Browsing articles tagged with " Gay Marriage"
Organizers of Casa Ruby, a group that recently opened to support LGBT Latina citizens in Washington, DC, have been left reeling this week after reportedly receiving a threatening call.
Reports WAMU 8.5:
The Spanish-language death threat was left on the voice mail of the newly-opened Casa Ruby, the first and only Latina transgender agency serving the D.C. area. Translated roughly, the message says, “You deserve divine punishment and death, but before death you should suffer. You are damned from birth to death.”
Ruby Corado is the founder of the agency, and she was the one who initially retrieved the message. “I am very upset,” says Corado. “This is something that I didn’t expect so soon.”
The organization opened its offices on June 6, 2012. Created and directed by transgender activist Ruby Corado, Casa Ruby is the first and only organization of its kind in the Washington, DC, area offering “community, social and resources for LGBT queer Latinos.” It provides services like a general drop in center, ESL services, counselling and mental health help, and has this week provided free HIV testing.
The threat the group received this week is being taken seriously by the police and by the organization itself, and for good reason.
In July of last year a trans woman in the Washington DC area was shot at just weeks after another trans woman was murdered. Since then, there have been a number of violent incidents directed at Washington DC’s LGBT population. This prompted Mayor Vincent C Gray to speak out over his concern such attacks were hate crimes.
Bias motivated crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity have seen a sharp increase in the area over the past few years, going from 35 in 2009 to 45 in 2010, according to the Metropolitan Police Department’s 2010 report on bias-related crimes.
Lesbian Judges Can’t Rule on Gay Marriage?
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Diocese Puts Religious Dogma Before Helping the Homeless
Windsor writers Mary Ann Mulhern and Paul Vasey have had their faith in the Catholic church shaken, but their faith in the human spirit is rock solid.
Mulhern, a former nun, has published a second volume of poems about her experiences within a convent and without in Brides in Black.
Vasey’s experiences in a boys’ boarding school operated by Catholic priests inspired his harrowing youth novel, A Troublesome Boy.
Paul Vasey is seen in this file photo. (Dax Melmer/The Windsor Star)
The two will read from their works Tuesday at The Phog Lounge.
Neither Mulhern nor Vasey practices the faith anymore.
“I haven’t been a practising Catholic for more than a decade,” said Mulhern, who spent eight years in the robes of a nun.
While the poems in Brides in Black and its predecessor, The Red Dress, deal with the frustrations caused by vows of chastity and a life of poverty, Mulhern doesn’t judge those who choose that way of life.
Her barbs are aimed at the rigidly traditional, male-dominated church.
“The median age of a nun today is 70,” she said. “Convents are closing and going up for sale. That tells you something about how little attitudes have changed towards nuns within the church.”
While The Red Dress dealt more directly with her own experiences, Brides in Black takes the subject into the wider world. She interviewed former nuns, some living in Windsor, and those still wearing the habits.
“I found the stories quite fascinating, both those who have left and those who have stayed. The ones who stayed are realizing their way of life is coming to an end because there are just no young women taking vows.”
Vatican Two in the 1960s promoted “freedom of conscience” when it came to questions of abortion and women being ordained, Mulhern said. But that document is a distant memory among the lawmakers in Rome.
“In fact, there has been a backlash within the church accusing priests of not speaking up against abortion, gay marriage and women’s rights,” she said.
Many gave up, like Mulhern, to return to a non-celibate life unsure where to turn and inexperienced in the ways of the world. Some left after years of teaching or working in the community only to find they were virtually destitute, having signed away their worldly possessions upon entering the convent.
Some who stayed have privately moved with the times. In one poem, Seal of Confession, Mulhern tells of a nun who looked the other way when a student told her she functioned better under the influence of marijuana.
“I was shocked,” said Mulhern. “Imagine that coming from a nun in her 70s!”
Brides in Black is published by Black Moss Press ($17.95).
When Paul Vasey and his wife, Marilyn, were moving back to Ontario from British Columbia several years ago, they passed through the town where Vasey attended a boarding school for troublesome youths.
