Evangelism Exposed

“Jesus wept.” Joh 11:35

Gay Marriage & Christianity: Not Always At Odds!

[Source]:

Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi just tied the knot last weekend officially making gay marriage trendhunter worthy.

But according to Professor John Boswell, the former chairman of the history department at Yale University, gay marriage is an old-fashioned institution getting a new page in the history books.

The Ivy League teacher has done extensive research on homosexuality throughout the ages and discovered that early Christians, including the Pope, were so cool with same-sex committed relationships, they even adorned their churches with frescoes of sweet man love. 

A painting found at St. Catherine’s Monastery in Mt. Sinai, Israel, depicts two early Christian Saints, St. Sergius and St. Bacchus, getting married back in the 4th Century, with Jesus as the best man. Accounts of their sainthood, up through the 10th Century New Testament, openly united and acknowledged them as “lovers.” But they’re just the tip of the gay Christian iceberg! 

Early Christian documents with ceremonial instructions for the “Office of Same-Sex Union” and the “Order for Uniting Two Men” have also been uncovered. 

These rituals, which included a kiss, the taking the eucharist, and a traditional feast, are also seen depicted in the illustrations of Basil I, a Byzantine Warrior-Emperor in the 9th Century who married his lover, John.

Across the globe, Irish Historian, Gerald of Wales, recorded many a same sex marriage from the 12th and 13th Century and a 14th century.

Serbian Slavonic tome discussed a homosexual ceremony with the Gospel. 

Even the Pope himself presided over 13 gay marriages in Rome alone in 1578. 

So when did gay rights go wrong? It’s unclear, but if fashion can bring back the neon ‘80s, anything is possible! And now it’s gay marriage’s turn.

Sure, we may not have golden frescoes of Elton John tying the knot just yet, but at least Hallmark has already started printing a line of gay marriage greeting cards. Congrats to all the new couples taking the ye ole Christian gay wedding plunge! 


Adam & Steve?

August 27, 2008 Posted by | Gay Marriage, The Vatican | Leave a comment

NYC pastor forced to leave amid abuse allegations

[Source]:

NEW YORK – A Roman Catholic pastor who helped organize Pope Benedict XVI‘s visit to New York and gave the invocation at Gov. David Paterson‘s inauguration has been forced to leave his position because of allegations of sexual abuse.

The matter was referred to the Manhattan district attorney‘s office, which said Monday that the statute of limitations had expired.

The allegations against Harris, 61, were announced during Sunday Mass at Harlem‘s Church of St. Charles Borromeo, where he has been pastor since 1989.

Harris led a prayer at Paterson‘s inauguration in March and served as the event coordinator for part of the pope‘s visit in April, including the Mass at Yankee Stadium.

A message left Monday for Harris at a residence in Harlem wasn‘t immediately returned.

August 25, 2008 Posted by | Catholic Church, Sex Abuse, The Vatican | Leave a comment

German Bishop Removes Priest for Same-Sex ‘Blessing’

[Source]:

Catholics “have a duty to protest the legal recognition of homosexual partnerships” said Bishop Tebartz-van Elst LIMBURG (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic bishop of Limburg, Franz Peter Tebartz van Elst, has removed a priest from office after reports that the latter had “blessed” or “consecrated” the partnership of a pair of homosexual men.

Fr. Peter Kollas, a dean of priests in the city of Wetzlar, participated in the “blessing” of the two men who had undertaken a civil “marriage” ceremony.

The event, Friday August 15, was also witnessed by a Protestant minister and about 150 guests, local news reports.

The bishop, appointed to the diocese of Limburg by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007, said that Catholics “have a duty to protest the legal recognition of homosexual partnerships.”

In a statement appearing on the diocese’s website, Bishop Tebartz-van Elst said he had removed Fr. Kollas as dean of priests to avoid further “damage” to the Church’s reputation.

The bishop met with Fr. Kollas, who said that he would promise to “omit” such blessings in future and said he had never done them before. In the near future, a new dean of priests will be chosen who has the “confidence of the bishop”. The statement comes after protests over the event, not only from Catholics, but also from evangelical Protestants in the area.

The bishop’s office said there is no hatred for homosexuals in the Church, and the Church does not tolerate unjust discrimination. But this cannot give way to legal acknowledgement to homosexual unions analogous to “marriage”

August 23, 2008 Posted by | Sodomized Churches, The Vatican | Leave a comment

Mexico frees ex-priest in molest case

[Source]:

Mexican authorities have released a former Sacramento priest who was awaiting extradition to California on charges that he sexually abused two minors nearly 17 years ago.

Sacramento church officials said they have no idea where Gerardo Beltran has gone since his release last week from a Mexico City jail, where he had been held since March.

Diocesan officials said they had been working with the Vatican for nearly two years to remove Beltran and two others – Jose Luis Urbina and Francisco Javier Garcia – from the priesthood. All three worked in the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento and had fled to Mexico after being accused of sexually molesting minors.

On Wednesday, diocesan officials announced that the three men have been laicized, or barred from serving as priests anywhere in the world.

“These men are no longer priests,” said Kevin Eckery, diocesan spokesman. “We don’t want them as priests and neither does Rome.”

