20, 2010 - Belfast Telegraph
Victims of clerical sex abuse have reacted furiously to Pope Benedict's claim yesterday that paedophilia wasn't considered an “absolute evil” as recently as the 1970s.
In his traditional Christmas address yesterday to cardinals and officials working in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI also claimed that child pornography was increasingly considered “normal” by society.
“In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children,” the Pope said.
“It was maintained — even within the realm of Catholic theology — that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a ‘better than' and a ‘worse than'. Nothing is good or bad in itself.”
But outraged Dublin victim Andrew Madden last night insisted that child abuse was not considered normal in the company he kept.
Mr Madden accused the Pope of not knowing that child pornography was the viewing of images of children being sexually abused, and should be named as such.
He said: “That is not normal. I don't know what company the Pope has been keeping for the past 50 years.”
Angry abuse victims in America last night said that while some Church officials have blamed the liberalism of the 1960s for the Church's sex abuse scandals and cover-up catastrophes, Pope Benedict had come up with a new theory of blaming the 1970s.
“Catholics should be embarrassed to hear their Pope talk again and again about abuse while doing little or nothing to stop it and to mischaracterise this heinous crisis,” said Barbara Blaine, the head of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,
“It is fundamentally disturbing to watch a brilliant man so conveniently misdiagnose a horrific scandal,” she added…
Read complete article:
“…The cover-up had little to do with the Watergate, but was mainly to protect the covert operations.”
The operation [Watergate] was described…as "professional" and "clandestine."
September 25, 2010,
CNN & CNN International
Read more/related links:
by Paddy Agnew, Derek Scally and Patsy McGarry
The Irish Times – read more
Priest says he was bullied into taking fall for Pope in abuse scandal
The Local – 4/18/10
Germany’s News In English – read more
Ratzinger & Vatican
“They did as much as they had at each point in time given the public outcry, and no more.”
Katrin Bennhold – 4/27/10
The New York Times – read more
“…the church must … end its campaign to block the weak and the vulnerable from receiving help to deal with the consequences of criminal sexual abuse.”
By Lawrence Lessig – 4/26/10
The New York Times – read more
Benedict XVI Child Sexual Abuse
Who Can Mock This Church?
By Nicholas D. Kristof
May 1, 2010
The New York Times
Pope Blasts U.K. Anti-Discrimination Laws
In Speech, Benedict Raises Fears that Vatican Could Be Prosecuted for Stances Against Gays – February 2, 2010
Kids Are Being Hurt!!!
(Sequential Order of Reactions)” November 28, 2010
“If you shut up truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.”
What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
Pope hits out at 'unjust and offensive' accusations over Boffo resignation
Times Online – February 9, 2010
Italian Catholic scandal draws in Pope Benedict
By NICOLE WINFIELD – AP
abc NEWS/International – February 9, 2010
The Vatican thirst for power divides Christianity and damages Catholicism – Hans Kung - guardian.co.uk – November 4, 2009
“This is about the reckless endangerment of children in a calculated, purposeful strategy to protect the institutional Church”
December 2, 2009
By Jason Walsh
Ireland released a report into 30 years of Catholic priest abuse of children in Dublin that found the police frequently looked the other way to protect accused clerics.
That the Catholic church covered up sexual abuse by priests for years is hardly news anymore. But the highest-profile investigation into abuse allegations yet in Ireland found another breach of public trust: The Garda Síochána, the police force for the republic, failed to investigate reports of priest abusing children and conspired to protect Catholic officials in Dublin for 30 years. Photo
The commission on child abuse by Catholic priests in Dublin led by Judge Yvonne Murphy released its long-awaited report on the matter last week. Justice Murphy's commission investigated how allegations of child sex abuse by priests in the Catholic archdiocese of Dublin were dealt with by both state and church authorities from 1975 to 2004. The report slammed the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland and, for the first time, reprimanded state agencies, particularly the Garda. Photo
Unlike the Catholic sex abuse scandal uncovered by The Boston Globe in thearchdiocese of Boston in 2002 where, instead of reporting the incidents to police, the dioceses directed the offenders to seek psychiatric treatment, in Ireland children, parents, and others reported suspicions of abuse to police but investigations did not follow. Many cases were simply referred back to church authorities instead. Photo Boston
Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy said that the report exposed "misguided or undue deference" shown by the police to religious institutions and said, "That has no place in criminal investigations, it certainly has no place in 2009 under my watch." "This is not about failings or learning curves. This about the reckless endangerment of children in a calculated, purposeful strategy to protect the institutional Church," said the abuse charity One in Four in a press release.
Read complete article:
Pope 'led cover-up of child abuse by priests'
2006 - London Evening Standard
Church in worst credibility crisis since Reformation,
theologian tells bishops
by HANS KÜNG,
April 16, 2010 – The Irish Times
Catholic Church sex abuse documents made public
By Gillian Flaccus,
Associated Press, October 25, 2010 - Salon
Ripping Open An Incredible Scandal
(TIME, April 30, 1973) -- The denials, the evasions, the secretiveness, and, yes, the lies, all had failed. The Watergate case was breaking wide open. A 10-month campaign by some of the highest past and present officials of the Nixon Administration to cover up their involvement was crumbling. Read more - CNN TIME Photo Nixon
Roman Catholic - hierarchy child sexual abuse
ordered by Benedict XVI
to avoid public outrage & criminal charges
- falsely accused gay priests - WATERGATE?