“I didn’t want to go back there because of all the memories I had,” he said. “But it opened the doors again on that part of my life.”
The visit would inspire his youth novel, A Troublesome Boy, published in May by Groundwood Books ($9.95).
The novel is a first-person narrative by 14-year-old Teddy Clemson, who is carted off to a reform school, a Gothic structure with the innocuous-sounding name of St. Ignatius Academy for Boys.
There, his frustrated mother and her boyfriend hope Teddy will be straightened out by the priests.
For the next several months, Teddy’s eyes are opened by the cruelty and abuse he witnesses.
As Vasey writes in the early stages of the book, “Of all the things I hated about St. Iggy’s, The Dungeon rated right up there…Pitch black…I was like you’d been dropped into a pit.”
But that wasn’t the worst of it. A priest stood guard by the boys’ shower checking out his next victims.
The book is fiction, said Vasey, but not far from the truth as he experienced it.
Mary Ann Mulhern.
“My school was a tough place where tough kids went and it was ruled by tough priests. I learned very early to keep my head down.”
He witnessed many abuses. “I can only describe the atmosphere as a culture of violence. I never saw evidence of sexual abuse but I could easily imagine it happening in a school like that.”
Vasey knew firsthand stories of abuse from his work on the board of Maryvale School in Windsor, and his earlier non-fiction work, Kids in the Jail: Why Our Young Offenders Do What They Do.
“My point in writing the book was to bring readers into that environment and let them feel what it felt like for the kids there,” he said.
In his own case, Vasey said his father told the priests to do whatever it took to change him. “There was no way I could call home for help. It was like being abandoned. There was no way out.”
Like Mulhern, Vasey no longer practices his faith.
“I know Catholic priests and I feel horrible for the the pain they must endure knowing there are monsters out there under the guise of being priests,” he said.
“I understand there are millions of good Catholics who would never contemplate this. Jesus would never do this. But we have to accept there are the few exceptions. They are the monsters who pose as priests.”
Alain Beret and his partner Jim recently put in a $1 million offer on a Worcester, Massachusetts, home and land being sold by the local Catholic Diocese. They hoped to renovate the historic location and then rent it out for weddings and other memorable occasions.
Things seemed all well and good until, seemingly out of the blue, the Diocese canceled the sale. Later, while reviewing the paper work, Beret noticed an emailed accidentally forwarded by Monsignor Thomas Sullivan that ordered the realtor to put the kibosh on the sale lest the venue be used for same-sex marriages.
“Because of the potentiality of gay marriages there….we are not interested in going forward with these buyers,” reads the memo obstained by CBS Boston. “I think they’re shaky anyway. So, just tell them that we will not accept their revised plan and the Diocese is making new plans for the property. You find the language.”
Though the church rejected another, higher offer made by Beret, a lawyer, he says he will continue his efforts, “I have lived almost 60 years quietly in the mainstream, and I would like to continue that, but I will not do that at the expense of my dignity.” He also may file a lawsuit.
“This is a state centered transaction, this is not a Church transaction, this is not a theological discussion, it’s nothing more than that. I believe the Church has engaged in an activity that may be illegal in Massachusetts,” he said.
Watch video of the CBS Boston report AFTER THE JUMP.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – “Guilty as charged,” Cathy said when asked by the Baptist Press about his company’s support of the traditional — as opposed to gay marriage.
“We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that,” Cathy said.
Response to Cathy’s comments has been vituperative online. The comments have made Chick-fil-A the top Google trend as the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages were burning up with arguments.
“Hate mongers! Never again! Not another $ from me,” “Goodbye Chick-fil-a! your food was delicious, but I can no longer eat nuggets filled with hate!” has been the general tone of the comments.
“I am truly ashamed of the recent admittance from [Mr.] Cathy about your bigoted company practices. I hate the fact that my money was used for this. I will never support your company (and) will make sure anyone I know does not either,” Mikell Kirbis wrote on Facebook.
“While I’m not a Christian I know that hate is not in God’s plan nor (is) ignorantly picking sections of the Bible to brandish. Good bye and I hope either you change your ways or close down.”
