Click above video link to view a recording of this webinar!

LGBTQ-RAN, DignityUSA, and the CLGS Catholic Roundtable co-sponsored this webinar which features an exploration of recent (and confusing!) statements by Roman Catholic leaders on homosexuality, Transgender persons, and same-sex relationships.  While, on the one hand, Pope Francis has made some positive statements regarding queer people and relationships, he has also, on the other hand, disparaged Transgender persons and identities. How is one to understand and respond to what many see as a confusing series of recent statements by church officials? Do such statements make a real difference in the lives of queer Catholics?

Speakers: Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director of DignityUSA; Ish Ruiz, Assistant Professor of Latinx and Queer Decolonial Theology at Pacific School of Religion; and Bernie Schlager, Executive Director of The Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion (CLGS) and Coordinator of the CLGS Catholic Roundtable for this interactive conversation!

Marianne Duddy-Burke

Marianne Duddy-Burke is the Executive Director of DignityUSA, the world’s oldest organization of Catholics committed to justice, equality and full inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) people in our church and society. She has also served as DignityUSA’s President and was the first woman ever elected to that post. Marianne is also Co-Chair of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics. Marianne holds an MDiv degree from Weston Jesuit School of Theology (now integrated into Boston College) and a BA degree with Honors from Wellesley College.


Ish Ruiz

Dr. Ish Ruiz is the incoming Assistant Professor of Latinx and Queer Decolonial Theology at the Pacific School of Religion in the fall of 2025. He currently serves as a post-doctoral fellow of Catholic studies at Candler School of Theology of Emory University and he holds a PhD in Theology and Ethics from the Graduate Theological Union. His upcoming book on LGBTQ+ Educators in Catholic Schools, which will be released this fall, reflects his research interest at the intersection of LGBTQ+ inclusion, queer theology, Catholic theological Ethics, education, and social justice.


Bernard Schlager

Bernard Schlager, PhD, is Associate Professor of Historical & Cultural Studies and Executive Director at The Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion (CLGS) at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. Dr. Schlager’s research interests and publications are in the areas of queer studies, the history of Christianity, LGBTQ pastoral care, and medieval social and religious history. He has published numerous articles on ancient church history, medieval hagiography, and the history of sexuality, and is co-author with David Kundtz of Ministry Among God’s Queer Folk: LGBTQ Pastoral Care (Second Edition: Cascade Books, 2019).