No “Checks and Balances”
A major problem with the hierarchical structure of the Roman Catholic Church is that there are no “checks and balances.” When the necessary “checks and balances” are not in place to protect any organization, it leaves “not making waves” the rule that governs the hierarchy and opens the way to many devastating mistakes harmful to everyone and allows corruption to grow.
The following statements are harsh statements, but unfortunately they are heavily documented. (1) Benedict XVI and his hierarchy failed to protect children from child sexual abuse for decades. (2) They mistreated and intimidated the victims and their families who came to report the child sexual abuse, in order to cover up publicity of any child sexual abuse. (3) They failed to protect children by repeatedly reassigning the child sexual abusers to assignments where children would be present. (4) When the hierarchy’s criminal negligence failing to protect children became public, globally, in 2002 they shifted the blame wrongfully onto gay priests. Photo
Read complete report:
Child Protection Service of the Archdiocese of Dublin http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/PB09000504
(5) By falsely, against known research to the contrary, blaming gay priests they implicated the entire LGBT community and how they are fighting against Marriage Equality. When the scientific facts known for decades about human sexuality have been discounted with no substantiated facts given to explain why, it causes many questions whether Benedict XVI and the hierarchy’s fight against Marriage Equality is more a fight to maintained the cover-up of the hierarchy’s criminal negligence failing to protect children? Benedict XVI and his hierarchy need to clearly offer substantiated reasons why they are against Marriage Equality. This statement needs to be spelled out in great detail and follow Pope John Paul II’s test of truth of not separating science and religion. Photo Nixon
(6) Benedict XVI and the hierarchy’s continuous public propaganda against homosexuality encourages public intolerance towards LGBTQ&I adults and children. They continue to do this even though this summer 2 major Christian denominations approved LGBT singled and partnered people for all forms of ordained ministries. (7) Benedict XVI and the hierarchy’s continuous promulgation of the Vatican’s unsubstantiated antigay teachings that are harmful to children in their early childhood psychological developmental years, harm that is crippling throughout their lives. They have continued this even after the beginning of the year, 2009, the Family Acceptance Project research studies had shown the negative effects caused to youths, when their sexual orientation is not accepted, having health problems, suicidal ideation, etc. They ignore all the major medical, psychiatric, psychological and social workers national and international professional associations regarding their findings regarding human sexuality and sexual orientation. WHEN DO WE START PROTECTING CHILDREN?!?!
Written by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
December 17, 2009 – Revised January 15, 2010
Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation
Dr. Gregory Herek,
University of California at Davis &
Yale University &
City University of New York
New Catholic Sex Abuse Findings:
Gay Priests Are Not the Problem
by DAVID GIBSON
Politics Daily - November 18, 2009
NO EVIDENCE SUPPORTS THESE [homosexual] STEREOTYPES
Judge Vaughn Walker Ruling
California Prop 8. August 4, 2010
Pennsylvania State University - Photo
SEXUAL ORIENTATION is less about sex and more about LOVE, being one with another human being - ATTACHMENT THEORY
“Auschwitz – Benedict XVI - Christmas 2008 - Brokeback Mountain” (NP)
Nothing in life is more precious than the intimate relationships we have with love ones. Healthy love relationships delight us give us confidence to take on challenges and support us in difficult times. Photo
Opening the Closet Door:
Sexualities Education and "Active Ignorance"
By Maureen Ford, PhD.,
Lakehead University - Philosophy Of Education 1996
Anti-Homophobic Curricula - Silencing Effects of “ACTIVE IGNORANCE” - Threatening To The Sanctity Of The Family, accounts of sexuality that stand outside the narrow confines of heterosexual, reproductive sex…
Gay Marriage & Galileo: Pope described as …"so averse to anything intellectual that everyone has to play dense and ignorant to gain his favor"-- The Trial of Galileo - by Douglas O. Linder (2002) - UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-KANSAS CITY (UMKC) SCHOOL OF LAW
Groundbreaking Study Finds Family Acceptance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Adolescents Protects Against Depression, Substance Abuse and Suicidal Behavior in Early Adulthood – by Caitlin Ryan, PhD, December 6, 2010 -FAMILY ACCEPTANCE PROJECT.
GAY YOUTH SUICIDE | BENEDICT XVI & BISHOPS Child Sexual Abuse Cover-ups – Negligence Protecting (1) Children & (2) LGBT Children | Family of Rutgers suicide victim lends name to bill – November 19, 2010 – CNN
Institutionalized STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE – Vatican’s UNSUBSTANTIATED ANTIGAY TEACHINGS - severe harm lasting throughout a child’s lifetime | Benedict XVI & Hierarchy CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE COVER-UPS
Gay Marriage - “SEPARATION BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE” Does Not Give Churches Or Benedict XVI - The Freedom To Abuse Children or Adults. July 2010 - By Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
"Covering: The Hidden Assault on our Civil Rights"
A conversation with author Kenji Yoshino about Yoshino's book.
April 20, 2006 – Charlie Rose
Despite outrage, little progress in church scandal
By: Robin Washington,
January 2, 2010, Duluth News Tribune
“Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit.” Erik Erikson
Kids Are Being Hurt!!!
…whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6
Important note: No disrespect meant to Pope Benedict XVI or the hierarchy, the one and only concern is the safety and well-being of children.
Kids Are Being Hurt !!!