Support for Chick-fil-A’s defense of true marraige policy has brought enthusiastice response as well. .
“Just wanted to say I’m proud that you stand firm in your beliefs. You knew the risks, and still took the plunge. May God bless this company with abundance. Never back down!” a Facebook post from David Jones read.
“Thank you for standing up for what you believe. The truth is not hate. It’s just the truth,” Sharon R Boyd wrote.
“I love the values that this restaurant stands for and will support it every dang chance I get! Pay no attention to the morons spewing hate!” read another.
2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Members of the nation’s largest Presbyterian denomination on Friday voted against a proposal that would have created a path to same-sex marriage ceremonies in the church.
After more than three hours of debate at the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s biennial General Assembly in Pittsburgh, voters struck down a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage, 338-308; no voters abstained.
The proposal would have changed the church’s Book of Order to define marriage as between “two people.” It would have required approval by a majority of the church’s 173 presbyteries, or regional governing bodies, in order to become final.
Following Friday’s vote, the church will keep its definition of marriage as being a union between “a man and a woman.”
“God, we are a divided church,” said the Rev. Neal Presa, a New Jersey pastor and the General Assembly moderator, while guiding church members in prayer after the vote. Presa asked God for guidance through “the messiness and beauty of it all.”
The decision at the General Assembly, which is made up of pastors and lay people, means that pro-same sex marriage activists must wait two years until the church’s next national meeting to make marriage-related proposals.
But the climate for a same-sex marriage vote could be on the activists’ side in the future. During deliberations and several votes on different versions of marriage proposals on Thursday, younger members of the church expressed support for same-sex marriage much more strongly than the church’s older members. Church surveys also show an increasingly pro-same-sex marriage stance as the younger Presbyterians gain more leadership positions.
In the short term, the vote also means that many conservative congregations threatening to leave the denomination likely will stay. The 1.9-million member church, which had more than 2.1 million members two years ago, has quickly lost congregations and individual members in part because of its increasingly liberal views on homosexuality. According to the Presbyterian News Service, at least 100 congregations have defected in recent years.
While all Presbyterian Church (USA) congregations are affiliated on a national level, individual congregations differ widely on matters such as worship style and views on issues such as homosexuality. More liberal pastors have been known to publicly or privately officiate same-sex marriage ceremonies, but they have risked censure.
There are several smaller Presbyterian denominations, such as Presbyterian Church in America and Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians, which lean more conservative and do not ordain gay people or official same-sex marriages.
Related on HuffPost:
Following the Vatican’s criticism and plan to reform the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the leaders of the Franciscan friars (OFM) have made a bold statement in support of US Catholic sisters. The Franciscans called their open letter to the nuns “a public sign of our solidarity with you as you endure this very difficult moment.” Commentators including Fr. James Martin, S.J., of America magazine are calling it ‘brothers coming to the defense of their sisters.”
The doctrinal assessment of the Vatican faulted LCWR for not adequately speaking out against gay marriage, abortion and women’s ordination. It also criticized LCWR-sponsored conferences for including “certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.” The Franciscans wrote that the Vatican should enter into dialogue with the sisters: “Rather than excessive oversight of LCWR, perhaps a better service to the people of God might be a renewed effort to articulate the nuances of our complex moral tradition. This can be a teaching moment rather than a moment of regulation.”
As a lay Franciscan, I am proud of the strong and loving statement of the friars. They are indeed coming to the defense of the sisters, but they treat the cardinals and bishops as family members as well, and not as enemies. In keeping with their charism as peacemakers, the Franciscans give the Vatican the most respectful interpretation that they can. They write that the Vatican’s actions might “inadvertently fuel the current climate of division and confusion” (italics added) and that they trust the Vatican officials were attempting to be faithful to their role as laid out in church teaching. Our church would have fallen apart long ago without an authority to uphold our tradition. The Franciscan way is to love the church and, at the same time, call it to something better. Mostly this is done by preaching the Gospel with our actions. Franciscan priest Richard Rohr, OFM, adheres to the principle that “the best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better.”
