The excommunication of an Australian priest known for being outspoken on his support of same-sex marriage and ordaining women for priesthood is keeping the discussion about where Pope Francis stands on moral and social issues at the forefront.
Earlier this year, Greg Reynolds was defrocked and excommunicated for his views via a direct order from the Vatican, according to the Australian publication The Age. Reportedly the first excommunicate in Melbourne, Reynolds had already resigned as a parish priest in 2011 and had founded a progressive Catholic group known as Inclusive Catholics.
Negotiations are still in the process regarding benefits for Reynolds in light of his 32 years of service to the Roman Catholic Church as a priest, according to The Age. more >>
A transgendered man is suing the University of Pittsburgh, arguing that he was discriminated against due to his gender identity.
Seamus Johnston of Cambria County filed suit against the University Monday, arguing officials at the Johnstown campus violated his rights regarding use of male locker rooms and restrooms.
Brought before the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations, the 24-year-old Johnston will be representing himself. more >>
Pope Francis stated in his most in-depth interview thus far on the Roman Catholic Church, published Thursday, that he affirms the social views of the Church, including on homosexuality and abortion, but believes that other issues should also gain focus.
Francis told interviewer, the Rev. Antonio Spadaro, editor of La Civilta Cattolica, that he did not believe the Church should only focus and speak on hot-button issues. "We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible," said the Pontiff in the recently published interview.
"I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context." more >>
A state bill that would have stripped the Boy Scouts of America of its tax exempt status if passed has been tabled by the California Legislature.
State Senate Bill 323, a proposal that would have amended the state tax code, was tabled by lawmakers on Thursday. Introduced by State Senator Ricardo Lara in February, SB 323 adds "gender identity" and "sexual orientation" to the list of groups that a youth organization cannot discriminate against when determining membership.
"Notwithstanding any other law, an organization organized and operated exclusively as a public charity youth organization that discriminates on the basis of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or religious affiliation shall not be exempt from taxes imposed by this part," reads SB 323's amendment to the current state tax code. more >>
Marquette University, a Catholic college in Milwaukee, Wis., is once again mired in controversy involving FemSex, a female sexuality workshop with classes on masturbation, orgasms and erotica.
According to its syllabus, FemSex is a weekly workshop that provides "a safe space for exploration" into women's sexuality. Modelled off of other student-led courses at UC Berkeley and Brown University, it includes group discussions, activities and individual exercises. The more controversial themes include "orgasms, masturbation, sex, kink, and sexual identities."
Ethan Hollenberger, an alumnus who raised concerns about the workshop with the university's president in February, told the Marquette Tribune that: "When an academic program sponsors (FemSex), you see the (Marquette) Catholic identity eroding." more >>
San Antonio passed Thursday a nondiscrimination ordinance that includes sexual orientation and gender identity. Some Christian leaders have voiced concerns that the ordinance will by used to discriminate against them.
The ordinance passed, 7-3, with Mayor Julian Castro (D) voting with the majority. The ordinance has received much local and national attention. About 2,000 residents showed up throughout the week to voice their opinions on the issue, local news reports say, and a majority were opposing the ordinance. Many of those protestors represented black and Latino church groups.
The new ordinance will include "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" among a list of categories for which discrimination will be prohibited. more >>