Mormon president surprises with transformative first year

By : wire report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | At 94, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has proved a far more vigorous and transformative figure than scholars expected when he took office a year ago, pushing through a flurry of surprising changes on such matters as LGBTQ members and the name of the faith.

Russell M. Nelson made his biggest move yet on April 4 when he rescinded rules banning baptisms for children of gay parents and branding same-sex couples apostates subject to excommunication. Those 2015 policies had generated widespread backlash.

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LGBTI activists urge Vatican to condemn homosexuality criminalization laws

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A group of more than 50 LGBTI rights advocates met April 5 with a high-ranking Vatican official and renewed their calls for the Catholic Church to condemn laws that criminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations.

ILGA World in a press release said the activists met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, and presented him with “the preliminary findings of a research project” that focuses on the criminalization of consensual same-sex sexual relations in the Caribbean. National LGBT Bar Association Executive Director D’Arcy Kemnitz, ILGA World Co-Secretary General Luz Elena Aranda and IBM Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Tia Silas are among those who met with Parolin.

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Pope travels to Loreto shrine to sign youth document

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LORETO, Italy (AP) | Pope Francis has traveled to a major Italian pilgrimage site dedicated to the Virgin Mary to sign a new document dedicated to today’s youth.

Francis celebrated Mass on March 25 in Loreto’s cathedral and then signed the document in private. It will be translated and released in the coming weeks or months, providing Francis’ take on the October 2018 meeting of the world’s bishops on ways to better minister to today’s young people.

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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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Sanctions, sex abuse and silence: A primer on the pope saga

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VATICAN CITY (AP) | Two weeks after Pope Francis’ papacy was thrown into crisis by accusations that he covered-up sexual misconduct by ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Francis has refused to respond, his accuser has changed his story and a host of new characters have entered the fray.

Cardinals, bishops, priests and ordinary faithful, meanwhile, are demanding answers, given that the Vatican knew about it as early as 2000.

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Vatican removes reference to ‘psychiatric help’ for gay kids

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VATICAN CITY (AP) | The Vatican scrubbed from the official transcript of Pope Francis’ in-flight press conference a comment that young gay children might seek psychiatric help.

Francis was asked Aug. 26 what he would tell a father whose child comes out as gay. Francis said he would counsel prayer, dialogue and space, but that it depended on the child’s age when this “turmoil” manifested itself.

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Irish prime minister raises LGBTI issues during papal visit

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar raised LGBTI-specific issues during Pope Francis’ two-day visit to the country.

Varadkar, who is openly gay, on Saturday in a speech in front of Francis at Dublin Castle pointed out same-sex couples can legally marry in Ireland. Varadkar also noted Irish voters in May voted overwhelmingly to legalize abortion in the country.

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Cardinal McCarrick scandal inflames debate over gay priests

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NEW YORK (AP)| Allegations that disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick engaged in sex with adult seminarians have inflamed a long-running debate about the presence of gay men in the Roman Catholic priesthood.

Some conservatives are calling for a purge of all gay priests, a challenging task given that they are believed to be numerous and few are open about their sexual orientation. Moderates want the church to eliminate the need for secrecy by proclaiming that gay men are welcome if they can be effective priests who commit to celibacy.

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Pope to gay sex abuse victim: ‘God loves you’

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Juan Carlos Cruz is a gay man from Chile who met with Pope Francis earlier this month at the Vatican. Rev. Fernando Karadima, a former priest at a parish in the Chilean capital of Santiago, sexually abused Cruz and hundreds of other boys and young men over more than three decades. (Photo courtesy of Juan Carlos Cruz)

A gay man from Chile who was sexually abused by a priest said Pope Francis told him earlier this month that God “loves you.”

Juan Carlos Cruz and two other victims of Rev. Fernando Karadima — José Murillo and James Hamilton — met with Francis at the Vatican.

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LGBTQ community cheers pope’s ‘God made you like this’ remark

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis’ reported comments to a gay man that “God made you like this” have been embraced by the LGBTQ community as another sign of Francis’ desire to make gays feel welcomed and loved in the Catholic Church.

Juan Carlos Cruz said Monday he spoke to Francis about his homosexuality during their meetings at the Vatican. Cruz was the main whistleblower in Chile’s clerical sex abuse and cover-up scandal, and met last month with Francis to discuss it.

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LGBT activists protest Pope Francis in Chile

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The Archdiocese of Santiago de Chile hung this banner on the front of the Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral in anticipation of Pope Francis‘ visit to Chile. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers.

Pope Francis on Monday arrived in Chile amid protests from LGBT rights activists.

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New book alleges gay sex in Vatican dorm, shady banking

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ROME (AP) – The Italian journalist who was put on trial by the Vatican for publishing confidential documents has written a new book alleging a host of Catholic sins, including gay sex in the Vatican’s youth seminary.

Gianluigi Nuzzi’s “Original Sin” went on sale Thursday. At a news conference, Nuzzi said his lawyers had hand-delivered a copy to the Vatican’s criminal prosecutor, saying at least one of the seminarians was a minor at the time of the alleged escapades.

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