3 big US churches in turmoil over sex abuse, LGBT policy

By : wire report
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It has been a wrenching season for three of America’s largest religious denominations, as sex-abuse scandals and a schism over LGBT inclusion fuel anguish and anger within the Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist and United Methodist churches. There’s rising concern that the crises will boost the ranks of young people disillusioned by organized religion.

“Every denomination is tremendously worried about retaining or attracting young people,” said Stephen Schneck, a political science professor at Catholic University. “The sex-abuse scandals will have a spillover effect on attitudes toward religion in general. I don’t think any denomination is going to not take a hit.”

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Pope Francis says “there is no place” for gay people in the priesthood

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VATICAN CITY (AP) | Pope Francis has been quoted in a soon-to-be published book as saying that having gays in the clergy “is something that worries me” and remarking that some societies are considering homosexuality a “fashionable” lifestyle.

Italian daily Corriere della Sera’s website ran excerpts of the book Dec. 1 in the form of an interview that Francis gave about religious vocations. Francis was quoted as describing homosexuality within the walls of seminaries, convents and other religious places where clergy live as “a very serious question.”

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Colorado Archbishop calls out Catholic school for supporting student drag show

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DENVER (AP) | The Catholic archbishop of Denver called out a local Jesuit-Catholic university’s provost for encouraging faculty to attend a student drag show.

The Denver Post reports Regis University Provost Janet Houser urged teachers to attend the show as a way of supporting LGBTQ students. Houser also suggested they avoid language that reinforces the gender binary — including saying “ladies and gentlemen.”

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Musical sensation ‘Nunsense A-men’ comes to the Winter Park Playhouse

By : Randa Griffin and Jeremy Williams
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Anyone who has spent time at a parochial school run by Catholic fathers and sisters, where the halls are filled with the Holy Spirit and the faculty are covered in habits, know one thing for certain: nuns are hilarious.

Before Whoopi Goldberg played a showgirl-turned-nun in Sister Act and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, and before Sister Rose and Sister Blanche started collecting lingerie for needy sexy people in an episode of The Golden Girls, Dan Goggin had created the hilarious musical comedy Nunsense.

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Pastor rejects gay musicians from Minnesota Catholic Church

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TAYLORS FALLS, Minn. (AP) — Members of a rural Catholic parish in eastern Minnesota are at odds over the dismissal of three gay men from a church musical ensemble after the new pastor learned they are in same-sex marriages.

The Pioneer Press reports that Bob Bernard, one of the dismissed men, said he has no plans to leave the church and that none of them wants the pastor’s decision to lead to protests against the Catholic Church.

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Catholic priest comes out to congregation, receives standing ovation

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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(Screenshot via YouTube)

A Roman Catholic priest in Milwaukee has come out as gay making him one of the few Catholic priests to publicly come out.

Rev. Gregory Greiten first told parishioners at St. Bernadette Parish on Sunday and received a standing ovation.

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Wisconsin Catholic leader criticized for email on funerals for gays

By : Wire Report
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A top aide to Bishop Robert Morlino has issued guidance to priests in the Catholic Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, that critics say could limit the availability of funeral rites within the church for gay people.

Vicar General James Bartylla emailed a newsletter to priests Oct. 21, with the bishop’s approval, that says rites “may be denied for manifest sinners” if they would cause unavoidable “public scandal of the faithful,” the Wisconsin State Journal reported Oct. 25.

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Malta set to legalize same-sex marriage this month

By : Helen Parshall of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Lawmakers in Malta on Wednesday nearly unanimously approved a bill that would allow same-sex couples to legally marry. The Marriage Equality Bill — which is anticipated to receive final approval next week without government opposition — is another sign of the progress the majority Catholic country has made towards LGBT equality in the last decade.

“Malta wants to keep leading on LGBT issues and civil liberties, to serve as a model for the rest of the world,” said Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in a recent interview with the BBC.

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Catholic university in Kansas plans LGBTQ group

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Newman University, a private Catholic school in Wichita, plans to offer a group next year to support its LGBTQ students while continuing to emphasize Catholic teaching that condones sex only in marriage between a man and a woman.

In response to growing interest among students to recognize the school’s diversity, the university formed a committee to plan the LGBTQ group. The committee met over the summer and fall of 2016 and used a model used at Notre Dame, The Wichita Eagle reported.

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Pope taps new cardinal for Newark as he remakes US church

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VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pressing his campaign to remake the U.S. Catholic church, Pope Francis Nov. 8 tapped one of his new cardinals, Joseph Tobin, to replace the Newark, New Jersey, archbishop who has been criticized for allegedly mishandling sex-abuse cases and spending lavishly on his retirement home.

The Vatican announced that Tobin would succeed Archbishop John Myers, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 in July. Tobin, currently the archbishop of Indianapolis, is one of three American prelates whom Francis will formally elevate as cardinals on Nov. 19 at the Vatican.

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Suit alleging Catholic school same-sex marriage bias will proceed

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HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) – A judge has rejected a Roman Catholic school’s request that she reconsider dismissing a lawsuit filed by a former employee who claims she was fired because she’s married to a woman.

The Record reports the ruling made by Superior Court Judge Lisa Perez Friscia was made public on Oct. 21.

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Church fires music director for marrying same-sex partner

By : Wire Report
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A music director at a Catholic church in Rhode Island says he has been fired because he married a man.

Michael Templeton tells The Providence Journal he was fired last week from his post at the Church of St. Mary in Providence. He says the Rev. Francesco Francese and a representative of the Diocese of Providence told him he needed to leave because of his 2015 marriage to his partner of five years.

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