Fr Stephen Smuts

Posts Tagged ‘Gay

Dutch Reformed Church – NG Kerk – in South Africa Votes in Favour of Gay Unions

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And homosexual Ministers are no longer required to remain celibate. I saw the news in Die Burger today. px

NG Kerk sê finaal ja: Gay mense is welkom:

Met amper geen besoekers in die besoekersgalery het die NG Kerk gay mense volledig in die kerk – as gelykes – verwelkom.

Die afgevaardigdes het Vrydag in Pretoria met 114 stemme die gewysigde voorstel ingestem. 63 stemme was daarteen.

Gay predikante hoef nie meer selibaat te wees nie en kan in ‘n burgerlike verbintenis wees.

Die selibaatheidsklousule wat in die besluit van 2007 ingeskryf is, is heeltemal verwyder.

Die besluit bevestig weer dat ‘n huwelik tussen een man en een vrou is.

Dit is egter nou amptelik dat “burgerlike verbintenisse van persone van dieselfde geslag wat gekenmerk word deur liefde en trou” bevestig kan word deur predikante wat “hul weg oopsien” om dit te doen.

Die algemene sinode het reeds Donderdag in ‘n toetsstem die voorstel van dr. André Bartlett, wat die raamwerk van die finale besluit is, aanvaar….

More here.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

October 9, 2015 at 14:30

Men Banned from Becoming Queen…

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as 700 years of law redrafted ahead of gay marriage. You just can’t make this stuff up!

Men are to be banned from becoming Queen or Princess of Wales as part of an unprecedented effort to rewrite more than 700 years of law to prevent unintended consequences of gay marriage.

Even a 14th Century act declaring it high treason to have an affair with the monarch’s husband or wife is included in the sweeping redrafting exercise.

Civil servants have drawn up a list of scores of statutes and regulations dating back as far 1285 to be amended or specifically excluded when the Government’s Same-Sex Marriage Act comes into force next month.

Under proposals to be debated by MPs and Peers as early as next week, terms such as “widow” will be deleted or reworded in legislation covering topics as diverse as seamen’s pensions and London cab licences to take account of the new definition of marriage.

References to mothers, fathers, husbands and wives are also to be amended to avoid future confusion.

Rest here.

Avoid confusion?! More like creating it.

The order makes clear that a clause in the Act giving gay and heterosexual   marriage the same legal effect does not apply to the rights of anyone “who marries, or who is married to, the King Regnant, to the title of Queen”.

It also makes clear that were a future Prince of Wales to marry a man his husband could not be called Princess of Wales.

More immediately, the order rules out the possibility of Dukes, Earls and   other male peers who marry other men making their husbands Duchess, Countess or Lady…


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

February 23, 2014 at 13:30

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Pope Francis on Gays: `Who am I to Judge?’

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CNN reports on a candid press conference held by Pope Francis on the flight back to Italy after his tour of Brazil:

Pope Francis said Monday that he will not “judge” gays and lesbians – including gay priests – a huge shift from his predecessor, who sought to bar men with “homosexual tendencies” from the priesthood, and another sign that the new pope is changing the church’s approach to historically marginalized groups.

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis said in a wide-ranging news conference aboard the papal plane.

Though answering a question about the so-called “gay lobby” at the Vatican, the pope’s remarks seemed to signal a change in tone, if not in teaching, in the church’s stance towards gays and lesbians more generally.

The pope was flying back to Rome from Brazil, where he spent the past week celebrating World Youth Day, an international Catholic event that drew millions.

Taking questions from reporters aboard the plane, the pope addressed nearly every hot-button issue facing the Roman Catholic Church – its alleged “gay lobby,” Vatican bank corruption, the role of women, abortion, homosexuality and his own personal security.

“Pope Francis’s brief comment on gays reveals great mercy,” said the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor at America, a Catholic magazine based in New York.

Martin noted that Francis also showed “greater compassion for divorced and remarried Catholics, a group that has long felt marginalized in the church, and called for a `deeper theology’ on the role of women in the church.”

