This week read about a Catholic priest being found guilty of sexual assault in Massachusetts, and a program in Michigan aiming to prevent homelessness among LGBT teens by connecting them to host families.
Catholic Church Sentences Boston Priest to ‘Life of Prayer’
The Archdiocese of Boston has found a priest guilty of sexual assault decades after the initial accusations.
Paul J. McLaughlin was ordained in 1955 and the accusations against him allegedly took place in the 1960s. He was placed on administrative leave in 2002 after the Boston Globe broke the story on the Catholic church and sexual abuse, according to LGBTQ Nation. One victim accused McLaughlin of orally raping him at the age of 11 or 12.
This month, the Archdiocese of Boston found McLaughlin guilty and sentenced him to a “life of prayer.”
“He is expected to dedicate his life to praying for victims and repenting of his past offenses,” the archdiocese said. “In this way, the Church seeks even here to prevent any future abuse and to repair the injustice that has already taken place.”
McLaughlin will no longer be able to act as a priest, celebrate public Mass, wear clerical attire, or provide spiritual direction.
Michigan Couple Opens Up Their Home to LGBT Teens
Photo via PxHere.
The Host Homes program of southwest Michigan launched in November by OutCenter and OutFront Kalamazoo with the mission to prevent homelessness amongst LGBT youth by connecting them with host families. The Bigelows are the first couple to volunteer for the program.
Gary and Sheila Bigelow are longtime LGBT allies, in the ‘90s they advocated for their pastor after he was outed as gay and his position on the congregation was threatened. When their daughter, Lisa, came out as a teenager, their support was never in question, Pride Source reported.
Lisa is now a librarian and author of three novels featuring LGBT main characters. She is currently fostering a teenager. Gary and Sheila recently hosted an unaccompanied minor from Honduras.
Though Gary and Sheila are the first couple to volunteer, they have yet to host the first youth of the program. This is partially due to the pandemic and its limitations.
To be eligible as a participant, LGBT youth must be between the ages of 13-17 and must be experiencing housing instability.