It’s Thursday; so it must be Baltimore!!

This evening we were in a Presbyterian church, with a lovely, welcoming woman pastor.  It was a bright, modern style church, with easy and good communication.

If I have many more evenings as pleasant as this one, it will be a wonderful tour. The crowd that gathered (not enormous — maybe a bit over one hundred) were warm, but also very knowledgeable.  It was obvious that many of them had been involved in one or other of the reform movements. So my talk was very well received, and the discussion afterwards was stimulating.

The Francis effect seems to me to be working strongly over here;  most of the people I meet are reading the whole Synod experience in a vey positive light, and they are allowing themselves to be hopeful for the future;  “I pray every day that he will stay well”, many of them say to me.

And again tonight we had a bit of a spread in the hall, which I like.  It gives me a great chance to meet and talk with people.

The person who is driving me around, and generally looking after me these days is Sr. Jannine Grammick. For those who haven’t heard of her, Jeannine has devoted the large part of her life as a nun to work with the LGBT community.  And she has paid a heavy price for it. As we drove from Washington to Baltimore, she regaled us with the story of her dealings with the CDF. It was very similar to mine;  except that Jannine took them on, using canon law and any other official Church systems she could.  So it went on much longer for her.  She is a quiet, very gentle person, but she had a clear vision of equality between the sexes, no matter what the orientation, and she had pursued that vision with enormous determination right through her life.   Enormously impressive and likeable person.

Tonight I am staying in a large convent, which houses about 100 nuns, many of them invalids. It is an amazing place.

Tomorrow Philadelphia, and into the domain of one of the US most reactionary bishops, Chaput