The stroke of midnight this past Sunday morning ushered in a new era in human rights for gay and lesbian New Yorkers. From Niagara Falls to the southern shore of Long Island, same sex couples, many of them already in committed relationships for decades, were awarded hundreds of legal rights they had long been denied.
Grace on the Margins
Some of those living outside of the New York metro area may have read about last week’s shocking murder of Leiby Kletzky, an eight-year old boy from an Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn.
Kletzky disappeared while walking home from day camp. It was his first time walking alone and he took a wrong turn. He stopped to ask a man for directions. Cameras show the man bringing Kletzky into his car. It was the last time Kletzky was seen alive.
It’s been more than a decade since the Vatican attempted to silence Sr. Jeannine Gramick and Fr. Robert Nugent from their work with gay and lesbian Catholics.
Though Nugent agreed in 2000 to abide by the church’s prohibition on speaking and writing about homosexuality, Gramick politely declined. In a statement that has become a mantra for many Catholics who seek reforms in the institutional church, Gramick responded, “I choose not to collaborate in my own oppression.”
It took nearly two days for Archbishop Timothy Dolan to comment on the historic passage of legislation allowing gays and lesbian to marry in the state of New York.
He waited until he had concluded Sunday Mass at St. Patrick’s on the Feast of Corpus Christi. As chance, or the Holy Spirit, would have it, this was also Gay Pride Sunday.
I can’t remember a time when I looked forward to Father’s Day. For most of my life, I had the dubious distinction of being the child of what some refer to as a “deadbeat dad.”
Deadbeat dads were those fathers who failed to pay child support, and who often ran off to another state (Florida and Arizona seemed particularly popular) and didn’t keep in contact with their kids.
Scholars do it.
Activists do it.
Even educated, justice-oriented parishioners do it.
No, Cole Porter fans, I’m not talking about falling in love, but rather falling fall prey to the internalized clericalism of the laity.
Later today, Oprah Winfrey will present the final episode of the epic 25-year run of her talk show. Whether you belong to the Oprah or the "Just Say Noprah" camp, it is difficult to deny that, for millions, Winfrey's program has been much more than a talk show. The devotion that she has inspired goes beyond her massive car and gift giveaways and her ability to attract the most powerful celebrities to her stage.
Earlier this week, Jim Wallis and Sojourners magazine, upheld by many as the great, white, progressive hope of Protestant Evangelicalism, found themselves on the defense after rejecting a video ad from an organization called Believe Out Loud.
The ad, which can be seen on Youtube, shows a young boy walking up the aisle of a church flanked by two adults. As the threesome moves past the pews, children point at them and adults give them disapproving stares. When they reach the front of the church, the camera raises to show that the boy is accompanied by his two mothers. A clergyman looks at them from the sanctuary and announces, “Welcome, everyone.”
As the progressive Catholic world continues to lament the imminent expulsion of Fr. Roy Bourgeois from the Maryknoll community, Bishop Patricia Fresen stands as a quiet reminder that many Catholic women have already suffered a similar fate for publicly supporting women's ordination.
Of all of the celebrations that rang out after the death of Osama bin Laden was announced, the festivities that erupted on U.S. college campuses were particularly intriguing.