Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jesuit Universities to Hold Conferences on ‘Sexual Diversity’

(CatholicCulture) Two Jesuit universities and two Protestant divinity schools will hold a series of conferences this fall devoted to “sexual diversity and the Catholic Church.”

The first conference, at Fordham University,
will shed light on the diverse, dynamic, and distinct views that active and former Catholics hold on the subject of sexual diversity. The focus will be not only on the issue of belief — what one thinks about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people or their sexuality — but also on practice — how one lives out the consequences of those beliefs and the Catholic Church’s teachings in daily life. In contrast to the pronouncements of Catholic church leaders and in addition to the voices of lay and ordained pro-LGBT Catholic activists, this conference aims to lift up a range of voices of American Catholics of all races, genders, social and economic backgrounds, and sexual orientations.The second conference will be devoted to “the fostering of a pro-queer life student/educational culture”; the advertisement for the third critiques the Connecticut bishops’ opposition to same-sex marriage.
“The Catholic Church has large numbers of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender laity engaged in pastoral work in the Church and many gay clergy,” according to the advertisement for the fourth conference, which will be held at Fairfield University. “But the official standpoint of the teaching Church makes their status as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender problematic for individuals, their communities, and the Church. This creates conflicts and tensions for many, while hiding the fact that all Christians contribute to Church life because of, not despite who they are.” (Source)

The universities that will cooperate in the dialogue are: Fordham University, Fairfield University, both Jesuit; Yale Divinity School and Union Theological Seminary, both considered as Protestant. [1] They are all liberal schools, all with an agenda.

The Speakers:
Mark Jordan, Harvard Divinity School, author of The Silence of Sodom: Homosexuality in Modern Catholicism and Telling Truths in Church: Scandal, Flesh and Christian Speech, among many others.

Sr. Jeannine Gramick, co-founder of New Ways Ministries, author of Building Bridges: Gay and Lesbian Reality and the Catholic Church and Voices of Hope: A Collection of Positive Catholic Writings on Lesbian/Gay Issues.

Rev. Donald Cozzens, writer-in-residence at John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH, author of Freeing Celibacy, Faith That Dares to Speak, and Sacred Silence: Denial and the Crisis in the Church. [2]

Facts about Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church