At other times, something more bold and direct is needed. There is a story about the last days of St. Francis that illumines the loving and prophetic approach of the Franciscan path. The bishop and the mayor of Assisi were fighting and there was no peace in the city. Francis said it was a great shame on the servants of God that the bishop and the mayor had such hatred for one another. He brought about their change of heart by composing a new verse to a song, calling them to pardon one another and endure in peace, which his companions sang to them. Francis lovingly called those acting in a rash way to a more noble and faithful place. This path resonates with with LCWR’s own statement. The sisters, while calling the Vatican’s assessment a source of “scandal and pain,” also asked that the issues be addressed “in an atmosphere of openness, honesty, and integrity.”
The table for dialogue and relationship is set by sisters, Franciscans and many other faithful Catholics. Can those at the Vatican respond with some of the graciousness that the bishop of Assisi exhibited to Francis? He said, “Because of my office humility is expected of me, but because I am naturally prone to anger, you must forgive me.”
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As Barack Obama intensifies his re-election campaign by granting illegal aliens amnesty, endorsing “gay marriage” and even producing a White House commercial for the nation’s largest abortion business, there’s a new movie coming that digs into his real roots.
“2016 Obama’s America” is coming from Gerald Molen, the Academy Award-winning producer of “Schindler’s List,” whose new project is based on Dinesh D’Souza’s bestselling book “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.”
Molen has worked in many roles in the film industry and is a producer of box office hits. For years he worked closely with Steven Spielberg, producing his movies “Hook” (1991), “Schindler’s List” (1993), “Jurassic Park” (1993), “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” (1997) and “Minority Report” (2002).
Molen, married 58 years to his wife, Patricia, is the great-grandfather of six who recently made news after driving 90 minutes to a Montana public high school where he was scheduled to deliver the commencement address free of charge.
When Molen arrived, the school principal abruptly banned Molen from speaking. In an op-ed Molen explains what happened.
“Recently I was invited to speak to the Ronan High School seniors. After three weeks of preparation, research and re-write after re-write, I arrived at the appointed hour only to be told my talk had been canceled. The reason: ‘Some’ callers had informed the principal that they were concerned about the scheduled speaker being too right-wing or having an opinion that might be counter to theirs or some other lame excuse.”
In other words, since Molen is producing a feature that seeks answers on Obama’s mysterious past, as well as his presidential record, he was silenced.
In “2016 Obama’s America,” the filmmakers follow D’Souza tracing Obama’s roots and digging into the reasons for his mindset. They examine Obama’s agenda and present the potential consequences to all Americans, should Obama be re-elected.
Sgt. Molen, who served as a U.S. Marine after graduating high school (1953-56), explained some of the many reasons why he was compelled to make “2016″ with D’Souza.
“There’s too much that’s not known about Obama – I think the American people deserve to know a little more about our president,” said Molen.
He suggested there are parallels to the public school principal silencing him and mainstream media failing to serve the American people.
Molen said: “We’ve all talked about Obama’s education, but there’s no transcripts; there’s no scholarly papers; there’s no grades – and [before Obama] the media was going after George W. Bush about his schooling and his grades. And the same with John Kerry. But nothing on Obama. Supposedly all that information is sealed off.
“I was deeply offended as an American when President Obama first took office and one of the first things he did as an official act was return the bust of Winston Churchill to England because, for some reason, he didn’t like it. I just felt it wasn’t his place to do that. It was a gift to the American people after 9/11 and he could’ve had it put into a warehouse someplace, but sending it back to England was an affront to me, to the American people and to England.
“There are so many things like that. So I read Dinesh D’Souza’s book ‘The Roots of Obama’s Rage,’ and then Dinesh and I teamed up on this thing with some other great people and we just want to get the story out there out on what we feel America will look like in 2016 if, in fact, President Obama gets elected into a second term.”
Molen’s in-depth research on “Schindler’s List” also helped him decide to make “2016.” After all, people of goodwill must know history to avoid loss of liberty and further tragedy, and he had discovered that many history books reduced the Nazi holocaust to a merely paragraph, if they mentioned it at all.
