Can “Amoris Laetitia” Be a Starting Point for Progress on LGBT Issues? 

“The apostolic exhortation is not just the last step of a long process. It is going to be another starting point.”

Amoris Laetitia

These words are from Jesuit Fr. Antonio Spadaro, editor of the influential Civiltà Cattolica, commenting on Pope Francis’ exhortation about the family, Amoris Laetitia.

The exhortation has been a disappointment to many in terms of LGBT issues, with some commentators saying that it offers a stale, cursory, and at times condemnatory treatment of these topics. How then, can Amoris Laetitia, become a starting point for LGBT equality that leads to progress and not simply more of the same? I offer two thoughts.

First, the exhortation’s deficiencies must be admitted and addressed. Notably absent in the document, and the Synod deliberations preceding it, are the lives and experiences of LGBT people. Michael Bayly of The Wild Reed, citing the many testimonies which LGBT faithful have offered before, wrote:

“Do I expect the Vatican to share these types of testimonies, word-for-word, in official church documents? No. But I do expect those who claim to be leaders and teachers within our Catholic tradition to be open and responsive to the transforming presence of God within all people’s relational lives (including the lives of LGBTQ people) and to be committed to ensuring that our statements of collective wisdom (i.e., our church teachings) actually reflect the diverse nature of the beautiful gift of sexuality. . .Is that too much to ask?”


Source: Bondings 2.0

Power of conscience puts laity at centre of change

It would be right to describe the publication of Amoris Laetitia by Pope Francis as a minor earthquake, though one preceded by plenty of warning tremors. And while the Catholic Church’s foundations may have been shaken, the walls and roof are still standing. Francis was well aware when he was elected Pope that the basic weakness in the Church’s mission to evangelise was its reputation as a stern and unforgiving teacher in the field of sexual and marital ethics, something that touches people’s lives most intimately. Put simply, it did not sound like the gentle voice of a loving mother. Francis had to respect as far as possible the content of the teaching. But he could change the one thing that may matter more than content for ordinary Catholics – its tone.

Source: The Tablet

“Take a deeper look at Pope Francis’ statement on marriage and the family” – America Magazine

“Amoris Laetitia” is above all a pastoral document, which the pope intends to serve as “an aid to reflection, dialogue and pastoral practice, and as a help and encouragement to families in their daily commitments and challenges.” We hope this round up of in-depth coverage and expert analysis will serve to deepen your own reflection and open a fruitful dialogue about the joys and trials of families today.

Pope Francis’ Exhortation on the Family an ‘Organic Development of Doctrine’ By Gerard O’Connell

Reactions Roll In to Apostolic Exhortation from Pope Francis By Kevin Clarke

Top Ten Takeaways from ‘Amoris Laetitia’ By James Martin, S.J.

Francis, Family and Feminism: Changing the conversation around complementarity By Megan K. McCabe

In Good Conscience: What ‘Amoris Laetitia’ can teach us about responsible decision making By James T. Bretzke

Look to the Margins: Violence against women as a threat to the family By Meghan Clark

Discernment: A Key to Understanding ‘Amoris Laetitia’ By James Martin, S.J.

A Joyful Vision of Christian Marriage By Robert P. Imbelli

The Listening Pope: Surprising sources of “Amoris Laetitia” By Kevin Ahern

A Pastor to His People: For Francis, the ‘good of souls’ comes first. By Drew Christiansen, S.J.

Pope Francis Opens Doors to the Integration into Church Life of Catholics in Irregular Situations By Gerard O’Connell

Podcast: What’s Conscience Got to Do With It? By The Editors

Source: America Magazine

The Guardian view on the pope and marriage: making good again ( The Guardian, Editorial)

When a pope pronounces, there are two mistakes to make. The first is to suppose that Catholics will feel bound to obey him; the second to decide he is not worth listening to. This is especially true of Pope Francis, who has some really interesting and important things to say and fewer illusions than most recent popes about how they will be received by the faithful. His most recent production has been a summary of two long and occasionally acrimonious meetings of bishops about what the Catholic church should do regarding modern families in a changing world which is, in many respects, hostile to all forms of permanence, and to all promises that are unconditional, rather than contractual. The most neuralgic point was the reception of communion by divorced and remarried couples. This is something which is clearly forbidden by church law, and just as clearly accepted in all those western countries where divorce has become part of the pattern of normal life.