By Henry E. Adams, Lester W. Wright, Jr., and Bethany A. Lohr,
University of Georgia – 1996
The authors investigated the role of homosexual arousal in exclusively heterosexual men who admitted negative affect toward homosexual individuals. Participants consisted of a group of homophobic men (n = 35) and a group of nonhomophobic men (n = 29); they were assigned to groups on the basis of their scores on the Index of Homophobia (W. W. Hudson & W. A. Ricketts, 1980). The men were exposed to sexually explicit erotic stimuli consisting of heterosexual, male homosexual, and lesbian videotapes, and changes in penile circumference were monitored. They also completed an Aggression Questionnaire (A. H. Buss & M. Perry, 1992). Both groups exhibited increases in penile circumference to the heterosexual and female homosexual videos. Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli. The groups did not differ in aggression. Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies.
Hostility and discrimination against homosexual individuals are well-established facts (Berrill, 1990). On occasion, these negative attitudes lead to hostile verbal and physical acts against gay individuals with little apparent motivation except a strong dislike (Herek, 1989). In fact, more than 90% of gay men and lesbians report being targets of verbal abuse or threats, and more than one-third report being survivors of violence related to their homosexuality (Fassinger, 1991 ). Although negative attitudes and behaviors toward gay individuals have been assumed to be associated with rigid moralistic beliefs, sexual ignorance, and fear of homosexuality, the etiology of these attitudes and behaviors remains a puzzle (Marmor, 1980). Weinberg ( 1972 ) labeled these attitudes and behaviors homophobia, which he defined as the dread of being in close quarters with homosexual men and women as well as irrational fear, hatred, and intolerance by heterosexual individuals of homosexual men and women… Photo
Discussion The results of this study indicate that individuals who score in the homophobic range and admit negative affect toward homosexuality demonstrate significant sexual arousal to male homosexual erotic stimuli.These individuals were selected on the basis of their report of having only heterosexual arousal and experiences. Furthermore, their ratings of erection and arousal to homosexual stimuli were low and not significantly different from nonhomophobic men who demonstrated no significant increase in penile response to homosexual stimuli. These data are consistent with response discordance where verbal judgments are not consistent with physiological reactivity, as in the case of homophobic individuals viewing homosexual stimuli. Lang (1994) has noted that the most dramatic response discordance occurs with reports of feeling and physiologic responses. Another possible explanation is found in various psychoanalytic theories, which have generally explained homophobia as a threat to an individual's own homosexual impulses causing repression, denial, or reaction formation (or all three; West, 1977). Generally, these varied explanations conceive of homophobia as one type of latent homosexuality where persons either are unaware of or deny their homosexual urges. These data are consistent with these notions.
Another explanation of these data is found in Barlow, Sakheim, and Beck's (1983) theory of the role of anxiety and attention in sexual responding. It is possible that viewing homosexualstimuli causes negative emotions such as anxiety in homophobic men but not in nonhomophobic men. Because anxiety has been shown to enhance arousal and erection, this theory would predict increases in erection in homophobic men. Furthermore, it would indicate that a response to homosexual stimuli is a function of the threat condition rather than sexual arousal per se. Whereas difficulties of objectively evaluating psychoanalytic hypotheses are well-documented, these approaches would predict that sexual arousal is an intrinsic response to homosexual stimuli, whereas Barlow's (1986) theory would predict that sexual arousal to homosexual stimuli by homophobic individuals is a function of anxiety. These competing notions can and should be evaluated by future research. Photos
The hypothesis that homophobic men are merely aggressive individuals is not supported by the present data…
Journal of Abnormal Psychology, American Psychological Association, Inc.
1996, Vol. 105, No. 3,440—445
Benedict XVI - INTERNALIZED HOMOPHOBIA–"It [homosexuality] remains something that is against the Nature that God originally willed.” - UNSUBSTANTIATED ANTIGAY STATEMENT – Selective Attention – Dissociation – Process of Projection - permits EXTERNALIZATION of unconscious conflicts - rejecting own unacceptable urges by rejecting lesbians and gay men (who symbolize those urges) without consciously recognizing the urges as own. - PLANK & SPECK - Luke 6:40-42 & GALILEO
Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the EU Member States, Part II – The Social Situation | European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights - 2009
7. Religious institutions
It was reported in interviews with LGBT NGOs that in several Member States, including Cyprus,276 Greece,277 Latvia,278 Lithuania,279 Italy,280 Poland281and Romania,282 church representatives, particularly from Orthodox and Catholic denominations, engage in political debate concerning LGBT rights, often mobilising and lobbying against the adoption of such rights. On the other hand, Jewish and Muslim figures and institutions were not found to play a significant role in anti-LGBT mobilisation or political debates regarding LGBT rights in any of the Member States.
For example, in Lithuania, the church has taken a position against LGBT rights. The Minister of Social Affairs and Labour stated283 in Parliament that the inclusion of amendments to the Law on Equal Treatment (implementing the Employment Framework Directive 2000/78/EC) weakening protection for LGBT persons was discussed and approved by the Lithuanian Bishop's Conference, and MPs argued against anti-discrimination legislation by referring to 'the Christian traditions of Lithuania'. The Orthodox Church in Romania has lobbied for a change in the Constitution to deny the possibility of same-sex marriage.284 LGBT NGOs inItaly285 and Poland286 said during interview that they consider the Catholic Church as one of the key political actors against new LGBT rights legislation.