Now, as Americans and billions of people around the world suffer many crises, Molen believes he shouldn’t neglect the opportunity to open the eyes of American voters.
As he put it: “At least ‘Schindler’s List’ kind of opened the floodgates and got the information out.”
Obama’s re-election efforts develop day-by-day, and Molen explained, “We’re doing some re-editing on it. We’re more concerned about having it right and it’s being updated all the time.”
Therefore, he plans to release “2016″ in July, at the earliest, or in August, before the two major political conventions. The Republican National Convention takes place first, Aug. 27, and the Democratic National Convention begins Sept. 5.
D’Souza, president of The King’s College in New York City, considers the American dream as an immigrant. He moved to the United States from India to attend Dartmouth University. After graduation, he worked in the Reagan White House as a policy analyst then became a successful political commentator and bestselling author.
When D’Souza spoke about the film at CPAC’s 2012 conference, a trailer was played before he took the stage:
Molen discussed his hopes for the independent film, which must compete with this summer’s Hollywood releases.
On that note, Spielberg has given $100,000 to a pro-Obama political action committee, $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund 2012 and, as Bloomberg Businessweek revealed, he advised the Obama re-election campaign to attack GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney’s work at Bain Capital.
So WND asked Molen if he hopes Spielberg and other Obama supporters in Hollywood will see “2016 Obama’s America.” Molen laughed and said, “I would love them to see the film. Of course!
“But Anita, that’s the beautiful thing about America. Spielberg and his other cohorts in Hollywood have the right and can contribute to who they like, in this case, Obama,” he said. “I also have that same right, and I can contribute my time or my money to the opposing group. It’s either Obama or Romney. I’ll take Romney.”
Already this year, Americans have flocked to indie films about the rights to life and liberty. The films include “Act of Valor,” the drama about Navy SEALs; the pro-life movie “October Baby”; and “For Greater Glory,” the true story of Mexican Christians rising up against murderous Marxists.
All were in the Top 10 on their opening weekends and continued earning millions thereafter. Even Kirk Cameron’s historical documentary, “Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure,”grossed $1.23 million the night of its premier.
Do these films indicate demand for “2016 Obama’s America”?
Molen said he hopes so.
“I’m more concerned about my grandchildren and my great grandchildren, and about the future that they’re gonna have, the indebtedness. I’m very much pro-life, and I just want to see us get back to sanity in this country.”
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In April, the Vatican issued a stinging critique of American nuns for being too focused on social justice issues and not outspoken enough against gay marriage, abortion and other such topics of Catholic doctrine.
Anyone who’s ever met a nun, heard one speak or even seen “Sister Act” knew the Pope was in for some push back.
Now comes “Nuns on the Bus,” a 15-day, nine-state tour that starts Monday in Iowa and rolls through Janesville and Racine starting Tuesday. Along the way, the sisters will visit Catholic-sponsored social service agencies that serve the nation’s poor and disenfranchised.
“I knew when the Vatican assessment came out that we needed to find a way to use even our notoriety for the sake of our mission,” said Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby in Washington, D.C. The organization, among those criticized by the Vatican, is leading the bus tour.
Campbell, 66, has been very visible lately — she appeared on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” last week — and seems not at all worried about Rome’s response to her public statements. On National Public Radio the day after the critique came out, she surmised that church leadership “doesn’t know how to deal with strong women and so their way is to try and shape us into whatever they think we should be.”
Campbell told me there was never any doubt the bus tour would swing through Wisconsin. “Your state is home to the man who started all this,” she said, referring to U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, a Janesville Republican.
Ryan proposed the federal budget that recently passed the House of Representatives. He has cited his Catholic faith in defending the plan, which cuts government spending to avert what he says is a looming debt crisis that would hurt the poor first. Critics say it would slash the country’s safety net.
“It’s seriously warped,” Campbell said of Ryan’s budget. “It’s couched in really nice words, but it would devastate the soul of our nation.”
Asked for comment, Ryan’s office pointed me toward numerous statements he’s made on the budget, including this one to EWTN, a Catholic news network: “If we keep growing government in debt, we will crowd out the civil society — those charities, those churches, those institutions in our local communities that do the most to actually have a human touch to help people in need. That’s what we want to empower.”
