This month's Synod of Bishops of the family gained unprecedented world media attention, particularly after a midterm report from Rome suggested that the bishops were considering a significant pastoral shift in outreach toward the LGBT community. While the discussion and, at times, infighting among the bishops have made it unclear what direction and how significant this pastoral shift will actually be, we do know that the process has begun.
The Nigerian bishops oppose gay marriage but do not support the criminalization of homosexuals, said Nigerian Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama in Rome while attending the Synod of Bishops on the family.
The media misunderstood the position of the Nigerian church, he said. "The Catholic church respects all human beings. And we believe that we are all created in the image and likeness of God," he said. But for cultural and religious reasons, "we Africans believe that marriage is between a man and a woman."
"That does not mean that we hate people of that orientation," he added.
Of the 40-some employees who have lost jobs at Catholic institutions since 2008, nearly half have lost their jobs this year.
In a one-on-one conversation following a public speaking engagement, Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley said that the firing of church workers because of LGBT issues is a situation that "needs to be rectified."
Earlier in the evening, the cardinal spoke of the need to include and minister to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in light of Pope Francis' new vision for the church.
Column: At the age of 50, principal Pete Cahall was tired. Not physically. Emotionally. Hiding his sexuality was wearing him out.
We say: A religious organization does not hire an inclination or an act, it hires a person, and the church has affirmed that gay people are to be loved.
If in the future, most American Christians support same-sex relationships, it will be due to the emergence of a certain type of conservative Christian.
A 20-year effort to protect gays and lesbians from workplace discrimination is facing a major setback after a coalition of gay rights groups and civil liberties groups pulled their support because of an exemption for religious groups.
The American Civil Liberties Union and four gay rights groups said they can no longer support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby case over contraception coverage, which allowed some businesses to claim a religious exemption in following federal law.
Faith and Justice: The goal of the White House order is laudable, but it remains to be seen how the bishops and the church will handle it.
Just Catholic: Can hot-button topics be discussed rationally, or have media and the blogosphere dragged everybody into an unending screaming match?