“Today Pope Francis has, once again, lived out the Gospel message of compassion for everyone,” Martin said.

The pontiff spoke on the record for an hour and a half in the back of the plane that was carrying him back to Italy after his first international trip as pope to Brazil, where he was greeted by massive, frenzied crowds at every turn.

“I’m happy. It has been a beautiful trip, spiritually speaking; it has been good to me. I’m tired enough but with a heart full of joy,” he said.

On Sunday, the mayor’s office in Rio de Janeiro said more than 3 million people came to Copacabana Beach for a morning Mass with Francis, who was in Brazil for the weeklong World Youth Day celebration.

Security issues plagued the trip because of Francis’ immense popularity as the first Latin America pope. His arriving motorcade was mobbed after a wrong turn, prompting the Brazilian military to raise the trip’s security level to “high risk” and send in reinforcements to protect the pontiff, who insisted on being close to the people.

“There is always the danger that there is the crazy person, and we never know what he or she will do,” Francis said. “But to create a safety barrier between the bishop and its people is insane. And I’m outside this security. I prefer the risks of the madness outside, to be close to the people.”

On the ‘gay lobby’ and homosexuality

The pope addressed the issue of an alleged “gay lobby” within the church. Hints that the Holy See contained a network of gay clergy surfaced last year in reports about a series of embarrassing leaks to Italian journalists.

The “Vatileaks” scandal factored in Pope Emeritus Benedict XIV’s shocking decision to resign this year, according to some church experts, as it impressed upon the 86-year-old pontiff that the modern papacy requires a vigorous and watchful presence.

“There’s a lot of talk about the gay lobby, but I’ve never seen it on the Vatican ID card!” Francis said.

“When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency (to homosexuality) is not the problem … they’re our brothers.”

The problem, he said was, lobbies that work against the interest of the church.

In 2005, during the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican issued directives barring from the priesthood men “who are actively homosexual, have deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called ‘gay culture.'”

Francis’ brief remarks seem to signal a sharp shift from that policy.

On women

The pope also spoke out about the role of women in the church, saying it needs to be deeper and not end. But he brushed aside the possibility of ordaining women as priests, saying the church had spoken on the matter: “The church says no. That door is closed.” He did say that more work needed to be done theologically on the role of women in the church.

On abortion

Pope watchers have noted that Francis said little to nothing about abortion on his trip to Brazil. Abortion is illegal in Brazil, except for cases in which the health of the mother is at risk. Laws were recently changed to allow abortions in cases in which the child would be born with certain life-threatening birth defects.

The pope said he had nothing to say on the trip about abortion because the church teachings against it were clear and this trip was the time for “positive” news.

On divorce

“I believe this is a time of mercy, a change of epoch,” the pope said when asked about divorce. He said the group of eight cardinals tasked with reform will explore the issue of whether divorcees can receive Communion, which they are currently barred from doing.

On the Vatican Bank

The pope conceded he was unsure what to do with the Vatican Bank, which is known by its acronym IOR.

“Some say that it would be better if it were a bank, others say that it should be a foundation. Other say to shut it down. These are the suggestions going around. I don’t know. I trust the commission’s members that are working on the IOR. But I wouldn’t be able to tell you how this story is going to end.”

And as for what was in the black leather bag he carried onto the plane? A razor, a prayer book, a diary and a book about St. Theresa, but, the pope joked, “Certainly not the keys to the atomic bomb!”

He said he carried his own bags because “It’s normal, we have to be normal. We have to be accustomed to being normal.”


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

July 29, 2013 at 15:53

‘Gay Masses’ Abolished, Church Where They Were Held to Go to the Ordinariate

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Damian Thompson:

A big story has just broken on the Catholic Herald website:

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has announced that Masses in Soho organised for people with same-sex attraction are to end.

He also revealed that the church where the Masses took place will be given to the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

The fortnightly “Soho Masses” at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Warwick Street were established by the diocese almost six years ago. They were intended to be “particularly welcoming to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Catholics, their parents, friends and families”.

