The Bondings 2,0 report yesterday on a more pastoral tone from the Catholic Primate of Poland, Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk, included reference to an open letter to Pope Francis from a group of LGBT Christians, Faith and Rainbow.
Here’s the full text of the letter, taken from the group’s own website, which has helpfully published it in the original Polish, and in English.
The kingdom of heaven is like a net
that was let down into the sea
and caught all kinds of fish.
Matthew 13, 47
Dear Holy Father,
Some good news came to us recently – we heard that while returning from your meeting with young people in Brazil, you referred with understanding and friendliness to persons of sexual orientation other than heterosexual.
We assure you, dear Holy Father, that within the Church, but also in front of its gates, there are many persons who have been waiting a long time for such words. Those persons often suffer fear, oppression, loneliness and rejection – and far too often, unfortunately, it is their own Church community that largely contributes to raising such feelings. The example of your gentle and clement attitude will surely help us to overcome the painful distrust or even clear hostility which we experience almost every day from our brothers and sisters in faith.
We are a Polish ecumenical group of LGBT Christians, mostly Roman Catholics. We have chosen to be called Faith and Rainbow in order to emphasize two indispensable features of our identity. We would like to remain faithful to the community of the Church, but at the same time we are not capable of modifying the particular nature of our sexual orientation.
We believe that this particular nature of our love was given to us according to God’s will, in order to make us discover His wonderful presence in our unusual way of life. We also believe – supported here by contemporary scientific knowledge of human psychology – that our way of feeling love is equivalent to that of the heterosexual persons.
We put our trust in the rules revealed to us by our Saviour Jesus Christ – the rules which are followed by all people of good will who look forward to the coming of His Kingdom. These rules – by which Christians recognize human dignity in their neighbours – are: friendship, respect, care, fidelity, sincerity, and all the other forms of affection that were absent in the ancient city of Sodom.
We have been waiting a long time for some words of comfort and encouragement. Today we thank God for having heard them. These words give us confidence in the future. From now on, we will be waiting with new hope, until the hard times are over, like the biblical Flood. After a flood of intolerance, we look out for a rainbow of reconciliation, and we expect recognition of our rights in the future, when we no longer have to live in isolation and in fear of our neighbours. We hope that the days are coming when, equally with all other people, we can enjoy access to the great gift and sign of the God’s presence in the world – the unbelievable mystery of love.
We ask you, Holy Father, to remember us and pray for us – to our God, who is Love supreme.
We also assure you of our prayers for Your Holiness and for all the Church.
Polish Christians LGBT from the group Faith and Rainbow
(The extensive website also includes a page in English, giving what it describes as the site’s “main info”, and including the groups aims, and a useful “declaration” of the group’s explanation of its stance, on the conflict between living in obedience to Church doctrine, and also with integrity to one’s natural, God – given sexual orientation.
This says, in part:
We spread knowledge helping to accept being LGBTQ and belonging to the Christian Church as well, without a demand for giving up sexuality.
We are conscious, that our opinions connected with acceptation of same-sex and transgender relationships are different than current Roman Catholic, Orthodoxy, and many Protestant Churches teachings.
Throughout centuries many Christians were living in conflict between their conscience, and obedience to the Church’s teachings.
It was connected with many issues, for instance women’s rights, scientific discoveries of the time (Copernicus’ theory, evolution theory), autopsy prohibition, problem of the salvation outside the Church..
As we know, official opinions within these topics have changed.
Nowadays, the Church recommends a ”treatment” for LGBTQ people (meaning an attempt of reorientation), or living alone, and supports organizations working this way in Poland.
It’s contradictory to current scientific opinion, and to many people’s ethical sense.
We believe that the Church will change it’s view on this topic. Our task is to make this process faster, by persuading clergy and seculars.
- Pope Francis & Polish Bishop Inspire Hope in Nation’s LGBT Catholics (newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com)
- Pope Francis: You are not excluded! (emmaus2rome.co.uk)
- Proud Jesus blesses LGBT Pride parades (jesusinlove.blogspot.com)
- Pope Francis’ Pentecost Moment (questgaycatholic.org.uk)