Beltran, 51, was arrested in March by Mexican authorities and was expected to be extradited to the United States to face charges of child molestation in Sacramento.

He is accused of four counts of child molestation between 1989 and 1991 in cases involving two victims. Two more accusers came forward in April, after learning about Beltran in the media. Three additional charges have been filed against Beltran for acts between 1988 and 1991, according to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.

Beltran’s return to face his accusers, however, is not likely to happen soon, if at all.

“Our understanding is that he was released from custody when Mexican courts ruled that he couldn’t be extradited because the statute of limitations had run out,” said Jeff Galvin, assistant information officer at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

Neither Urbina nor Garcia has been arrested.

Officials with the Mexican attorney general’s office in Mexico City could not be reached for comment.

The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office issued a statement: “The warrants for (Beltran’s) prosecution here remain valid and active. Should he ever fall within our jurisdiction, the Sacramento District Attorney will prosecute.”

Catholic Church leaders in Sacramento were angered by the turn of events. Eckery called Beltran’s release “a huge disappointment.”

“We were really hoping that justice would be served and people could get their day in court,” he said. “To be denied justice by Mexican authorities is tough to swallow.”

Joseph George, who represents Beltran’s accusers, said he was “shocked and speechless.”

“Having just sat through a deposition of a Father Beltran victim yesterday who was molested over 100 times, I am extremely disappointed,” he said.

In 2005, the Dallas Morning News reported that Beltran and Urbina had been serving as priests in Mexico for years. Diocesan officials said they had known for years the three priests were in Mexico but didn’t learn that they were continuing to serve as priests until it was reported in the media.

Bishop William Weigand, leader of the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, then contacted Rome and began the laicization process, according to Eckery. “Just telling the Mexican church officials obviously wasn’t enough,” said Eckery.

The laicization process, which officially means returning to the lay state, can take years. The bishop must provide evidence stating why the priest should be banned, according to canon law experts.

“Each case is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and when it is done as a penalty, it must be for a grave reason,” said Sister Sharon Euart, executive coordinator for the Canon Law Society of America.

Eckery said church officials expect more former Sacramento priests to be banned from the clergy in the coming months, including the Rev. Mario Blanco. Blanco works as a Tacoma, Wash., priest in an independent church that does not recognize Vatican authority. The Catholic Diocese of Sacramento has settled 15 lawsuits involving Blanco.

Urbina, Garcia and Beltran have been notified of their laicization. So has the Mexican Conference of Bishops, said Eckery. Beltran was notified in jail that the process was under way and that he would no longer be a priest.

“It’s hard to fathom how hurtful this must be to his victims,” said Eckery. “Where he is, I don’t know.”

August 21, 2008 Posted by | Mexico, Sex Abuse, The Vatican | Leave a comment

Bishop Regrets: Apologizes for Clergy Sex Abuse

[Source] | Listen to the apology | Watch news report:

During a hastily called meeting with reporters,the Catholic bishop of the Kansas City- Saint Joseph Diocese says it happened, it shouldn’t have and he’s making amends. Bishop Robert Finn acknowledges the $10 million settlement of lawsuits against a dozen present and former clergy, accused of sexual abuse.

Forty seven boys, survivors who are now men, filed suit in Jackson County Missouri Circuit Court claiming abuse beginning as far back as fifty years. The diocese was accused of negligence. Now all are settled.

Bishop Finn will recommend to the Vatican the clergymen be stripped of priestly powers. The Bishop calls for respect for victims, touts a program he says encourages whistleblowers. In his words, “I am here to apologize and to pledge that we will do everything that we can and we have been doing for the last five years in a very focused way to see that this will never happen again.”

Bishop Finn promises education and training to avoid a repeat of the abuses.

 

August 21, 2008 Posted by | Catholic Church, Church Scandals, Sex Abuse, The Vatican | Leave a comment

HIV positive priest accused of sex abuse dead

FORT WORTH, Texas — [source]:

Aug. 13, 2008, 1:23PM

A former priest who was HIV positive and accused of sexually abusing minors in Texas and Rhode Island has died, the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth announced Wednesday.

Philip Anthony Magaldi died Tuesday in a North Texas health care facility. Earlier this year, the 72-year-old Magaldi told officials in the diocese he was HIV positive.

Magaldi was removed as a priest in 1999 amid claims of sexual misconduct in Rhode Island, where he served from 1960-90. Other claims were made in the Fort Worth area, where he served from 1990-92 and 1993-99.

Overall, he was accused of sexually abusing at least five minors in two states. Magaldi was never charged and always maintained his innocence.

He was out of the ministry while serving a brief stint in prison in 1992 after embezzling about $200,000 from his Rhode Island parish, officials said.

Magaldi is one of six priests in the Fort Worth diocese who was accused of abusing minors, according to files released last year that were part of a sexual abuse lawsuit.

The bishop in the Fort Worth diocese flew to Rome earlier this year to ask the Vatican to expedite the process of having Magaldi defrocked, which would remove him from clerical status.

In a statement, officials in the Fort Worth diocese said they will “pray for the repose of his soul.”

Magaldi will be cremated and buried with his parents in Florida.

August 13, 2008 Posted by | HIV / AIDS, Sex Abuse, The Vatican | Leave a comment