Diversity and discrimination in religious organizations
In Finland, a study287 based on interviews with ten employees of the Evangelical Lutheran Church who identified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, found that although the general move towards a more open social climate and the ongoing debate around the status of sexual minorities within the Church was leading church employees to consider the possibility of leading an open life, at the same time, public debate has created pressure and made people fearful of taking a stand: “The risk of being 84 stigmatised or discriminated against is present in many of the daily situations involving discussion about the status of lesbian, gay and bisexual people within the Church.”288
In Sweden, the Association of Parishes and Pastorates of the Church of Sweden together with EKHO (Swedish Ecumenical Association of Christian Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgendered People) participated in the EQUAL project “Normgiving Diversity” focusing on three professions with a normative standard-setting function in society: the police, the church and the army in an attempt to promote awareness of sexual diversity among employees in the long term.289
In some Member States, the exemption for employers to be able to discriminate against employees who do not 'act in good faith and with loyalty to the organisation's ethos' are interpreted by religious organisations in ways that include sexual orientation. As the Commission has noted, ‘[m]any of the difficulties encountered in implementing the sexual orientation provisions of the Employment Equality Directive relate to the breadth of any exceptions applying to employers with a religious ethos… These exceptions are sensitive because some employers may be hostile to homosexuality because of religious beliefs.’290
In Germany, Kolpingwerk, a Catholic social organisation with a focus on education (in children’s homes and youth centres, among others), which is exempt from the antidiscrimination law as a denominational organisation, dismissed a 53-year-old gay employee after his sexual orientation was discovered.291 In the Netherlands,the Dutch Equal Treatment Law contains similar exemptions for employment for associations based on religion or belief. These associations may impose requirements on the occupancy of a post which, in view of the organisation's purpose, are deemed necessary to live up to its founding principles. The Equal Treatment Law stipulates that such requirements may not lead to distinction on the sole grounds of political affinity, race, sex, nationality, heterosexual or homosexual orientation or civil status, but the requirements may be based on 'additional circumstances' which are not further specified. The EU has criticised these justification grounds, in reaction to which the 85 Commissie Gelijke Behandeling[the Equal Treatment Commission] has proposed that these provisions should be restated.292
Fieldwork in Latvia revealed that the Lutheran Church has, on two occasions, excommunicated ministers for their dissenting views on homosexuality and LGBT rights. One minister revealed that he was gay and publicly expressed the view that homosexuality was not a sin and did not contradict Christianity. He was excommunicated for promotion of sinful behaviour. Another minister, at the time the dean of the University of Latvia's faculty of theology, was excommunicated after criticising the Church’s action in the above mentioned case. He now serves as an Anglican pastor in a small Anglican congregation in Riga - the only established religious denomination in Latvia supportive of LGBT rights.293
In Ireland, religious bodies own and manage the vast majority of primary schools and a significant number of secondary schools. This might contribute to the invisibility of homosexuals and bisexuals in schools. Religious bodies also own and manage a significant number of hospitals and health services. Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act exempts religious bodies and services in cases where discrimination is demonstrated as necessary to preserve the ethos of the religious body, but this exemption has never been tested in court. In Hungary, the theological faculty of Karoli Gaspar Calvinist University has a policy that bars students following a 'homosexual way of life' from being educated as pastors or religion teachers. The Supreme Court of Hungary has ruled in favour of the faculty and decided that it was permissible to exclude lesbians and gay men.294
The promotion of diversity regarding sexual orientation is often difficult in environments controlled by religious organisations hostile to LGBT issues. For example, in Malta, where the Catholic Church administers around one-third of the schools, according to the National Minimum Curriculum 'teachers must keep in mind the context of the moral and religious values of the students and their parents'. In this context the Maltese Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) has reportedly been barred from disseminating leaflets or education materials that present LGBT issues.
However, there are also examples of religious institutions across the European Union that have a different approach to LGBT persons and issues. For example, in the Netherlands by 1995 the synod of the Netherlands Reformed Church had already issued a statement that members of the church have equal rights, regardless of their sexual orientation or way of life.295 In 1990 the synod of Emmen of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands “called on all congregations to accept homosexual members, in office too”. In 1995 the Lutheran synod of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands decided to bless these homosexual relationships in the church, as well as stating that there are no theological arguments ‘against blessing two people in their promise of lasting friendship, devotion, and faithfulness’.
In Finland, reportedly since 1999 the Kallio parish (Kallion seurakunta) in Helsinki has embraced “rainbow people” and the “Rainbow Masses” have been held in connection with Gay Pride events in Vaasa, Helsinki and Tampere.296 An ecumenical group called Yhteys (alliance) is working to promote more liberal attitudes towards sexual and gender minorities within the Church. In Sweden, as was mentioned earlier the Church participated in the 2008 Pride event.
In some Member States religious institutions and organisations often engage in political debates concerning LGBT rights, lobbying against the adoption of such rights and thus hampering new legislation in this area. Some religious groups and figures in some Member States are also active in mobilising demonstrations against LGBT events.
In some Member States the church owns and administers a significant number of schools, social services and community centres used for public debates or events. LGBT NGOs have been denied access to such premises and have been barred from disseminating information on LGBT issues or participating in political debates.
Exemptions in anti-discrimination legislation, allowing employers to discriminate against employees who do not 'act in good faith and with loyalty to the organisation's ethos' are interpreted in ways that result in discrimination of LGBT persons in some Member States.
There are also some positive examples of religious organisations engaging with LGBT persons.
