Defrocked Gay Vatican Priest Pins Hopes on Pope Francis

The Polish priest announced on Oct. 3 that he was gay, on the eve of the Vatican’s synod on the family.

CHR Comment: The interview expresses significant disappointment in the synod on the family, the Vatican, and the Catholic Church in general. Charamsa does not think the church will change its doctrine. Yet the disaffected priest still expresses hope that Pope Francis will foster greater openness to homosexual Roman Catholics. One wonders how Charamsa’s public and defiant actions affected future discussions of the issues.

Source: Defrocked gay Vatican priest says he has no regrets

New Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. Interview

The Episcopal Church USA’s first African-American leader hopes to call his divided church to “a deeper unity.”

CHR Comment: Curry explains his personal background and his goals for the liberal denomination which has recently lost 20% of its membership over the issue of ordaining homosexuals as priests and bishops. He is a supporter of activist religious politics and a Buffalo Bills fan.

Source: New Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry | October 30, 2015 | Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly | PBS

Houston’s Gay Rights Measure Turned Back by Religious Conservatives

LGBT Americans are looking for more protections, and so are religious conservatives. The challenge, legal experts say, is to find a way out of all-or-nothing politics. Utah might show one way.

CHR Comment: Efforts to pass new measures were hindered by problems in the legislation, which religious conservatives pointed out to the voters. Christians in Houston are concerned for their religious freedoms. The article references the “Utah Compromise” as a way of passing protections for homosexuals and also protecting religious freedoms.

Source: Houston’s angry debate over gay rights can be avoided. Here’s how. –

Church Asks Boy Scouts to Leave Over Gay Rights

Church of Christ asks Scouts to meet elsewhere after decision to accept gay adult leaders.

CHR Comment: This conservative church, from the Disciples of Christ family of churches, has separated from the Scouts organization. It remains to be seen whether other congregations will respond in a similar way or whether there will be an effort among conservative churches to retain a relationship to the Scouts.

Source: Church asks Boy Scouts to leave over gay rights

Enclave Christendom. Erskine College. Reformed Presbyterian

The board of trustees at Erskine College, South Carolina, has taken a step that many conservative Christian institutions are likely to take in coming years. Historically, Christians have existed in society either as (1) rulers, where Christians held political power, (2) free participants, where Christians did not hold political power but interacted with a society that largely shared their values, or (3) as enclave Christians, where Christians were an alienated minority or were dominated politically or culturally by those hostile to Christianity.

For example, after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, Christians adopted an enclave approach with churches and monasteries functioning as enclaves within the society and literally structured like fortresses. Enclave Christianity developed also under the spread of Islam. The Islamic conquerors at first depended on Christians to participate in governance but later oppressed Christians through taxation and eventually violence. A form of enclave Christianity developed after the Scopes Trials in the United States. Conservative Protestants felt alienated from broader American society but later reemerged as a powerful social force in the rise of American Evangelicalism after World War II and in such groups as the Moral Majority Coalition (1979) and the Christian Coalition (founded 1989). As western culture grows more hostile to conservative Christian teaching and practice, institutions for these will likely transition from acting as free participants in society to acting as enclave Christians.


College adopts policy against homosexuality

In a statement adopted Feb. 20, Erskine College has effectively banned homosexual behavior on its campus. And the move appears to be in response to two male volleyball players coming out last year. The Due West, S.C., school will now abide by a “Statement on Human Sexuality” adopted by the college’s Board of Trustees and Student Services and Athletic Committee, according to The Washington Post. In March of last year, Drew Davis and Juan Varona, two Erskine volleyball players, were featured in an article published on OutSports, in which the athletes officially came out as gay. Following the article’s appearance, the Division II team went on to the NCCA tournament.

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