Posts filed under ‘Homosexuality’

A place in social history

By Roon Lewald

Philipp Roesler

Philipp Roesler

Proving how perilously close success is to failure in politics, the swift rise of Guido Westerwelle to power as Germany’s first openly gay vice-chancellor, foreign minister and party leader has ended just as quickly. As reported in “Coming Strongly” late last year, Westerwelle’s marriage last September to Gerhard Mronz, a prominent sport events manager who had been his publicly acknowledged lover for several years, was a notable step forward for gay social normalization. The low-key public reaction to a wedding that would have been legally meaningless and both socially and politically suicidal only a few years ago also burnished the country’s international image by showing that liberal democratic values are here to stay in Germany. (more…)


July 4, 2011 at 3:34 am Leave a comment

Coming Strongly

By Roon Lewald

“Frauen kommen langsam – aber gewaltig!” (women come slowly – but mighty strongly.) When this double-entendre refrain propelled feisty singer Ina Deter’s song about “strong women” to the top of the German charts in 1986, it documented the gradually accelerating, finally irresistible onslaught of women against the lofty bastions of male privilege. Just two decades years later, Chancellor Angela Merkel is firmly entrenched as the only female leader of a major western country and scores of other women have captured important seats of power and influence in many areas of German politics, business and society. (more…)

October 19, 2010 at 6:49 am 1 comment

Crossing over – to the “other side”

CalmA sermon on Mark 4:35-41 preached at the Cathedral Church of Saint Mark, Salt Lake City, Utah, on the Third Sunday after Pentecost, June 21st 2009

It is Jesus’ idea, Mark tells us, to cross the lake to the other side as night is falling.  After a long day of teaching on the lake shore, a small flotilla is crossing the Sea of Galilee when there is a sudden, violent, unexpected storm.  If you were going to be in a storm on that particular lake, you’d want to have the likes of  Peter, Andrew, James and John on board.   They had grown up around water; they made their living on this lake. (more…)

July 2, 2009 at 8:05 pm Leave a comment

++Peter to ++Rowan


Nigerian Primate Peter J. Akinola (left) installed Bishop Martyn Minns (right) as leader of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America during a May 5 ceremony at the Hylton Memorial Chapel in Woodbridge, Virginia. The service drew comments from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori who urged Akinola not to proceed with the installation.


Nigerian Primate Peter J. Akinola (left) installed Bishop Martyn Minns (right) as leader of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America during a May 5 ceremony at the Hylton Memorial Chapel in Woodbridge, Virginia. The service drew comments from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori who urged Akinola not to proceed with the installation.


Archbishop of Canterbury
Lambeth Palace, London

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

My dear Rowan,

Grace and Peace to you from God the Father and from our Lord Jesus the Christ.

I have received your note expressing your reservations regarding my plans to install Bishop Martyn Minns as the first Missionary Bishop of CANA. Even though your spokesmen have publicized the letter and its general content I did not actually receive it until after the ceremony. I do, however, want to respond to your concerns and clarify the situation with regard to CANA. I am also enclosing a copy of my most recent letter to Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori.

We are a deeply divided Communion. As leaders of the Communion we have all spent enormous amounts of time, travelled huge distances – sometimes at great risk, and expended much needed financial resources in endless meetings, communiqués and reports – Lambeth Palace 2003, Dromantine 2005, Nottingham 2006 and Dar es Salaam 2007. We have developed numerous proposals, established various task forces and yet the division has only deepened. The decisions, actions, defiance and continuing intransigence of The Episcopal Church are at the heart of our crisis.

We have all sought ways to respond to the situation. As you well know the Church of Nigeria established CANA as a way for Nigerian congregations and other alienated Anglicans in North America to stay in the Communion. This is not something that brings any advantage to us – neither financial nor political. We have actually found it to be a very costly initiative and yet we believe that we have no other choice if we are to remain faithful to the gospel mandate. As I stated to you, and all of the primates in Dar es Salaam, although CANA is an initiative of the Church of Nigeria – and therefore a bonafide branch of the Communion – we have no desire to cling to it. CANA is for the Communion and we are more than happy to surrender it to the Communion once the conditions that prompted our division have been overturned.