Read complete report:
Gay Catholic - Nichi Vendola - Possible ITALY’S PRIME MINISTER
Catholic, communist, gay
By Chase Madar,
January 9, 2011 – Times LIVE
Meet the new star of Italy's left,Nichi Vendola, who, unlikely as it seems with this profile, is poised to capitalise on the country's increasing disgust at the outrageous antics of its once untouchable prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, writes Chase Madar…
Vendola is the governor of Apulia, heel of the peninsular boot, one of Italy's poorest and most socially conservative regions. That it should elect (and re-elect) a governor with a background in the Rifondazione Comunista (Communist Refoundation party), which he helped found in 1991, but is also openly gay, is counter intuitive, even if Vendola is a professed Catholic. He is now one of Italy's most popular politicians and may lead a coalition of left and centre-left parties in the national elections of 2013. He is a charismatic scrapper, and has the Italian right worried. Photo
Vendola can use the battuta, too. In November he enraged the right-wing governor of prosperous northern Lombardy by declaring it the most "mobbed-up" region in Italy. The Camorra, with its base in the south, has managed to penetrate northern Italy, but still, having a southerner criticising the north is a novelty. And reversing decades of anti-communist Stalin-baiting, Vendola has condemned Berlusconi for embracing Vladimir Putin and the "business is business" approach to buying energy from authoritarian states like Russia and Libya.
When asked if he might become the first gay prime minister, Vendola said there had already been one, whose identity he had sworn never to reveal.
Read complete report:
USA Cross-party Catholic Leadership Gay Marriage Support
or at least ignoring, gay marriage
by Rob Anderson,
January 13, 2011 – The Boston Globe
Republicans have taken control of the legislature in New Hampshire, but they have decided not to pursue a repeal of the state's gay marriage law. Instead, they will focus on jobs and economic issues, according to House Republican leader D.J. Bettencourt. Photo & Bio
"The social issues must take a back seat," Bettencourt said. "Everyone was in agreement we have to immediately get to work on the budget, retirement and reform education."
Their decision to ignore social issues in general, and gay marriage specifically, follows similar decisions made by Republicans in Massachusetts. Failed Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Baker hardly brought up traditional wedge issues on the campaign trail last year, focusing most of his energies on economic issues. He even picked Richard R. Tisei, an openly gay state legislator, to be his running mate…
N.H. Republicans won’t try to repeal gay marriage law
by Norma Love,
January 13, 2010 – AP, The Boston Globe
To focus instead on jobs, economy
CONCORD, N.H. — House Republicans have decided not to pursue a repeal of New Hampshire’s gay marriage law this year and plan instead to focus their energy on finding ways to improve the state’s financial footing.
House Republican leader D.J. Bettencourtconfirmed to The Associated Press yesterday that jobs and the economy will be the top priorities on the House GOP agenda to be announced today, which the GOP will use as its policy making scorecard for the next two years.
Gay marriage was enacted two years ago when Democrats controlled the Legislature. Governor John Lynch signed the law and has repeatedly said he would veto any attempt to repeal it. Photo
Read complete report:
Catholic Lawmakers Backing Gay Marriage
January 2011 – Opposing Views
Elected officials who are Catholic are stepping up to support marriage equality—often despite heavy-handed tactics by the Catholic hierarchy. Political figures know that Catholics in the electoratecontinue to grow in their acceptance of marriage equality for LGBT people.
Recent Pew Research shows almost 50% of Catholics, regardless of how often they attend church, support full marriage equality. Photo
In Rhode Island, a Catholic bishop recently lashed out at state officials for introducing a bill for marriage equality to the General Assembly. Governor Lincoln Chafee responded, “Our foundation here in Rhode Island was built on tolerance and acceptance and this is an area I want to move our state forward on, by building on our strengths of centuries ago.” ...
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo (above) said in his inauguration speech, “We believe in justice for all, then let’s pass marriage equality this year once and for all.”… Current New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan is against marriage equality but has not yet pushed back against Cuomo’s plans to move forward toward equality. A recent Siena College poll found that 56% of New Yorkers support marriage equality…
Read complete report:
Catholics Stand by Their Consciences on Marriage Equality
January 10, 2011 – GLAAD
“Gov. Martin O'Malley has said that he would sign a SAME-SEX MARRIAGE bill into law.”
Maryland set to expand gay rights, same-sex marriage
By Evan Glass,
January 12, 2011 - CNN congressional producer
Washington (CNN) -- Maryland is poised to become the sixth state to recognize same-sex marriage as proponents say they believe they have enough support to pass such a measure in the upcoming legislative session.
The expansion of gay rights appears to have gained significant traction as Maryland's General Assembly begins its 90-day session Wednesday. Not only are Democrats optimistic about their chances of approving same-sex marriage, but a leading Republican, sensing momentum on the issue, has instead countered with a proposal to grant civil unions to gay couples.
Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley has publicly stated that he would sign a marriage bill into law. Maryland then would join Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C., in sanctioning same-sex marriages.
TO LIVE WITHOUT FRIENDSHIP IS TO LIVE LIKE A BEAST.
