Two items come to me today from my progressive Catholic friends at Open Tabernacle.  The first is Terence Weldon’s post about the progress toward marriage equality in Europe and South America.  His post offers some great color-coded maps that show various shades of equality from “full marriage” to “prohibited”.

[A]cross what used to be known as “Western” Europe, only Italy and Greece still have no provision. Even in the former Soviet bloc, there have been advances.  The Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovenia all recognize Civil Unions, Croatia recognizes unregistered “cohabitation”, and Estonia, the matter is receiving political “consideration”.  Meanwhile, although the map does not yet show it, Cyprus too may soon introduce full same sex marriage.

The second is the news that Father John J McNeill has become a blogger who will cross post on the Open Tabernacle.  Father McNeill is a legendary pioneer in promoting a progressive religious and biblical understanding of LGBT issues.  His classic book, The Church and the Homosexual, first published in 1976, has been reprinted numerous times and remains the standard work of scholarship in the field.  I purchased a copy of the fourth edition over fifteen years ago, and it helped inform my own understanding.  From a reviewer’s comment printed on the back cover:

A vintage work in the evolving history of the relationship between gay people and institutional Christianity.  McNeill’s book remains central to the story.

Now eighty-four years of age, Father McNeill continues to be a prophetic voice for our age, speaking for progressive Catholics and all Christians.  His blog, Spiritual Transformation, is brand new, and his first couple of posts are calls for justice for women in the church.  Here is a sampling:

Over the past fifty years of ministry in both my study and experience I have become more and more convinced that the deepest root of homophobia both in our culture and in our church is feminapbobia, the fear and suppression of the feminine. Consequently, the most important contribution that can be made to gay liberation is for the gay community to commit itself to women’s liberation.

And another:

If it true that the future of the human race depends on the integration of the feminine on an equal basis with the masculine, it is equally true that the future of the Catholic Church will depend on its willingness to integrate women into its power structure. Tragically, however, the present leadership is fighting tooth and nail to prevent that integration.

I urge my readers to check out his blog and become a follower or RSS subscriber or whatever means you use to follow blogs.  You will be rewarded with the rich fruits of a ripened mind.