Comments like that draw an exasperated sigh from Campbell. “Mr. Ryan says, ‘Don’t worry, churches can take over.’ Well, we can’t. Catholic sisters serve the needs of people in poverty, and we know the needs are bigger than ever in this still-struggling economy.”
Campbell notes that on economic issues, she and her fellow sisters stand with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which also has criticized Ryan’s budget.
The Wisconsin itinerary was still in flux when I spoke with Campbell, but she said a stop at one of Ryan’s district congressional offices was very likely. Details will be posted at networklobby.org.
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Leading Catholic and Anglican clergy wrote statements to be read out or distributed at Sunday services yesterday, warning a change to the Marriage Act allowing gay or lesbian couples to wed would be inconsistent with religious teachings. The Greek Orthodox Church wrote a similar statement in May, which was also read out, reports Sky News.
Catholic mass attendees heard a statement from the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, and bishops Julian Porteous, Terry Brady and Peter Comensoli. “Instead of removing discrimination and injustice, (same-sex marriage) will cause them,” it reads.
Catholics also received a bookmark warning the legalisation of same-sex marriage will make it ‘very difficult’ for Catholics to have their views taught in schools.
The move by the churches comes as two bills to legalise same-sex unions, one by Labor, and one by the Greens, are to be tabled this morning in Federal Parliament. The Greens decried the Sunday sermons from the clergy as scaremongering, raccording to an AAP report in The West Australian.
The Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said she will vote against the marriage reforms, although Labor MPs will be allowed a conscience vote. Coalition MPs will have to cross the floor if they want to vote in favour of same-sex marriage.
“The prime minister’s opposition to equality is stopping MPs from all sides from voting yes, and Tony Abbott’s blocking of a free vote is standing in the way of marriage equality passing the parliament this year,” Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young told reporters in Sydney.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney released a pastoral letter in defence of marriage last week.
Churches against gay marriage (Sky News)
Same-sex marriage bills to be debated (West Australian)
Christian leaders unite against gay marriage (ABC)
The meeting was called after the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued a “doctrinal assessment” this spring that criticized the LCWR for not speaking out strongly enough against gay marriage, women priests and abortion.
The Vatican also chided the women for “serious doctrinal problems” among many LCWR members, and said LCWR conferences suffered from “a prevalence of certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”
The LCWR’s president, Sister Pat Farrell, and executive director, Sister Janet Mock, met with American Cardinal William J. Levada, who heads the CDF, and Seattle Archbishop Peter J. Sartain, who has been appointed by the Vatican to oversee a top-to-bottom reform of LCWR.
The meeting, following a move by the Vatican that has opened a large divide between the nuns and laity on one side and the hierarchy on the other, was notable for its muted tone and lack of specifics.
“We are grateful for the opportunity for open dialogue and now we will return to our members to see the next steps,” Farrell told reporters after the meeting.
According to an official statement by Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi, “the meeting provided the opportunity for the Congregation and the LCWR officers to discuss the issues and concerns raised by the doctrinal assessment in an atmosphere of openness and cordiality.”
In its statement, the Vatican made clear that the LCWR “is constituted by and remains under the supreme direction of the Holy See.” In that context, the “doctrinal assessment” is meant to “assist” the sisters in “promoting a vision of ecclesial communion” founded on the “teachings of the Church as faithfully taught through the ages under the guidance of the Magisterium.”
LCWR said in a statement that it will “determine its course of action in response” to the Vatican crackdown at its annual assembly in August.
The nuns’ group has received widespread support in the United States, both inside and outside the Catholic Church, with lay vigils in support and even an appearance by a prominent nun, Sister Simone Campbell, on Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” on Monday.
Such support has been “very affirming,” Mock told reporters after the meeting.
On June 1, LCWR’s board rejected the Vatican criticism as “unsubstantiated,” saying it led to “greater polarization” within the church. Similar pushback has been voiced by a group of Franciscan friars in the U.S., and the umbrella group representing men’s religious orders, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, offered the nuns their “prayerful support.”
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