Aelred of Rievaulx “Spiritual Friendship”
January 12, Feast Day
An Excerpt from the Introduction:
Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) was a twelfth-century Cistercian abbot and well-known spiritual writer, whose treatise, Spiritual Friendship, is widely considered a classic of Christian spirituality. Inspired by Roman statesman, and orator, Marcus Tullius Cicero’s philosophical dialogue, On Friendship, Aelred approaches his subject from a decidedly religious standpoint, examining both the theoretical and practical aspects of friendship in the light of faith in Christ. Christian friendship, he maintains, is all about extending the fellowship of Christ to another. The more two persons grow as friends, the more they should sense the gentle, unobtrusive, yet abiding presence of this quiet third partner in their lives. He affirms this belief when talking to this friend Ivo at the outset of Book One, stating, “Here we are, you and I, and I hope a third, Christ, in our midst. Read more: Photo
Why is friendship important?
A. God created man for companionship.
• God has not left his creations alone but gives them a society. Human, likewise, were not left alone but given fellowship. By forming the second human from the rib of the first, God reveals that human beings are created equal.
• Man is born with a desire for friendship.
• Since a need for love is built into out nature—even evil men desire friendship
B. To live without friendship is to live like a beast.
• I would say that those men are beasts rather than human beings who declare that a man ought to live in such a way as to be to no one a source of consolation, to no one even of grief or burden; to take no delight in the good fortune of another, or impart to others no bitterness because of their own misfortune, caring to cherish no one and to be cherished by no one.
• Without companionship riches hold no charm for the greedy, nor glory the
ambitious, nor pleasure for the sensuous man.
• He is entirely alone who is without a friend
Russell, Kenneth C., "Aelred, the Gay Abbot of Rievaulx", Studia Mystica 5:4 (Winter 1982), 51-64
ABSTRACT: Was St Aelred of Rievaulx, the 12th century abbot of a Cistercian monastery in the north of England and the renowned author of Spiritual friendship, The mirror of love and several other spiritual classics, a homosexual? in Christianity, social tolerance, and homosexuality, John Boswell says bluntly that "there can be little question that Aelred was gay and that his erotic attraction to men was a dominant force in his life". Boswell analyses Aelred's writings to establish that he did exhibit a preference for love relationships with members of his own sex. Once this is demonstrated he is eager to move on to the next figure in his historical survey. Boswell's conclusions seem sound, but is it enough to know that Aelred was a homosexual? Surely, once it is established that Aelred was gay we want to know how this factor influenced his life....Aelred felt that his teaching on love was applicable to everyone, but the fact is that his refined understanding of the value of human love and of the laws by which it must be governed came out of his own gay experience....He became a saint and a spiritual master not by repressing his sensitivity but by trying to respond to its appeal. [excerpts].
"Aelred, the Gay Abbot of Rievaulx" (1109 – 1167) January 12, Feast Day
Lesbians, Feminism, and Psychoanalysis
- The Second Wave
By Judith Glassgold, and Suzanne Iasenza. 2004
by Donald J. Cantor, Elizabeth Cantor, James C. Black, and Campbell D. Barrett. 2006
Gay marriage isn't revolutionary.
It's just next.
By Stephanie Coontz,
January 9, 2010
The Washington Post
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee - unyielding force supporting - DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL Repeal Act of 2010 – ENDS discriminatory policy that “forces young men and women to lie,” – to lie – “about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.”
Difference Between Life & Death
Groundbreaking Study Finds Family Acceptance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Adolescents Protects Against Depression, Substance Abuse and Suicidal Behavior in Early Adulthood – by Caitlin Ryan, PhD, December 6, 2010 - FAMILY ACCEPTANCE PROJECT.
Despite all the recent attention to health risks and disparities for lesbian, gay and bisexual youth, prior to this study, little was known about how families express acceptance and support for their LGBT children. Moreover, no prior research had examined the relationship between family acceptance of LGBT adolescents and health and mental health concerns in emerging adulthood.
“At a time when the media and families are becoming acutely aware of the risk that many LGBT youth experience, our findings that family acceptance protects against suicidal thoughts and behaviors, depression and substance abuse offer a gateway to hope for LGBT youth and families that struggle with how to balance deeply held religious and personal values with love for their LGBT children,” said Caitlin Ryan, PhD, Director of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University. “I have worked on LGBT health and mental health for 35 years and putting our research into practice by developing a new model to help diverse families support their LGBT children is the most hopeful work I’ve ever done.”
Ann P. Haas, Ph.D., Director of Prevention Projects for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, noted, “With this new groundbreaking study, Ryan and her colleagues have provided the strongest evidence to date that acceptance and support from parents and caregivers promote well-being among LGBT youth and help protect them from depression and suicidal behavior. These findings open the door to a whole new focus on how families can be helped to more fully engage in the kind of behaviors that reduce suicide risk in LGBT adolescents and young adults.”
“Times have changed,” said Stephen Russell, PhD, President Elect of the Society for Research on Adolescence and a consultant to the Family Acceptance Project. “More and more families want to be accepting of their children. Yet, many families still struggle when a child comes out as LGBT. It’s essential to have research like this to deeply understand the ways that families show their acceptance, so that we can identify how to support families.”
The study, authored by Dr. Caitlin Ryan and her team from the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University, which shows that accepting behaviors of parents and caregivers towards their LGBT children are protective against mental health risks -- including suicidal behaviors -- has critical implications for changing how families relate to their LGBT children and how LGBT youth are served by a wide range of providers across disciplines and systems of care, including custodial care systems such as foster care. The study was funded by The California Endowment, a health foundation dedicated to expanding access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities…
Read complete report & more
found on the Family Acceptance Project™ website:
FAP Family Video Series
Helping diverse families understand how to support their LGBT children takes resources that touch the heart – like the sample video you see on this page. We are working to produce a series of 8 of these short documentary videos that show the journey from struggle to support of ethnically and religiously diverse families with LGBT children.