Archbishop Nichols said today that, while the Masses will stop, pastoral care of the community will continue at the Jesuit Farm Street church in Mayfair on Sunday evenings.

He also announced that Our Lady of the Assumption church will be given to the ordinariate in Lent. The archbishop said: “I hope that the use of this beautiful church, in which the young John Henry Newman first attended Mass, will enable Catholics in the ordinariate to prosper and to offer to others the particular gifts of the ordinariate.”

Read more here. Both these moves should be welcomed. The “gay Masses” were an embarrassment, a relic of old-style gay rights campaigning that scandalised large numbers of Catholics. To give this lovely 18th-century church to the Ordinariate is a huge boost for ex-Anglicans who are setting up their own structure, worshipping as Catholics in a style informed by Anglican spirituality. Archbishop Vincent Nichols should be congratulated. So should the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, whom I’m sure strongly approves of these developments.

PS: My sources suggest that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has had a hand in this. Read this article by William Oddie for background.

It’s a lovely looking Church (if the above pic is anything to go by).


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

January 2, 2013 at 14:07

Gay Protestors Surround Praying Priest

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And it’s nasty…


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

August 11, 2012 at 17:40

Homosexual Dean Threatens to Sue Church because he was Not Made a Bishop

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In the Daily Mail:

A controversial gay dean has threatened to take the Church of  England to court after he was blocked from becoming a bishop.

The Very Rev Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, has instructed an eminent employment lawyer to complain to Church officials after being rejected for the role of Bishop of Southwark.

Sources say the dean, one of the most contentious figures in the Church, believes he could sue officials under the Equality Act 2010, which bans discrimination on the grounds of sexuality. Such a case could create a damaging new rift within the CoE…

Dr John has instructed Alison Downie, partner and head of employment at London lawyers Goodman Derrick, to write to the Commission to suggest it risks breaching gay equality laws if it is blocking the dean over his homosexuality…

Dr John suggested he would drop his legal threat if he felt he would not be ruled out for future posts…

A Church spokesman also refused to comment…

I’ll comment: The Bible condemns homosexual behaviour. The Church runs on Biblical principles. Are they now to be forced to directly ignore or contradict God’s holy laws by appointing ‘gay’ shepherds? And here is a man who wants to be a Bishop, but will not submit to God’s law and instead turns to secular man-made laws to make his case. That in itself shows his character and effectively should disqualify him from any position within the Church.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

January 15, 2012 at 06:46

Robert Mugabe Wants to Quiz Archbishop Rowan Williams on Homosexuality

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AFP reports:

Harare — Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe wants the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to explain the Anglican church’s stance on homosexuality and the western sanctions on him and his allies, a spokesman said on Sunday.

Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the world’s Anglicans, is due to lead a communion service in a Harare stadium on Sunday, as part of his three-nation African tour.

Williams may not be allowed into any Anglican facilities in Zimbabwe, after a breakaway bishop aligned with Mugabe seized all of the church’s property.

For weeks Williams has sought a meeting with Mugabe to discuss the split, which has degenerated into violence as supporters of excommunicated bishop Nolbert Kunonga chased Anglican faithful out of churches, schools and orphanages.

Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba did not say if the two men would meet, but told the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper that if they did speak, the 87-year-old president would challenge Williams about gays and sanctions.

“Fundamentally, he would want to know why the church of the British state, the Anglican Church, has remained so loudly silent while the people of Zimbabwe, and these people include Anglicans, are suffering from the illegal sanctions,” Charamba said.

“The second issue that the president wants this man of God to clarify is why his Anglican Church thinks homosexuality is good for us and why it should be prescribed for us.

“He thinks the Archbishop will be polite enough to point to him that portion of the Great Book (that) sanctions homosexuality and sanctions sanctions”…

More here.

I for one would love to hear how Archbishop Rowan Williams would respond. And he may as well get his answer straight now, for I fear that one day, One far greater than the Zimbabwean President, will demand an answer from the Church leader too…


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

October 9, 2011 at 11:54


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