Since France legalized same-sex marriage (“mariage pour tous” or “marriage for all”) in 2013, support for LGBT persons in the French Catholic Church has grown immensely. Already 35 French dioceses have “missioned” people to begin to close the wide gap between the LGBT community and the Church.
Many of these dioceses have opened the conversation surrounding LGBT issues and how these topics intersect with Christian beliefs by establishing dialogue groups. For example, the diocese of Créteil created discussion and support groups called “Se parler,” meaning “to talk with each other,” noted the French Catholic news outlet La Croix, which recently published a major article about the phenomenon. Established by Bishop Michel Santier, the groups seek to create a space for church members whose lives have been affected by the Church’s often harsh stance on LGBT issues, and treatment of LGBT persons.
Source: New Ways Ministry
At least two Italian bishops participated in vigils marking the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) this past May.
Archbishop Corrado Lorefice of Palermo composed a prayer for an ecumenical vigil in that city which he helped lead, and he encouraged Catholic parishes to recite it at Mass. A La Repubblica article, translated into English here by the Italian LGBT group Progetto Gionata, quoted the archbishop:
“While we firmly deplore that homosexual persons have been and are still subjected to malicious expressions and violent actions, we pray that Christians, living on the grace of the Gospel, bear witness and proclaim, with prophetic audacity, the unconditional respect due to each person and denounce all forms of discrimination and marginalization.”
Source: New Ways Ministry
As preparations continue for August’s World Meeting of Families in Dublin, former Irish President and practicing Catholic Mary McAleese remains committed to showing her support for LGBTQ communities by marching in June 30th’s Pride parade in Ireland’s capital. She will be in attendance with her son, Justin McAleese, and his husband.
The Irish Independent reported on the former president’s statement:
“She said she will be taking part in the march with ‘my gay son and his wonderful husband,’ as well as her husband, daughters, some of her brothers and sisters and maybe even her elderly mother – if they can organize a wheelchair for her.
“ ‘We are family and that is what we will be showcasing – showcasing Ireland at its absolute best,’ she said.”
Source: ‘- New Ways Ministry
Unless LGBT equality and gender equality occur simultaneously in the Catholic Church, there will be no justice at all, said Jamie Manson in a recent essay for the National Catholic Reporter.
Manson’s latest “Grace on the Margins” column is a call for church reformers to practice intersectional solidarity (for more information on what intersectionality is click here). The problem today, she wrote, was “this enduring sense that the church’s treatment of women and LGBTQ persons are separate issues.” Such thinking has led to a siloing of the issues:
Source: – New Ways Ministry
The path leading up to the Synod of Bishops is a long journey. The synodal process doesn’t simply begin when the Synod begins. Many steps are involved in bringing about a fruitful and productive discussion. In 2016, Pope Francis announced the theme for the 2018 Synod of Bishops: “Young people, the faith, and vocational discernment”. The following year, the Working Document was published, along with an online questionnaire to which young people could respond. The Church insisted she wanted the direct involvement of young people. Then, in October 2017, the Holy Father invited them to a week-long meeting to further the preparatory work of the Synod Fathers. From March 19-25, three hundred young people from around the world will be in Rome for a pre-synodal meeting. It is one more step in helping to pave the way for the upcoming Synod of Bishops (October 3-28, 2018).
More: Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation