US Catholic Faith in Real Life

One gay priest's story

By Father Raymond Calabrese| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Defying the current scapegoating and stereotypes, a priest shares his journey and struggle.

My Roman collar caused Mrs. H to hesitate. She knew I was gay, but she also recalled a sermon in which her pastor had said that unless gays repented, they had no place in the church, let alone heaven. She had looked for a priest who would understand that her gay son was dying of AIDS. There was no one in her community to confide in, least of all the parish priest.

What I learned from Father Dan: Let's not scapegoat gay priests

By Margaret Brennan| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Many gay priests have served and continue to serve our church well. Let's not make them scapegoats for the sins of others.

In our church and in the media there has been much talk about the recently released Vatican instruction on vocation discernment and gay seminarians. As a middle-aged, married woman and the mother of two teenage children who has worked for most of her professional life in ministry, why should I care to add to that debate? Shouldn't I just leave the commenting to a gay priest or seminarian?

Pride and prejudice: A history of the relationship between gay and lesbian Catholics and their church

By Kristen Hannum| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

1969: Dignity, the first group for gay and lesbian Catholics, is founded. The Stonewall Riots, considered the beginning of the gay rights movement, follow a police raid on a gay bar in Greenwich Village.

1973: The American Psychiatric Association votes to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.

1974: The National Federation of Priests Councils and the National Coalition of American Nuns adopts a platform supporting the “civil rights of homosexual persons.”

Pride and prejudice: The uneasy relationship between gays and lesbians and their church

By Kristen Hannum| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
As church leaders turn up the volume on same-sex marriage, gay and lesbian Catholics find themselves wondering just where they stand in their church.

On a clear, windy Sunday in March 2010, Father William Breslin told his parishioners at Sacred Heart of Jesus in Boulder, Colorado why the parish school would not re-enroll a child of same-sex parents for the coming school year.

The mamas and the papas: What it's like for Catholic parents of GLBT children

By Kristen Hannum| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Parents have much to say about the church and their children.

The young priest preached on the sanctity of life at a Denver hospice. Afterward an older couple asked him if their son, who had died of AIDS, would be in hell forever. The priest said he couldn’t answer that.

More than 20 years later Shawn Reynolds still remembers the anguish on the couple’s faces. “He didn’t say anything about Christ’s love,” Reynolds says.

Built of living stones

By Cyprian Davis| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

The history of African American Catholicism began with the arrival of the Spanish settlers in the 16th century in Florida. In fact, on the first page of the 16th-century baptismal registers are the names of black infants who were baptized into the Body of Christ along with white infants in St. Augustine Church.

Dancing with the stars: An interview with astronomer George Coyne, S.J.

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
With 10,000 billion billion heavenly bodies in the cosmic ballroom, God has created a grand universe of possibilities.

As a priest and an astronomer, Jesuit Father George Coyne bridges the worlds of faith and science, but he’s quick to acknowledge that they serve two different purposes. “I can’t know if there is a God or if there is not a God by science,” he says.

Bring remarried Catholics back to the table

By Father Paul M. Zulehner| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Editors’ note: Sounding Board is one person’s take on a many-sided subject and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.

Poorly worded: Can we have a Mass that speaks to real people?

By Father William J. O’Malley, S.J.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
The translators of the new Mass prayers have neglected one cardinal rule: Consider your audience.

As the days dwindled before their triumphal entry, the new liturgical changes had not yet risen to even an underwhelming response. “One in being” in the creed pretty much satisfied the mass of still-loyal Catholics, since they neither understood what it meant nor cared enough to Google it. And its replacement, “consubstantial,” is hollower and even less intriguing. Parishioners’ only real problem is why such stuff even matters.

Web Only: More from Phyllis Zagano on women deacons

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

With so many lay ecclesial ministers and directors of religious education out there, many of whom are women, why would a bishop “need” a woman as a deacon?

If I were a bishop, I would want a cadre of people I have trained and ordained, and to whom I have given faculties. The ordained women deacons would be catechists and would prepare people for sacraments. After they have prepared women and men to marry or to be received in the church, these deacons could actually perform the ceremony.