We have sought to respond in a measured way. We delayed the election of our first CANA bishop until after General Convention 2006 to give The Episcopal Church every opportunity to embrace the recommendations of the Windsor report – to no avail. At the last meeting of the Church of Nigeria House of Bishops we deferred a decision regarding the election of additional suffragans for CANA out of respect for the Dar es Salaam process.

Sadly we have seen no such respect from the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church. Their most recent statement was both insulting and condescending and makes very clear that they have no intention of listening to the voice of the rest of the Communion. They are determined to pursue their own unbiblical agenda and exacerbate our current divisions.

In the middle of all of this the Lord’s name has been dishonoured. If we fail to act, many will be lost to the church and thousands of souls will be imperilled. This we cannot and will not allow to happen. It is imperative that we continue to protect those at most risk while we seek a way forward that will offer hope for the future of our beleaguered Communion. It is to this vision that we in the Church of Nigeria and CANA remain committed.

Be assured of my prayers.





The Most Revd. Peter J Akinola, CON, DD

Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of all Nigeria.

(Church of Nigeria News)



May 8, 2007 at 10:07 am 1 comment

++Peter to +Katharine

++ Peter Jasper Akinola


2nd May, 2007

The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori,
Episcopal Church Center
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017, USA

My dear Presiding Bishop:

My attention has been drawn to your letter of April 30th ostensibly written to me but published on the Episcopal News Service website.

In light of the concerns that you raise it might be helpful to be reminded of the actions and decisions that have led to our current predicament.

At the emergency meeting of the Primates in October 2003 it was made clear that the proposed actions of the Episcopal Church would “tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level, and may lead to further division on this and further issues …” Sadly, this proved to be true as many provinces did proceed to declare broken or impaired communion with the Episcopal Church. Since that time the Primates have established task forces, held numerous meetings and issued a variety of statements and communiqués but the brokenness remains, our Provinces are divided, and so the usual protocol and permissions are no longer applicable.

You will also recall from our meeting in Dar es Salaam that there was specific discussion about CANA and recognition – expressed in the Communiqué itself – of the important role that it plays in the context of the present division within your Province. CANA was established as a Convocation of the Church of Nigeria, and therefore a constituent part of the Communion, to provide a safe place for those who wish to remain faithful Anglicans but can no longer do so within The Episcopal Church as it is currently being led. The response for your own House of Bishops to the carefully written and unanimously approved Pastoral Scheme in the Communiqué makes it clear that such pastoral protection is even more necessary.

It is my heartfelt desire – and indeed the expressed hope of all the Primates of the Communion – that The Episcopal Church will reconsider its actions – and make such special measures no longer necessary. This is the only way forward for full restoration into fellowship with the rest of the Communion. Further, I renew the pledge that I made to your predecessor, Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, that the Church of Nigeria will be the first to restore communion on the day that your Province abandons its current unbiblical agenda. Until then we have no other choice than to offer our assistance and oversight to our people and all those who will not compromise the “faith once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 1:3)

You speak in your letter of centuries old custom regarding diocesan boundaries. You are, of course, aware that the particular historical situation to which you make reference was intended to protect the church from false teaching not to prevent those who hold to the traditional teaching of the church from receiving faithful episcopal care. It was also a time when the Church had yet to face into the challenge of different denominational expressions of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I also find it curious that you are appealing to the ancient customs of the church when it is your own Province’s deliberate rejection of the biblical and historic teaching of the Church that has prompted our current crisis.

You mention the call to reconciliation. As you well know this is a call that I wholeheartedly embrace and indeed was a major theme of our time in Tanzania. You will also remember that one of the key elements of our discussion and the resulting Communiqué was the importance of resolving our current differences without resorting to civil law suits. You agreed to this. Yet it is my understanding that you are still continuing your own punitive legal actions against a number of CANA clergy and congregations. I fail to see how this is consistent with your own claim to be working towards reconciliation.

Once again please know that I look forward to the day when this current crisis is behind us and we can all be reunited around our One Lord and only Saviour Jesus the Christ. Until then be assured of my prayers for you and The Episcopal Church.

In Christ,


The Most Revd. Peter J Akinola, CON, DD
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of all Nigeria

May 3, 2007 at 10:23 pm Leave a comment

+Katharine to ++Peter

+ Katharine Jefferts Schori

The Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola
Primate of All Nigeria & Bishop of Abuja
Archbishop’s Palace
PO Box 212 ADCP

My dear Archbishop Akinola:

I am writing this letter with my prayers for you and for the entire worldwide Anglican Communion from a fellow child of Christ.

I understand from press reports you are planning to come to the United States to install Martyn Minns as a bishop in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. I strongly urge you not to do so.

First, such action would violate the ancient customs of the church which limits the episcopal activity of a bishop to only the jurisdiction to which the bishop has been entrusted, unless canonical permission has been given. Second, such action would not help the efforts of reconciliation that are taking place in the Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Communion as a whole. Third, such action would display to the world division and disunity that are not part of the mind of Christ, which we must strive to display to all.

I would carefully ask that you reconsider your plans to come to this country for this purpose. This request stems from the hope and vision of reconciliation which was the mind of the primates as we met in Tanzania.

Your servant in Christ,

Katharine Jefferts Schori

May 3, 2007 at 10:21 pm Leave a comment

Mormonism and Homosexuality: Apostle Jeffrey Holland Speaks

6576181This page contains verbatim reports of an interview with a prominent Latter-Day Saint leader authorized to share the official doctrines and beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints regarding homosexuality and homosexuals.

If you have reached this page because you are in crisis over your sexuality or same-gender attraction, or if you are conflicted over the Mormon Church’s teachings on homosexuality,  you may benefit from reading some of these additional links for a wider, inclusive voice from fellow Mormons as you continue to explore your attitudes, opinions and beliefs about homosexuality within the Mormon community:

A Plea for Reconciliation — respecting the dignity and worth of every human being

Mormons for Marriage — promoting marriage equality

Latter-Day Saint Doctrine — the case for civil same-sex marriage

LDS Resources for Latter-Day Saints Dealing with Homosexual Attraction — reliable info for Mormons by Mormons

Signing for Something — D&C 134:9 in action:

“We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.”
Family Fellowship — Strengthening families with homosexual members in the household

Gay Mormon Stories — First-person narratives of gay Mormon men and women

The Trevor Project — Suicide prevention and anonymous help in time of crisis

Gays and the Gospel — A resource for Latter-day Saints and other Christians regarding the rights, marriages and families of their Gay and Lesbian neighbors

Seeking Forgiveness — Apologies from Latter-day Saints (Mormons) who wish to find peace and reconciliation following the LDS Church’s involvement in passing Proposition 8

Reconciliation — a call for dignity towards, respect for and mutual understanding between Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

If you are suicidal and actively thinking about killing yourself over your same-sex desires, please know that you are a person of great worth, deeply loved by God,  even right now as you find yourself in crisis. To talk to someone, anonymously and confidentially, please call 1-800-488-7386 or go to the Trevor Project home page now.


Cold Comfort: “Hang on, and hope on, and pray on, and [your homosexuality] will be resolved in eternity.”

Background information on the writer

Jeffrey R. Holland was ordained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 23 June 1994. At the time of this call, Holland was serving as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, to which he had been called on 1 April 1989.

From 1980 until his call as a General Authority in 1989, Holland served as the ninth president of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He is a former Church commissioner of education and dean of the College of Religious Education at BYU.

This post reproduces Holland’s recent comments on Homosexuality; the original post can be found here.

Another anguishing issue that faces you and every church: homosexuality. On a personal level, how do you counsel people dealing with that?

“… The emotion and the pain and the challenge of [dealing with homosexuality] has to rank among the most taxing, most visceral of any of the issues that any religious group wrestles with. As others of my colleagues and brethren have, I have counseled hundreds — I don’t know how many hundreds — of these young people. I say young people because often that’s the group that come to us most, but there are people of every age struggling. … The counsel I have given is that God loves them every bit as much as he loves me; the church loves them. We do have doctrine; we do have borders; we do have foundational pieces on which we stand. And moral chastity — heterosexual … and homosexual — are areas where God has spoken and where the church has a position. …

I spoke earlier about the price everyone has to pay for the blessing of the covenant, to be counted within the institutional circle of the blessings of the church. … I have spent a significant portion of the last few years of my ministry pleading to give help to those who don’t practice [homosexuality] but who are struggling with the impressions and the feelings and the attractions and the gender confusion. Or if they do practice or are trying to deal with it, that group I have spent scores of hours with, if nothing else, just saying: “Hang on, hope on, try on. … Get through the night; get to the light.” …

I believe in that light, and I believe in that hope, and I believe in that peace. So I offer it without apology, but I know sometimes that’s thin to people who would want more. Any more than I can see it compromising on its heterosexual position of chastity before marriage and fidelity afterward, I don’t anticipate it that [the church] would change on homosexual behavior. But none of that has anything to do with my belief in the value of that soul and the love that God has for that person.

But it’s just that … there is a quid pro quo in terms of wanting the church’s blessing on our lives. If someone chooses behavior that goes in a different direction, people choose that every day. And while that may make me weep, … people are free to do that. …

I believe with all my heart that it’s divine language; it’s a divine commandment. There really are “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots” in life. And in this world, in some contemporary life, thou shalts and thou shalt nots are not popular on the face of it; it wouldn’t matter what subject. But we’ll always have some, and we’ll try to help each other master that and embrace it and see it through and be exalted on the other end.

It’s tough being gay anyplace in society, in any church, but especially here in yours.

Absolutely. I don’t think there’s any question about that. And it’s true of so many other things about the church. We’re so defined by marriage and family. … So it’s got that added component of pain in a church where we do advocate and expect and encourage marriage — traditional marriage, man to a woman, woman to a man — and family and children. And for anyone in whatever gay or lesbian inclination may exist, … the marriage I have and the marriage I’ve seen my children have and I pray for my grandchildren to have, they say, “For me it’s an experience I’ll never have.” And true to the Holland tradition, I burst into tears, and I say, “Hope on, and wait and let me walk with you, and we’ll be faithful, be clean, and we’ll get to the end of this.”

I do know that this will not be a post-mortal condition. It will not be a post-mortal difficulty. I have a niece who cannot bear children. That is the sorrow and the tragedy of her life. She who was born to give birth will never give birth, and I cry with her. … I just say to her what I say to people struggling with gender identity: “Hang on, and hope on, and pray on, and this will be resolved in eternity.” These conditions will not exist post-mortality. I want that to be of some hope to some. …”

[End of interview.]

Questions for personal reflection

* What importance do you place on the fact that what you have just read was written by a man with the title “Apostle”?  How does this affect the way you “hear” his words or weigh your personal disagreement?

* Do you believe, as Elder Holland writes, that  homosexual people are actually loved by God?  What about being loved by the Mormon Church?

* Do you agree with Elder Holland that gay people, “. . . [struggle] with . . . impressions and feelings and . . . attractions” because of sexual confusion?  How did you reach your personal conclusion?

* Elder Holland writes “I don’t anticipate it that [the Mormon church] would change [its doctrines and beliefs] on homosexual behavior.”  Can you think of any issues or doctrines on which the Mormon Church has changed its official policy?

* Elder Holland believes that there will be no gay people in the next life, and that no person in the next life will struggle with “gender identity.”  On what basis, or authority, does he make this claim?  What does his statement imply about homosexual people in this life?

* Elder Holland says “I have a niece who cannot bear children. That is the sorrow and the tragedy of her life. She who was born to give birth will never give birth. . .”  Does his comparison with his barren niece and homosexual people work for you?  Do you believe that homosexual people lead sorrowful or tragic lives?

Complete these sentences:

“My church teaches me that homosexuality is . . . ”

“I personally believe that homosexuality is . . .”

Do you notice any difference between your statements?

May 3, 2007 at 8:34 pm 7 comments

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