In the News

Catholic priest and ethicist: Why the church needs LGBTQ people

LGBTQ people help us understand God’s plan. We were not created by accident. God created us with a plan and gave each of us a purpose. Part of God’s plan is known to us through Revelation, especially the Bible. But Catholics believe that God’s plan can also be known through observation and reflection on human nature. The more we understand what it means to be human, the better we understand God’s providence.

At one time, we thought that white males constituted an adequate sample of human nature. Today we know better. If we are going to grasp the fullness of God’s plan, we have to know the fullness of human nature—namely, male and female, black and white and brown, European, North American, African and Asian, cisgender, transgender and everything in between.

Luke Timothy Johnson, a Scripture scholar at Duke University, says that because the Incarnation is God’s most definitive act of revelation — God revealing God’s self by becoming a person — we have to take our bodies seriously and see them as a source of knowledge about the divine plan. In his book The Revelatory Body, Johnson applies his theory of body-as-revelatory to “exceptional” bodies:

The terms male and female have limitations: they don’t by any means cover all the variety of human sexual experience and expression and when the terms are imposed absolutely or normatively they can also become tyrannical: they can suppress and distort sexual experience and expression that may escape the neat frame of the abstraction but are nevertheless fully human and, I would argue, possible pointers to what God is up to in the world.

Johnson adds that “rather than imposing the abstract classifications of male and female in a wooden and even oppressive way … this approach asks first what we can learn about ourselves and what we can learn about God’s creative inventiveness.”

Read more here. [Feb 17, 2024, 2024]

Pope Francis: “Moral Perfection” Not Required for Blessings

Pope Francis has opined for the second time this year in defense of Fiducia Supplicans, the Vatican declaration allowing blessings for same-gender couples and others in “irregular” situations. Today’s post features that news and other updates on reception of the declaration.

Read more here. [Feb 8, 2024, 2024]

Michael J O’Loughlin Joins Outreach

Award-winning journalist Michael J O’Loughlin joins Outreach as executive director. In this new role, O’Loughlin will assume responsibility for fundraising, strategic planning and overseeing the day-to-day operations of Outreach.

Read more here. [Feb 6, 2024, 2024]

Fr James Keenan: Church Needs a Theology Where Sexuality Is a Gift, Not Curse

“The tradition on sexual ethics led us not to greatness but to negativity and minutiae,“ writes Fr James Keenan, SJ, a leading Catholic ethicist. In the National Catholic Reporter, Fr Keenan traces the historical development of Catholic sexual ethics, showing how it has become increasingly restrictive and negative over time—an analysis with clear implications for LGBTQ+ issues.

Read more here. [Jan 25, 2024]