Best gay blog. Towleroad Wins Award

Vatican Hub



04/19/2007


Vatican Shuts Down Photo Exhibit Featuring Gay Couples Kissing In Churches

Kissing

The Vatican this week blocked an exhibition of photos by artist Gonzalo Orquin that featured gay couples kissing in Churches in Rome. The exhibition entitled, "Trialogo" was scheduled to open at the Galleria L'Opera. However, once the Vatican sent a letter threatening legal action, declaring, "the church is against the exhibition," and invoking the Italian constitution to make its case, Orquin consulted with his lawyers and decided to pull the exhibit for "security reasons." The Huffington Post reports:

BlackVicariate spokesman Claudio Tanturri told The Local that the photos violate the Italian constitution. “Italian constitutional law safeguards an individual’s religious feeling and the function of places of worship," he said. “Therefore photos that are not suitable and do not conform to the spirituality of the place offend and infringe upon the advancement of man in the particular place for the expression of faith" [...]

Orquin posted a Facebook photo with the covered up images and a caption protesting the censorship.

Orquin, who is Spanish and Catholic, said that he found Italy to be "a very homophobic country" in the eight years that he has lived in Rome. "There aren't other countries in Europe or West that are backward like this," he said.

Flavio Romani, the president of gay rights group Arcigay had stronger words, calling the Vatican's reaction "grotesque."

“In the images in which the church have seen provocation, I see an exchange of love, a type of public worship that creates harmony not contrast," he said. "The indignation of the Catholic Church, therefore, is extremely grotesque."

The Vatican's decision to publicly lambaste the exhibit comes on the heels of Pope Francis's most extensive remarks to date on homosexuality, in which he proclaimed that the Church needed to get away from focusing solely on issues like abortion, contraception and gay marriage. Specifically referring to gay people, the Pope commented that "it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person." 

You can see the rest of the photos that would have been part of Orquin's exhibit HERE.

(Photos via Facebook)


Vatican Defrocks and Excommunicates Australian Priest Over Support for Gays and Women

An Australian priest who founded Inclusive Catholics has been given his marching orders by the Vatican, under Pope Francis, The Age reports:

ReynoldsDissident priest Greg Reynolds has been both defrocked and excommunicated over his support for women priests and gays - the first person ever excommunicated in Melbourne, he believes.

The order comes direct from the Vatican, not at the request of Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart, and apparently follows a secret denunciation in the best traditions of the inquisition, according to Father Reynolds.

The excommunication document - written in Latin and giving no reason - was dated May 31, meaning it comes under the authority of Pope Francis who made headlines on Thursday calling for a less rule-obsessed church.

Said Reynolds:

''I've come to this position because I've followed my conscience on women's ordination and gay marriage.''

Late last week, Pope Francis gave an interview in which he said the Catholic Church should end its obsession with gay marriage and women's rights.


Pope Francis on Gays: The Church Cannot 'Interfere Spiritually in the Life of a Person'

Pope Francis has given a wide-ranging interview to America magazine in which he gives his most extensive remarks to date on the role of the church with regard to homosexuality, as well as abortion and contraception.

FrancisSays Francis:

“We need to proclaim the Gospel on every street corner,” the pope says, “preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing, even with our preaching, every kind of disease and wound. In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing.

He later adds that the Catholic Church needs to end its obsession with abortion and gay marriage:

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.


Gay Catholic Man Says Pope Francis Called Him; Vatican Denies It

Christophe Trutino, a 25-year-old gay Catholic from Toulouse in southwest France, told a newspaper that Pope Francis called him after Trutino had written a letter to the Pontiff explaining how he was struggling with reconciling his sexuality with his faith.

FrancisThe Vatican is denying Pope Francis made the call, The Local reports:

The Vatican firmly denied reports in France on Friday that Pope Francis had telephoned a young gay French Catholic to reassure him. Christophe Trutino had claimed in a newspaper interview the Pontiff had told him “Your homosexuality. It doesn't matter" in a personal call. Father Lombardi, a spokesman for the Vatican “firmly denied” claims by the young gay Catholic that the Pope had made a private telephone call to him last week.

After previously declining to deny or confirm the call, in which Christophe Trutino claimed the Pope told him “Your homosexuality doesn’t matter” Lombardi told Le Figaro newspaper: “The Pope never called this person.”

“The only time the Pope has called France was to speak to Cardinal Barbarin. I absolutely deny this information," he said. “There is always the risk that people pretend to be the pope over the phone,” Lombardi added.

Trutino said that Pope Francis initiated the conversation:

“I received the letter that you sent me. You need to remain courageous and continue to believe and pray and stay good,” the voice at the end of the phone told him during the nine-minute conversation in Spanish.

“Your homosexuality. It doesn’t matter. One way or another , we are all children of God. This is why we must continue to be good," he continued.

Pope Francis recently made headlines when he said, while speaking to reporters: "Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord? You can't marginalize these people."


Report: Prelate Member Of Vatican 'Gay Lobby'

Vatican
Last month, Pope Francis admitted the existence of a "gay lobby" within the Vatican.

Yesterday, the Italian news magazine, L'Espresso published an article that links prelate Battista Ricca, who was recently appointed by the Pope to a vital position with the Vatican bank, to the "gay lobby" and reveals that he has been involved in numerous relationships with gay men. Apparently, the Pope had only recently become aware of these relationships.

The article alleges that Ricca was involved with include a Swiss army captain and a young man who some speculate to be a male prostitute.

AFP on other highlights from the report:

LespressoVatican expert for L'Espresso Sandro Magister said Ricca provided lodgings and a pay check for captain Patrick Haari in 1999 and was once left badly beaten after trawling notorious gay hangouts before his behaviour saw him transferred out of Montevideo in 2000.

An internal bid to protect him and cover up the scandal meant Francis apparently had no idea about Ricca's past before he appointed him as his personal representative at the scandal-hit bank this year.

Ricca went on to hold several prestigious positions in Rome, including the director of the Santa Martha residence where the pope lives.

Magister said the wiping of Ricca's records was an example of a "gay lobby" at work in the Vatican.

A Vatican spokesperson has denied Ricca is a member of the "gay lobby" and has called the L'Espresso piece "not credible."

An English version of the L'Espresso article is available on the newspaper's website.


Vatican Offers 'Time Off Purgatory' for Following Pope Francis on Twitter

Pontifex

Sinful Catholics can now earn indulgences, reducing the time they'll have to spend in purgatory for their sins, by following Pope Francis on Twitter, the Guardian reports:

FrancisIndulgences these days are granted to those who carry out certain tasks – such as climbing the Sacred Steps, in Rome (reportedly brought from Pontius Pilate's house after Jesus scaled them before his crucifixion), a feat that earns believers seven years off purgatory.

But attendance at events such as the Catholic World Youth Day, in Rio de Janeiro, a week-long event starting on 22 July, can also win an indulgence.

Mindful of the faithful who cannot afford to fly to Brazil, the Vatican's sacred apostolic penitentiary, a court which handles the forgiveness of sins, has also extended the privilege to those following the "rites and pious exercises" of the event on television, radio and through social media.

"That includes following Twitter," said a source at the penitentiary, referring to Pope Francis' Twitter account, which has gathered seven million followers. "But you must be following the events live. It is not as if you can get an indulgence by chatting on the internet."

For interested sinners, the Pope's handle is @pontifex.

The Vatican also plans on opening a Pinterest account soon, according to the article, where you'll presumably also be able to buy time by pinning photos of red Prada shoes, and such. Though we doubt time on Venerabilis, the recently-reported  hook-up website for gay priests, will ever count.


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged