Catholic Layman Launches “Queer Bible” in Switzerland; And More News

This fall, the Synod on Synodality’s October assembly dominated news coverage as perhaps the most significant Catholic event since Vatican II. As a result, some Catholic LGBTQ+ news did not make it onto Bondings 2.0—yet. The posts today and tomorrow feature stories and commentaries not yet covered, with links provided if you would like to learn more.

Swiss Priest Announces New “Queer Bible” with Diocesan Support

Meinrad Furrer, a lay Catholic in Lucerne, Switzeerland, launched Die Queerbibel at Pride this past August. The new approach to Christian scriptures seeks to make biblical stories and wisdom more accessible to LGBTQ+ people. The “Queer Bible” does so in three ways: providing context to passages frequently used to condemn homosexuality, highlighting passages that can be read in “queer-friendly” ways via commentaries, and rewriting portions alongside the original text to apply them to the lives of LGBTQ+ people, reported Zentralplus.

Furrer rejects claims that his Die Queerbibel project is writing “a new Bible,” saying instead it is an effort to help “interpret the biblical texts in such a way that they inspire queer people.” The projecit is a collaboration with Mentari Baumann of the church reform group Allianz Equivalent Catholic. an online edition of the German text will hopefully be available soon. Furrer, who is openly gay and has blessed same-gender couples, says the Diocese of Lucerne is supportive of his LGBTQ+ ministry.

Maltese Priest Loses Appeal in Hate Speech Case

A judge in Malta overturned the acquittal of Fr. David Muscat, who had been charged with inciting hatred after publishing a 2022 Facebook post that said being gay was “worse than being possessed” by Satan. The new ruling by Justice Edwina Grima, an appeals court judge, found Muscat guilty of the hate speech charges, and sentenced him to a six-month, suspended prison term, according to Malta Today. Previously, Malta’s Archbishop Charles Scicluna quickly and publicly rebuked the priest, describing Muscat’s remarks as “a stone thrown from a heart which needs to learn how to love God.” The Archdiocese also issued a statement ordering Muscat to “cease making inflammatory and hurtful comments in public forums or face prohibition from exercising his ministry in public.”

Transgender Woman Escorted from Mass Over Homily

Avery Arden was forcibly escorted out of Saint Raphael Catholic Church in Bay Village, Ohio, after Arden, who is transgender, challenged the homily of Fr. Timothy Gareau. The priest had preached against the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a drag charity and activist group, in harsh terms, leading Arden to tell him during Mass that “queer and trans people also carry the Holy Spirit.” Three people led Arden out of the church, where they were later kicked off church property after police were called, reported The Advocate. Despite the negative encounter, Arden expressed hope good could come from it: “Saint Raphael is more than this hate. . .I truly love Father Tim. And I do believe that he didn’t mean to promote violence. And I have hope that once he’s able to process what happened after his homily, that he will see how he did have a role and reflect on that.”

Catholic Bishops Across U.S. Endorse LGBTQ-Negative Legislation

Church leaders in several U.S. states have endorsed legislation aimed either at repealing existing LGBTQ+ protections or imposing new restrictions. Virginia’s two bishops, Michael Burbidge of Arlington and Barry Knestout of Richmond, applauded new education guidelines from Governor Glenn Youngkin that deny transgender students appropriate supports.

The Washington State Catholic Conference, which represents the bishops from the state’s three dioceses, endorsed a voter referendum initiative to overturn a law aimed at protecting transgender youth who are homeless or without family support, overturning the bishops’ initial commitment to remain neutral on the law.

The Michigan State Catholic Conference unsuccessfully tried to stop Governor Gretchen Whitmer from signing into law legislation banning conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ youth.

by Robert Shine, Managing Editor
Source –New Ways Ministry