Tag Archives: Catholicism

US: Catholic Church fires lesbian music director after 3 decades

Image courtesy of Sarah Ward

Terry Gonda loves the Catholic church, though it hasn’t always loved her back — at least unconditionally.

After three decades helping run the musical life of her parish, Gonda was fired from her job as music director Wednesday for being married to a woman — a relationship that she says was never a secret. Not with her family, friends, church or pastor.

But in recent weeks, Gonda said, someone within the Detroit Archdiocese caught wind of her marital status and decided that something needed to be done, that her same-sex marriage made her morally unfit to keep her job.

As was explained to her in a June 12 email: “The Archdiocese is choosing to activate its morality clause to terminate your employment.”

The words stung Gonda, who has long stood by the embattled Catholic church despite its strained relationship with the LGBTQ community and its past: The sex abuse scandal involving pedophile priests. The coverups. Homosexuals denied Communion. Lesbians fired from teaching jobs.

Continue reading at: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/oakland/2020/06/24/detroit-archdiocese-terry-gonda-catholic-church-same-sex-marriage/3247103001/ (Source)

U.S.: Catholic church counselling in spotlight after suicide of young lesbian

Alana Chen

Like many teenagers, Alana Chen was sometimes not where she’d told her parents she was going. But while other teens were sneaking out to parties, Chen would tell her parents she was going out with friends and instead take the bus from her family’s home in the suburbs of Boulder, Colorado, to St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church downtown.

Chen was holding on to other secrets as well. Without her parents’ knowledge, Chen’s family says, she was receiving spiritual guidance from a priest at St. Thomas Aquinas, who told her that there was something she could never tell her family: She was a lesbian.

Chen struggled for many years to keep this secret, according to her family, and tried to follow the church’s teachings. But repressing her sexuality led to serious mental health problems that caused her to be hospitalized in 2016, Chen told The Denver Post last year.

Chen eventually left the church, feeling it was impossible to reconcile her sexual orientation and her Catholicism. In early 2019, she went away to Prescott College, in Arizona, to be farther away from St. Thomas Aquinas.

She seemed to be doing better, but on Dec. 7, while on a visit home, Chen, 24, was declared missing. After a search, her body was found at Gross Reservoir in Boulder County on Dec. 9. The Boulder County Coroner’s Office has ruled her death a suicide.

Chen’s death has focused attention on how religious institutions handle the question of sexuality in their counseling, especially when the counselor’s faith teaches that homosexuality is wrong or sinful. Last year, Colorado banned gay conversion therapy for minors. That ban, however, exempts religious counselors.

That’s something Chen’s mother and sister want to see changed. They believe the religious counseling Chen received contributed to her death.

Since her passing, Chen’s family said, nobody from the Denver Archdiocese has reached out directly to them. (Haas said this is because it did not believe that contact would be welcome.) Her funeral was held at a local Episcopal parish.

“People will say different things about her suicide and how that came to be,” Carissa Chen said. “I think the church played a huge role in the years of trauma and treatment that she went through and ultimately her suicide, and they’re just going to have to live with that. We all will now.”

Continue reading at: https://religionnews.com/2020/01/29/a-young-womans-suicide-puts-focus-on-churchs-counseling-for-lgbt-catholics/ (Source)

The Alana Faith Chen foundation: https://alanafaithchen.org/

U.S: Catholic diocese denies lesbian judge communion

judge

A church in Michigan denied Holy Communion to a state district court judge because she is married to a woman.

Judge Sara Smolenski, the chief judge of Michigan’s 63rd District Court, received a call from the priest at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, requesting she not attend communion.

Judge Sara Smolenski was told she could no longer receive communion at her Catholic Church because she is married to a woman.

“This is not about me against the priest, and it’s not really me against the church,” Smolenski told CNN. “This feels like selective discrimination. Why choose gay people, and why now?”

Smolenski, 62, said that the Rev. Scott Nolan, the priest at St. Stephen for approximately three years, called her on November 23 and told her, “‘It was good to see you in church on Sunday. Because you and Linda are married in the state of Michigan, I’d like you to respect the church and not come to communion.'”

Continue reading: https://edition.cnn.com/2019
/11/30/us/gay-michigan-judge-communion/index.html
(Source)

Vatican rejects International Woman’s Day event over lesbian speaker

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At a time when women around the world are speaking up against abuse and demanding greater gender equality, the Vatican’s actions to silence these women speakers have prompted some Catholics to reflect on whether the church really values women’s voices.
Ssenfuka Joanita Warry, a lesbian Catholic activist from Uganda, was reportedly one of the women whose presence at the conference did not meet the approval of the Vatican.
During the conference, Warry spoke about what life was like for her as a lesbian activist in a country where homosexuality is illegal. She condemned the silence of religious leaders in the face of this discrimination against queer Ugandans.

Continue Reading at: https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/
catholic-women-voices-of-faith-conference-vatican_us_5aa164dee4b002df2c61e586

(source)

Lesbian Miami Catholic school teacher fired for marrying girlfriend

The first-grade teacher, who had taught at the school for nearly seven years, returned to her job Wednesday after marrying her partner in a same-sex wedding ceremony over the weekend. That’s when she learned she was no longer employed.

Continue reading at: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/
national/lesbian-miami-school-teacher-fired-marrying-girlfriend-article-1.3812762
(Source)

Illinois: Lesbian couple’s son denied enrollment in Catholic school

Kate and Ann Bloomfield planned to send their sons to Catholic school and raise them in the Catholic Church — until about a month ago, that is, when they were told they could not enroll their oldest son in school because they’re lesbians. That’s the response the Bloomfields received when they inquired about preschool at the Cathedral of St. Peter School in Rockford.

Continue reading at: Lesbian couple’s son denied enrollment in Rockford Catholic school – News – Rockford Register Star – Rockford, IL (Source)