Tuesday Thoughts

The Times newspaper of London, England, has published a letter to the editor on 13.08.12 from 27 British Catholics expressing support for the United Kingdom’s proposed legislation to legalize same-gender marriage.  
(It is not possible to link to the text on the Times’ website because a subscription is required to access letters to the editor.) 

I find it strange that the Times was chosen as it is one of the few UK newspapers that require subscription to read.

The 27 signatories include James Alison (theologian & priest), Tina Beattie (theologian), Mary Grey (theologian), Bernard Lynch (priest), Martin Pendergast (Chair, Centre for the Study of Christianity & Sexuality).
The text of the letter reads:
“Sir,  Not all Catholics share their hierarchy’s stated views against proposals to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples. Nevertheless, the submission by the Catholic Bishops of England & Wales  to the Government’s equal civil marriage consultation indicates a growing understanding about legislating for same-sex unions, compared with its 2003 position, when it firmly opposed civil partnerships.
“It seems  to us, as Catholic laity, theologians and clergy, important to uphold some key pastoral care principles used by the Catholic Church in England & Wales. Its 1979 guidelines stated that the Church has a serious responsibility to work towards the elimination of any injustices perpetrated on homosexuals by society.
“In 1997 Cardinal Hume wrote that love between two persons, whether of the same sex, or of a different sex, is to be treasured and respected. This respect demands that such loving relationships be afforded social recognition according to social justice principles. 
He proposed three criteria for considering issues of social policy:
are there reasonable grounds for judging that the institution of marriage and the family could, and would be undermined by a change in law?
Would society’s rejection of a proposed change be more harmful to the common good than the acceptance of such a change?
Does a person’s sexual orientation or activity constitute, in specific circumstances, a sufficient reason for treating that person in any way differently from other citizens? 
We suggest that it is perfectly proper for Catholics, using fully informed consciences, to support the legal extension of civil marriage to same-sex couples.”
The full list of signers:
James Alison, Theologian & priest
Ruby Almeida
, Chair of Quest (LGBT Catholics)
Tina Beattie
, Theologian  
Mike Castelli
, Educationalist
Mark Dowd
, Journalist
Michael Egan
, Chair, Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement
Maria Exall
Chair, Trade Unions Congress LGBT Committee
John Falcone
, Theologian
Eileen Fitzpatrick
, Educationalist
Kieran Fitszimons
, Priest
Mary Grey
, Theologian
Kevin Kelly
, Theologian & priest
Ted Le Riche
, Retired educationalist
Bernard Lynch
, Priest
Gerard Loughlin
, Theologian
Francis McDonagh
, Lay-person
Patrick McLoughlin
, Priest
Anthony Maggs
, Priest
Lorraine Milford
, Lay-person
Frank Nally,
Priest                                                                                                                         Martin Pendergast,
Chair, Centre for the Study of Christianity & Sexuality

Sophie Stanes,
Joe Stanley
, Lay-person
Valerie Stroud,
Chair, Catholics for a Changing Church
Terry Weldon,
Editor, Queering the Church
Matias Wibowo,
Deborah Woodman,
Clinical Psychologist

Stand by Ruth Forman

why so afraid to stand up?

someone will tell you

sit down?

but here is the truth

someone will always tell you

sit down

the ones we remember

kept standing.

David Steindl-Rast, Ph.D., a Benedictine monk.

He proclaims that the message of Christianity is that we are all related to God and through God to each other.

He also explains how the genuine spiritual tradition of all religions encourages the cultivation of independent action and conscience.

NOTE: This is an excerpt from a 30-minute DVD.

On Fear and Fundamentalism

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