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United Church of Canada elects first openly gay moderator in historic vote

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  1. Congratulations to Reverend Gary Paterson, nice to see at least some religious institutions are not scared of LGBT leaders. A bold, brave and welcome move from the United Church of Canada.

    1. Fr. Mike Donaghy 20 Aug 2012, 6:45pm

      I send my congratulations to Reverend Gary Paterson too. As a Catholic I don’t think my position is so safe; I wish it could be, but I have to be authentic as a person and say what I think. I love you LGBT guys. Good luck with your fight for equal rights. Please support me if you can, in a very homophobic church that says I cannot marry another man, nor am I fit to be a celibate priest as I am intrinsically disordered, but I have lived this life successfully since 1981 when I was ordained a Catholic priest. I’m so tired of all this homophobic crap from the church. LGBT people have played and continue to play a huge part in most churches and yet they condemn us. We have to work together, for justice sake, to change this. Jesus Christ would never snub an LGBT person. We would be the people Jesus would have visited for dinner, to the amazement of others!

      1. You’re in a tough position. Good luck and best wishes.

        1. He CHOOSES to be in that tough position though.

          I can think of no valid reason why he cannot leave the catholic church and be a priest for a gay-friendly christian denomination.

          There is only 1 christian ‘god’ (catholic or otherwise) so the church he is a member of is irrelevant if the ‘god’ is the same (unless he believes that the catholics have a speed-dial to ‘god’ of course).

          He needs to google a gay-friendly christian church in his neighbourhood and join that church.

          There is no place for any LGBT person in the catholic cult.

          Why would any LGBT person remain in an organisation which hates them?

      2. I’m not meaning to be rude here but why on EARTH are you still part of that disgusting church?

        Pull yourself together. Seriously you need to leave the catholic church.

        Now I do not believe in ‘god’ and believe that it is a fictional character. .

        However all the christian churches (catholic and otherwise) believe that there is 1 ‘god’.

        Presumably then this ‘god’ is the same irrespective of the church you are in.

        So why can’t you find a gay friendly church in your neighbourhood; give them a call and move to that church. Or set your own one up.

        While you remain in the catholic church you are part of the problem of homophobia. Leaving the catholic church may allow you to become part of the resolution.

      3. I believe the best way to change any church is from within. Of course they also need voices of reason from outside but that alone won’t make them change anything. You need to argue and offer new views and encourage others around you to speak out against the atrocities. The Vatican might not be ruffled one yota, but if people stop listen to them they would eventually loose their power. In my experience ordinary catholics are more willing to listen and open to dicussion than most charismatic protestants (who seem to believe it’s a sin to think for themselves).
        But if you are too afraid to do anything of that, if you even go against your inner beliefs to do their errends and lend them credebility, then you should try and find another church.
        I’m happy to belong to the Swedish protestant (former state) church which now performs equal marriages, has elected a bishop who lives in a lesbian relationship, participates in the Pride parade and has celebrated rainbow masses for over 30 years.

    2. stating that it is “bold, brave, and welcome” makes it sound like something that no one ever expected would happen. And that is unfair and does not represent the reality of the United Church of Canada.

      It may be the first time a gay person has been chosen for the position, but there is no great shock value in that decision. The UCC is a very open and welcoming denomination. It has supported women’s rights, LGBT rights, minority rights, etc… for many years.

      The UCC was at the forefront of the women’s suffrage movement.
      The UCC was always in front to defend and speak up for LGBT rights, very visibly so during the initial debates on expanding marriage equality to LGBT people in Canada.

      I know your comment wasn’t a dig of any sort to the UCC, I just think the wording you chose didn’t reflect the reality of who the UCC really are.

      Having a LGBT person as the moderator was going to happen eventually. And no fuss was made of it. It is as much a non-issue as can be for us here.

      1. It is indeed a bold and brave move regardless of the type of church it is. It will undoubtedly come under fire for the choice in leader it has made.

        I for one applaud them for their decision and wish the Reverend every success in his role and I hope that he will help change negative opinion of gay men in these kinds of roles.

        As I am not Canadian, I do not know this Church, hence why I feel it is a bold and brave move. This comment is not said to diminish the type of institution that the UCC are..

        1. “Under fire” from whom?
          This isn’t the U.S. we’re talking about.

          1. From people who are not part of that church, from other churches and other religious institutions.

            We must remember that not all religious bodies are as forward thinking as the UCC clearly is.

  2. CONGRATULATIONS all round!!!!

  3. YES!

    the church I was married in!
    at the forefront of social issues.

    Go UCC!!!

  4. As an out gay man and a member of the UCC, I’ve rarely been so proud of my church. It may not be a big deal within the UCC, or even in Canada, but in the larger church it is historic!!

  5. jamestoronto 21 Aug 2012, 4:28am

    Given that the UCC has been in the vanguard of much of the social reform in Canada during the last three or four decades, this comes as little surprise to us here. Still we should not dismiss the significance of this. With over 2 and a half million adherents, the UCC brings a lot of clout to the progressive movement in Canada. Congratulations on yet another big step.

  6. GingerlyColors 21 Aug 2012, 7:52am

    I find it heartwarming when I read about Christians who wish to make their church all-inclusive.

    1. I don’t as they are still selling the dangerous lies about ‘god’ and ‘heaven’ and all that rubbish.

      It would be so much better if people were told the truth – ‘Make the best of your life on earth because when you die, your body will rot, fertising the ground, thereby continuing the cirlcle of life’.

  7. Good for them.

    Although if they believe in ‘god’ then they are being wilfully stupid.

  8. Excellent news! Congratulations to the United Church of Canada as a whole.

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