Pope Francis Writes Letter to Gay Catholic Group

The saga of Pope Francis attempting to win over the gays continues, and once again, it’s quiet, underwhelming, and almost certainly a PR stunt.

The Italian Catholic LGBT group Kairos of Florence wrote a letter to the Pope in June, undoubtedly addressing many of the well-known issues that put the Catholic Church at odds with the LGBT community. They reportedly asked for “openness and dialogue” in talking about this rift and stated that a lack of openness “always feeds homophobia.” Hear, hear.

Now, months later, the Pope has written them back, according to enthusiastic reports out of the Catholic news world. Unfortunately, though, it’s hard to tell if this is anything significant (spoiler: it probably isn’t) because Kairos has chosen to keep the contents of both letters private.

Here’s what they did reveal:

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Citation Needed on this Church Sign

There must be a rule about writing those illuminated messages for churches that no one can ever fact-check them or suggest that the messaging makes no sense.

This is the sign one reader spotted over the weekend outside Hawkwood Baptist Church in Calgary, Alberta:

Really? “Mass murder is never of God”? Never?!

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Pope Francis Excommunicates Priest for Supporting Women, LGBT People

All this talk of a progressive new Pope may have been jumping the gun.

Writing for the National Catholic Reporter, Brian Roewe reported this week that Pope Francis has excommunicated an Australian priest from the Church for his liberal values and activism. Fr. Greg Reynolds publicly supports LGBT rights, marriage equality and women’s ordination, three big no-nos in Catholic tradition. (We reported on Reynolds’ dismissal from the church the other day, but at the time, Pope Francis’ role wasn’t exactly clear.)

Here’s the Vatican’s “explanation” behind its decision, according to NCR:

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Give Pastor Perry Noble Your Money… or You’re Stupid

Pastor Perry Noble of NewSpring Church in South Carolina tells his congregation that they’re stupid if they don’t give him (*ahem* I mean, God) money:

I love the half-hearted applause at the 2:30 mark.

Incidentally, this is the same pastor who ran a seminar last month on the five ways to overcome your financial struggles.

Guess what solution #1 was?

Of course it is.

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Pastor Punishes Gay Church Member Because Other Members of the Congregation Are Bigots

Pastor Mark Brewer of Crosspoint Wesleyan Church in Fredericton, New Brunswick had to deal with a potential crisis this past week.

One of the finest members of his church, 20-year-old Colin Briggs, had been a camp counselor and church volunteer for a couple of years. He even went on a mission trip to Haiti in 2011.

But he’s gay. And there was a chance that some of the older members of the congregation wouldn’t take that news very well if they ever found out.

So Brewer met with Briggs a few days ago to let him know that, if the church members ever bothered him about his sexuality, Brewer would offer his support and defend Briggs’ character. That’s what their church’s mission was all about, after all: becoming “fully devoted followers of Jesus.”

I’m just kidding. Of course I’m kidding. You know I’m kidding.

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