Catholic Church Prepares For Ordination Of Transgender Priest

If you just looked out the window to see if pigs are soaring across the clouds, you’re not alone. The North American Old Catholic Church, a congregation that combines Catholic teachings with progressive values, is set to ordain a transgender priest in Minnesota.

GLAAD shares the press release detailing the ordination of Shannon T.L. Kearns:

Shannon T.L. Kearns

The North American Old Catholic Church, one of the largest Old Catholic bodies in the United States, will ordain Shannon T.L. Kearns to the priesthood on January 19, 2013. Kearns, who is a transgender man, will be tasked with starting a new Minneapolis parish, House of the Transfiguration, after his ordination. This will be a pioneering parish in Minnesota; one that combines the traditions of the church with progressive perspectives and embraces all people.

The ordination will take place at 3 pm at Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Ave. Minneapolis. Bishop Benjamin Evans of the diocese of New Jersey will preside. He says, “The North American Old Catholic Church looks forward to establishing a presence in Minneapolis with the ordination of Father Kearns. God’s Holy Spirit continues to bless us with growth!” The North American Old Catholic Church is a progressive Catholic tradition that welcomes all people. This church ordains women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, married and partnered people, and those who have been divorced. The North American Old Catholic Church focuses on social justice and developing new parishes.

Kearns has a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. While in seminary he transitioned from female to male. Kearns says, “I am honored and humbled to have my calling to ministry affirmed by the North American Old Catholic Church. I look forward to many years serving as a priest.”

Congrats, Father Kearns!

Complete Article HERE!

Fewer Americans Believe Homosexuality is a Sin

By Russ Rankin

The percentage of Americans who believe homosexuality is a sin has decreased significantly in a year, according to a survey by LifeWay Research.

husband & husbandA November 2012 survey of adults in the United States found 37 percent affirm a belief that homosexual behavior is a sin – a statistically significant change from a September 2011 LifeWay Research survey asking the same question. At that time, 44 percent answered, “Yes.”

In contrast, the percentage of Americans who do not believe homosexuality is a sin remains nearly the same between the two surveys – 43 percent in September 2011 and 45 percent in November 2012 indicate this belief, with an increase in the percentage of those unsure of what they believe. Seventeen percent in the November 2012 survey said, “I don’t know;” an increase of 4 percent over the September 2011 survey.

Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, pointed out halfway between the two polls President Barack Obama changed his pre-election position concerning gay marriage.

“The president’s evolution on homosexuality probably impacted the evolution of cultural values – there is a real and substantive shift, surprisingly large for a one-year timeframe – though this was hardly a normal year on this issue,” Stetzer said.

The November 2012 survey also reveals Americans in the South (40 percent) are the most likely to select “Yes” to the question “Do you believe homosexual behavior is a sin?” as are Americans who attend religious services at least about once a week (61 percent), and those calling themselves “born-again, evangelical, or fundamentalist Christian” (73 percent).

Americans who never attend religious services are the most likely to say they do not believe homosexual behavior is a sin (71 percent).

These findings from LifeWay Research come as Pastor Louie Giglio on Jan. 10 withdrew from giving the benediction at President Obama’s upcoming inauguration program in the face of criticism over a 15-year-old sermon referencing homosexuality as a sin. Stetzer noted the connection, saying, “The culture is clearly shifting on homosexuality and this creates a whole new issue: How will America deal with a minority view, strongly held by Evangelicals, Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, and so many others?”

Complete Article HERE!

Pope Brings English Church to Heel

By Richard Palmer

It’s hard to think of a more complete victory in the Vatican’s long-running battle with the English Catholic Church. To fully understand the magnitude of this victory, please bear with me while we go over some history first.

scary popeCatholic officials in Rome have long been frustrated by England’s liberal Catholic bishops.

One of the biggest reasons for this is the liberals’ refusal to follow Rome’s strict line on homosexuality. Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, the senior Catholic leader in England, has consistently given the impression that the Catholic Church supported homosexuals forming marriage-like unions in the form of civil partnerships. In approving homosexual partnerships, Nichols has been accused of defying Vatican guidelines.

But perhaps more brazenly, Nichols has consistently supported the Soho Masses. These masses deliberately cater to homosexual Catholics—again prompting accusations that Nichols and the English bishops are defying the Vatican. The Catholic Herald’s Dr. William Oddie called the issue “the most potentially inflammatory source of division between Rome and Westminster.”

Last year, Gerhard Ludwig Müller was appointed prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Formerly known as prefect of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition, this role is the Vatican’s enforcer. And one of Müller’s top goals was, reportedly, to end the Soho Masses.

A German magazine, Katholisches Magazin für Kirche und Kultur, wrote that Müller “intends, very firmly, to address the problem of the Mass.”

The other big bone of contention between the Vatican and the English bishops has been the bishops’ unenthusiastic welcome for Anglicans defecting to Rome.

