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News Archive (2010)

Misogyny and Homophobia

by John McNeill

There was and continues to be a profound connection between misogyny and homophobia in our culture. Misogyny is defined as a fear and hatred of women. It manifests itself psychologically in the repression of everything in the psyche that is tradition- ally connected with the feminine. Among other things, this includes all emotions, feelings of compassion, all spiritual feelings, all dependency, and all need of community. In the future I would prefer to refer to misogyny with the word “feminaphobia.”

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Reforming the Roman Catholic Church

by John McNeill

It should be evident to all that the paternalistic hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has lost contact with the Spirit of God and is no longer its instrument. The clergy sexual-abuse crisis, the effort of the hierarchy to cover that up, and the attitude in the hierarchy that their primary objective is not to convey the message of Christ but to do anything to protect their own power, prestige, and wealth has made their very existence idolatrous. The hierarchy as presently constituted is the exact opposite to the movement based on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that Jesus announced at the Last Supper.

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Gay Catholics :: balancing belief and doctrine

Edge, a multicity online publication, has posted a long article about Gay Catholics.  This article includes a brief summary of DignityUSA's origin as well as interviews with several members of DignityUSA.  Here are some excerpts:

"There’s no denying that the atmosphere from the official church has become more and more toxic to gay people in recent years," Dignity USA’s Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke told EDGE. "But for me the basics come down to what model of church you believe in. I think most people really confuse the hierarchy with the Church. I experience church as the people trying to live out the messages of Jesus Christ."

"The government of the Church does not have a corner on the truth," said Lourdes Rodriguez-Nogues of Boston. She believes one of the problems with the hierarchy "is that it is an all-male group."

[Victor] Postemski cited social action as a key reason why he remains faithful. "That’s one of the strengths the Church has," he said. "We forget all of the good it does for people. Almost every kind of social justice organization that’s fed the hungry or taken care of the homeless is somehow connected to a religious organization. I think the sad thing is that we forget that."


Denver Archdiocese Decision to Expel Children “Deeply Hurtful” Say National Catholic Groups

Contact Information: 

Jeff Stone
Director of Media Relations
212-662-9088 (office)
646-418-7039 (cell)

DignityUSA Leads Coalition in Expressing Grief, Concern Over Ejection of Children From Catholic School Because They Have Lesbian Parents

Boston, MA, March 12, 2010–In a full-page ad set to run in this Sunday’s Denver Post and Boulder Daily Camera, DignityUSA and three other national Catholic organizations committed to equality for gay and lesbian people in the church express concern and grief over a recent decision by the Denver Archdiocese to bar the children of a lesbian couple from reenrolling in the Sacred Heart of Jesus School, a prekindergarten-8 school in Boulder.

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Catholic School's Treatment of Child of Lesbian Couple Protested by Many

Leaders of DignityUSA join Catholic families in Boulder, Colorado in expressing extreme disappointment that the young child of lesbian parents has become the Archdiocese's latest target in its attacks on gay, lesbian, and transgender people. The child has been barred from returning to Sacred Heart of Jesus School because of her parents' sexual orientation.

"The Archdiocese of Denver has acted very unjustly in singling out this child for exclusion," said DignityUSA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke. "Until every students' parents are tested on Catholic teaching, this action by Catholic officials cannot be understood as anything other than discrimination on the back of a child. At a tender age, this child has learned that Catholic officials are willing to inflict pain on children and families. The public is learning that the Catholic hierarchy is willing to place this on the shoulders of children-and then defend such heartlessness by saying they are just following the rules and that Catholics are being persecuted for their beliefs.

"The Archdiocese has chosen to selectively enforce Catholic rules about families while trampling on core Catholic values of compassion, equality, and love. This is tragic for the family involved, and for all who turn to Church officials for moral guidance," added Duddy-Burke.

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Catholics for Equality Organizational Meeting

DignityUSA was requested to participate in a seminal and hastily organized gathering of Catholic LGBT advocates in Washington, DC on January 30 and 31, 2010. I represented DignityUSA in lieu of Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke, who was unable to clear her calendar on short notice. I was joined by Board members Mark Clark and Tom Yates, both of Dignity/Washington. Ray Panas, President of Dignity/Washington was also present.

The meeting was convened by Phil Attey, a Washington attorney, and Rev. Dr. Joe Palacios, a Jesuit priest from Los Angeles currently on the faculty at Georgetown University. The purpose of the meeting was to address the increasing role of the U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops and state Bishops’ conferences on LGBT political issues, and to coordinate efforts to shift Catholic public opinion and voter behaviors.We joined the following individuals and organizations.

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DignityUSA Board of Directors to Meet in Philadelphia April 16-18

DignityUSA’s Board of Directors will meet at the Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel, 220 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, (215) 735-6000, Friday through Sunday, April 16-18, 2010.

We encourage DignityUSA members to see the board in action. You need not spend the entire weekend with us.

The board meets for about 3 hours Friday night. Work resumes by 9 a.m. on Saturday and goes through the day until about 6 p.m. Sunday, the Board wraps up its work in a 3-hour session ending at 12 noon.

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Catholic Charities limits same-sex couple benefits

Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, a group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, called the Catholic Charities decision "appalling."

"It's a two-tier system among its workers," Ms. Duddy-Burke said. "It violates every principle of the dignity of work and justice for workers that the Catholic Church has stood for for years and it makes employees of Catholic Charities a sacrificial lamb to prove a political point."

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