Funding is needed to help complete this protect – together with your help theFamily Acceptance Project™ will make a difference for the better for LGBT children, youth and families. Your generosity at this time in the lives of LGBT children and youth will be lasting throughout their lives including all the lives that will be touched by them. Dr. Caitlin Ryan explains on the Family Acceptance Project™ website the many ways that these videos will be used. Thank you for your kind consideration about making a donation to this life giving project for LGBT children and youth.
All Donations can be made directly on
Family Acceptance Project™ website:
The Family Acceptance Project™ is a multi-year project to study the experiences of LGBT youth and families. We will use our findings to help strengthen families and to develop training materials and interventions for health and mental health, and school-based providers, child welfare workers and family service workers. Photo
We're very resourceful in finding volunteers and donated services to make the best use of our limited resources. However, your individual or organizational contribution can make a significant difference in helping us carry out the project.
School Victimization of Gender-Nonconforming LGBT Youth Linked with Depression and Quality Of Life In Adulthood
Youth Development Current Trends
Dr. Caitlin Ryan and The Family Acceptance Projects’ Study of LGBT Youth
December 13, 2010
National Association of Social Workers
Gay Covering - "Covering: The Hidden Assault on our Civil Rights" - by Kenji Yoshino
"Covering: The Hidden Assault on our Civil Rights"
A conversation with author Kenji Yoshino about Yoshino's book.
April 20, 2006 – Charlie Rose
Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law
New York University School of Law
40 Washington Square South, 501
New York, NY 10012
The Literary Argument For Heightened Scrutiny For Gays Photo
November 1996 | 96 Columbia Law Review 1753
Assimilationist bias in equal protection: the visibility presumption and the case of "don't ask, don't tell"
by Kenji Yoshino
The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 108, 487 (1998)
Gay Civil Rights Movement
The Relationship Between ASSIMILATION and DISCRIMINATION | COVERING
by Kenji Yoshino,
December 31, 2001 – The Yale Law Journal Online
THE GAY TIPPING POINT
by Kenji Yoshino, UCLA Law Review Vol. 57, Issue 5 (June 2010) | “PREJUDICE AGAINST DISCRETE AND INSULAR MINORITIES”
By Kenji Yoshino Photo
New Rules Affirm
Pope Benedict's Stance Against Gays
By Daniel Williams,
October 8, 2005 – The Washington Post
ROME, Oct. 8 -- In the first five months of Pope Benedict XVI's reign, stern opposition to homosexuality in and outside the Roman Catholic Church has quickly become a prime public message for the Vatican.Photo
The new pontiff plans to issue guidelines that attempt to inhibit homosexuals from entering seminaries to train for the priesthood. Church inspectors have embarked on a tour of U.S. seminaries and, according to their working papers, are tasked to ask: "Is there evidence of homosexuality in the seminary? (This question must be answered.)"
Benedict also has energetically fought legal recognition of homosexual couples. Photo
For the church and for Benedict, taking a public stance on homosexuality is not unusual. Church observers have noted that for the quarter-century before becoming pope, Benedict, then known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, served as the Vatican's chief enforcer of orthodoxy, drafting official positions regarding homosexuality.
"No doctrinal chief has ever written and spoken about homosexuality as extensively as Ratzinger has, because homosexuals have never had the freedom to organize and demand recognition they enjoy today," wrote author John L. Allen Jr. in a biography of Benedict, published before he became pope.
His papacy's early focus on homosexuality is a reaction to outside events, some analysts have said: the spread of so-called civil unions or marriage rights to same-sex couples, and the disclosure of sexual abuse by priests. Vatican officials have largely blamed the abuse on homosexuality…
Some bishops note that the church already has prohibitions on homosexuals from entering the priesthood and suggest that a restatement will only make the church look intolerant, Vatican officials say…
Read complete report:
on gay priests create Catholic divide
by Charles Honey – October 8, 2005
The Grand Rapids Press
When the Rev. Martin Kurylowicz came out to his Sparta parish eight years ago, he said he had struggled for years with his homosexuality.
The Catholic priest says the struggle would be made harder for many others if the Vatican issues new rules that reportedly would ban gays from becoming priests…
…"I sizzled when I read it," said Kurylowicz, 55. "It's very hurtful, is what it is. In this day and age, there's no reason for it. It sends a message that there's something wrong with gays."
Kurylowicz said he spoke out then to raise awareness of violence against gays and teach others homosexuality is not a choice but an inborn trait. Church leaders still don't understand that and contribute to gays' poor self-esteem, he said…
…"Kids as young as 4 or 5 know they're different," said Kurylowicz, a psychotherapist… "They grow up with this pervasive guilt, which sabotages their growth and motivation." The result is thousands of dollars in therapy to accept their natural orientation, he said, adding, "Does the Vatican want to take that on, like the tobacco industry had to take on for the damage it caused consumers? "…
Read complete article:
by Charles Honey
The Grand Rapids Press – Archives
President of the United States
United States Congress
United States Supreme Court
50 United States Governors
Dear -- --------,
My name is Fr. Marty Kurylowicz, a Roman Catholic priest from the Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan ordained June 16, 1979.