Pope Benedict XVI personally orchestrated the creation of a personal ordinariate, to allow defecting Anglicans to retain their traditions. He even donated a quarter of a million dollars toward its upkeep.

But the English bishops have refused to support it. They’ve given the ordinariate no buildings to hold its own church services in. The last thing the English Catholics want is for the Church of England’s most conservative members and priests to cross over into the Catholic Church. That’s not to say that England’s Catholics are liberal. But the bishops are, and they don’t want Anglican conservatives.

Many Catholic commentators believe that Nichols’s defiance over these issues is the reason he is still Archbishop Nichols, not Cardinal Nichols—a promotion he traditionally would have received by now.

With all that in mind, now appreciate the magnitude of the English church’s January 2 announcement.

The Soho Masses will be shut down, and the building they were held in will be given to the Anglican Ordinariate.

The Vatican suddenly got its way on the two issues that have frustrated it for years. The Soho Masses are gone, and, for the first time, Anglicans returning to Rome will be able to worship in their own church building, all with one stroke. It’s hard to think of a better sign that the Vatican is now getting its way in England.

If the change translates into a more welcoming attitude toward the ex-Anglican Catholics, many more may cross over into the Catholic Church.

Just a few days earlier, in his Christmas Eve message, Nichols strongly condemned the government’s plan to introduce same-sex “marriage”—bringing himself back in line with the Vatican.

This all shows the progress the Vatican has made in reasserting control over the more liberal areas of the church. As we’ve point out before, the pope is cementing his control over the church. With England brought to heel, this process seems almost over.

With unity imposed on the church, it will be ready for its new public role. The Trumpet has long forecast that the Catholic Church will rise in power. Now that the dissenters have been defeated, it’s ready for this rise.

For more information on the role the Catholic Church will soon play in world events, read our article “Europe: The Next Chapter.”

Complete Article HERE!

Illinois Bishop Who Put “Handcuffs & Ball-Gag Priest” On Leave Testified Against Same-Sex Marriage Yesterday

File under “Bad Timing!” Personal note to Bishop Tom; you ain’t never gonna get your red hat this way, darlin’!

Bishop Thomas PaprockiYesterday Diocese of Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki testified against same-sex marriage before the Illinois state Senate. His testimony came just days after he was forced to put one of his own kinky priests on leave for calling 911 to get help to free himself from handcuffs and a mouth gag. (See that story HERE!)

NO SEX UNTIL MARRIAGE!

Below is the letter Paprocki is demanding that all priests in his diocese read aloud this Sunday. NOM blogger Thomas Peters has also posted the letter on his blog at Catholic Vote.

SSM-Illinois +Paprocki Letter 1-2-2013

Complete Article HERE!

Archbishop Vincent Nichols stops Soho gay Catholic Mass

Special Masses for gay Catholics at a London church are to be scrapped, the Archbishop of Westminster has said.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols said Masses at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Warwick Street, Soho, would end.

Archbishop-of-Canterbury-with-Archbishop-of-WestminsterHe said the Masses were not in line with the church’s central teaching on sexuality.

Gay rights charity Stonewall said: “It is a real shame he’s taken away an opportunity for gay Catholics to celebrate Mass in a safe environment.”

Archbishop Nichols, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, has been one of the loudest voices opposing government plans to allow same-sex marriages.

He said, in a statement, that “people with same-sex attraction” would continue to receive pastoral care.

‘Moral teaching’
The church will be dedicated during Lent to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, a group set up by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011 for Anglicans who defect to Roman Catholicism.

Archbishop Nichols said: “The moral teaching of the Church is that the proper use of our sexual faculty is within a marriage, between a man and a woman, open to the procreation and nurturing of new human life.”

But Stonewall director of public affairs Ruth Hunt, who is Catholic, said: “Given what’s happened over Christmas, where there were vitriolic and mean messages from the pulpit about same-sex marriage, there has never been a more important time to provide a safe space for gay Catholics to pray.”

The archbishop added: “As I stated in March 2012, this means ‘that many types of sexual activity, including same-sex sexual activity, are not consistent with the teaching of the church’.”

‘Express faith’
Ms Hunt responded: “The archbishop’s views on gay issues are well rehearsed and have nothing to do with the spirituality of some lesbian and gay people and their desire to express their faith.”

The Masses for gay Catholics have been held at the church for the past five years.

Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Warwick Street and The Diocese of Westminster have been approached by the BBC, but declined to comment.

Archbishop Nichols has previously attacked the government’s gay marriage Bill, labelling it “undemocratic” and a “shambles”.

The coalition government is committed to legislating on gay marriage by the 2015 general election and a Bill is expected to be tabled in January.

Prime Minister David Cameron has promised his MPs a free vote on the issue.

Complete Article HERE!