In March 1997, after attending a National Symposium of the New Ways Ministry that was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I learned that children as young as 4 and 5 years of age know that they are different. This feeling "different" is only identified in their adult years as being gay. However, the harmful influence of antigay social and religious norms -- in particular, for Catholics, the Vatican’s unsubstantiated antigay teachings -- are severe and last throughout a child’s lifetime. The harmful effects are not isolated only to these children who grow up to be gay, but also affect their families, siblings, friends and anyone whom they might consider special in their lives. They are a prescribed societal sentence of implicit isolation, which place at risk of suicide so many innocent adolescents and young adults. They stifle an enormous amount of human potential in the world that otherwise could be put to use for finding cures for diseases, offering better ways of maintaining peace among people and improving the quality of life for everyone in the world.
Homosexuality in Sodom and Gomorrah
by The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson
December 8, 2010 – The Washington Post
Gay marriage -> Restoring
"Hope of Love"
March 23, 2010 – by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
Marriage Equality, like Galileo, is the truth about the facts of growing up gay. Marriage Equality will not become a reality until people learn that its most vital purpose is that it restores the “hope of love” to children in early childhood – essential to their development and well-being for life. Without Marriage Equality we teach children how to hate love and how to be mean and indifferent to people as adults. With all due respect, without Marriage Equality we would teach them in much the same way as has been shown by Benedict XVI and the hierarchy, especially in their lack of care and protection of children for decades.
facing the Roman Inquisition - Read more
Ecclesiastes 1:5 (New International Version)
5 The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
Ecclesiastes 1:5 (New American Standard Bible)
5 Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to its place it rises there again.
1 Chronicles 16:30 (New International Version)
30 Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
1 Chronicles 16:30 (New American Standard Bible)
30 Tremble before Him, all the earth; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.
Psalm 93:1 (New International Version)
1 The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
Psalm 93:1 (New American Standard Bible)
1 The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.
Psalm 96:10 (New International Version)
10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.
Psalm 96:10 (New American Standard Bible)
10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; He will judge the peoples with equity."
5 He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
Psalm 104:5 (New American Standard Bible)
5 He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever.
AUTHORITARIAN ≠ AUTHORITATIVE – June 27, 2009 | Pope described as …"so averse to anything intellectual that everyone has to play dense and ignorant to gain his favor"-- The Trial of Galileo - by Douglas O. Linder (2002) | Benedict XVI UNSUBSTANTIATED Antigay Teachings
"If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" Mt 6:23 | Benedict XVI – "Light of the World" | Hitler – "Mein Kampf" | NARCISSISTIC BULLY | WORLD REMAINS SILENT Photo
Gay Marriage - WITCH HUNTS ->The Crucible (1996) -> McCarthyism 1940’s -1950’s, -> Benedict XVI 2005 Photo
30 years of Ratzinger/Benedict XVI’s - Directives To Hierarchy – To make - THREATS, SILENCE, HARM AND DISPOSAL of Catholic Personnel Supportive of LGBT Adults and Children Photo
The Truth Will Make Us Free:
A Queer Year in Review
by Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Ph.D.,
December 28, 2010 – The Huffington Post
Anti-gay Christians love to quote John 8:32, which says that "the truth will make you free." According to them, if only lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people would simply accept the truths of the Christian faith, we would discover the error of our ways, repent of our sins and miraculously change our misdirected sexual orientations and/or gender identities.
As an openly-gay theologian, ordained Christian minister and seminary professor at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I agree that the truth will make us free. However, the anti-gay Christians have it backwards. As the groundbreaking events of 2010 have demonstrated, it is actually the truth of thefundamental goodness of LGBT people and our lives that will make us free. Ironically, this truth also will free anti-gay Christians of their own heterosexist prejudices and theological blind spots.
What were some of the truths about the goodness of LGBT people and our lives that were demonstrated in 2010? In August, the first fully-litigated U.S. federal court trial about same-sex marriage concluded that there was no rational basis for prohibiting LGBT people from entering into civil marriage. The trial court struck down California Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot initiative that stripped LGBT people in California of the right to marry. Judge Vaughn R. Walker's ruling demonstrated the truth that LGBT civil marriages are grounded in the same ethical values of love, mutual caring and commitment as non-LGBT civil marriages.
What if the warning of Romans 1:18-21 against the "ungodliness" and "wickedness" of those who "suppress the truth" -- and those whose "senseless minds" are "darkened" -- actually referred to those anti-gay Christians who fail to acknowledge the truth and empirical evidence about the fundamental goodness and loving nature of LGBT people and our relationships?
Read complete report:
Patrick S. Cheng is a theologian, seminary professor, and ordained minister. He is the Assistant Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He holds a Ph.D., M.Phil., and M.A. in systematic theology from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. He also holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. from Yale College.
Patrick is an ordained minister with the Metropolitan Community Churches, an LGBT-affirming Christian denomination that is open to all people. He is the coordinator of Queer Asian Spirit, an organization dedicated to the spiritual and religious lives of LGBT people of Asian descent around the world and their allies. Patrick lives with his husband of nearly two decades, Michael. His website iswww.patrickcheng.net.
Read complete bio:
Know thyself – Plato John Paul II
This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. - William Shakespeare
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. - Luke 6:40-42 Photo
What you cannot do is accept injustice.
From Hitler – or anyone.
You must make the injustice visible – be prepared to die like a soldier to do so.
Kids Are Being Hurt!!!