Source: The Guardian

La Red Global de Católicos Arcoíris responde a la Exhortación Apostólica del Papa Francisco, Amoris Laetitia – La Alegría del Amor


key under the mat

 La respuesta del Papa Francisco al Sínodo Extraordinario de Obispos de 2014 y 2016 sobre Matrimonio y Familia, la Exhortación Apostólica La Alegría del Amor, levanta más preguntas de las que responde para los católicos LGBTQI, sus padres y familias, a nivel global. Decepcionados por la liviana mención dada a los asuntos de unión de personas del mismo sexo e identidad de género en el Documento Papal, publicado el 8 de abril de 2016, la Red Global de Católicos Arcoíris recibe gratamente, no obstante, el hecho de que las puertas de bienvenida en este año del Jubileo de la Misericordia no hayan sido definitivamente cerradas de un portazo. Sin embargo, la GNRC agradecería que el Papa Francisco ofrezca algunas pistas sobre dónde encontrar la llave, incluso aunque parecieran estar más bien debajo del felpudo.

El Papa Francisco ha abierto nuevos caminos en la Iglesia para comprometerse pastoralmente con la realidad de vida de sus miembros, incluyendo a toda la gente de Dios LGBTQI. La GNRC recibe positivamente el giro desde una anticuada comprensión teológica, y el énfasis en leyes y regulaciones, hacia estrategias que empoderen a todos aquellos que conducen, a estar al lado de aquellos a quienes se les ha considerado como “irregulares” o inclusive “desordenados” y aprender de ellos. Una pregunta clave ahora es cómo los principios de La Alegría del Amor pueden ser aplicados en los contextos LGBTIQ, tanto los principios referidos al discernimiento personal y eclesial, la primacía de conciencia, el cuidado pastoral respetuoso y basado en la justicia, como aquellos métodos novedosos de hacer teología moral. Continue reading

La risposta del Global Network of Rainbow Catholics sull ’ Esortazione Apostolica di Papa Francesco


key under the mat

Cammini di Speranza diffonde il comunicato stampa del Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (di cui è fondatore) sull ’ Esortazione Apostolica di Papa Francesco “ Amoris Laetitia ” – La Gioia dell ’ Amore

Roma, 9 aprile 2016

La risposta di Papa Francesco ai Sinodi dei Vescovi cattolici su matrimonio e famiglia del 2014 e 2015, l’Esortazione Apostolica, “Amoris Laetitia” (La gioia dell’Amore), solleva a livello complessivo più domande che risposte per i cattolici LGBTQI, i loro genitori e famiglie.
Delusi dalla trattazione contenuta riservata alle questioni legate all’omosessualità e all’identità di genere dal documento pontificio pubblicato l’8 aprile 2016, le persone del Global Network of Rainbow Catholics apprezzano comunque il fatto che le porte dell’accoglienza, in questo anno giubilare della Misericordia, non sono state chiuse definitivamentee che Papa Francesco offra alcuni indizi su dove possa essere trovata la chiave, anche se sembrerebbe quasi verosimile che potrebbe trovarsi sotto lo zerbino!
Papa Francesco ha aperto nuove vie alla Chiesa per l’impegno pastorale con la realtà delle vitw dei suoi membri, compresi tutti i fedeli LGBTQI. Il GNRC accoglie con favore il passaggio da concezioni teologiche fuori moda, e dall’enfasi sulla dottrina e la legge, a strategie che autorizzano tutti coloro che nella Chiesa predicano di stare al fianco e imparare da coloro che sono stati in passato considerati ‘irregolari’ o perfino ‘disordinati’. Una questione chiave ora è come i principi de “La gioia dell’Amore” sul discernimento personale ed ecclesiale, sul primato della coscienza, su una pastorale rispettosa e radicata nella giustizia, e i nuovi approcci alla teologia morale possano essere applicati ai contesti LGBTQI.
L’Esortazione rafforza la priorità del rispetto della dignità umana di ogni persona, non solo nel suo rifiuto della discriminazione omofobica e transfobica ma anche di ogni forma di aggressione o di violenza nei confronti delle persone LGBTQI. Queste affermazioni generali devono però portare a un sostegno attivo e pubblico del Vaticano alla globale de-criminalizzazione, come anche alla condanna della tortura e pena di morte per motivi di orientamento sessuale e identità di genere. Il Vaticano deve essere esplicito nel suo sostegno per i diritti umani delle persone LGBTQI e il GNRC si rammarica del fatto che l’accusa infondata che l’aiuto ai paesi più poveri continui ad essere legato all’introduzione del matrimonio egualitario sia ancora parte della retorica del Vaticano.
Anche se l’accento sulla priorità pastorale è accolto con grande favore, il GNRC non può ignorare il danno continuo al benessere spirituale e personale che sono stati sinora causati dall’uso di un linguaggio teologico falso e impreciso come le locuzioni ‘intrinsecamente cattivo’ e ‘oggettivamente disordinato’. Il GNRC è quindi soddisfatto nel constatare l’assenza di questo vocabolario ne “La gioia dell’amore”; resta il fatto che queste parole abbiano favorito posizioni pregiudiziali verso le persone e le comunità LGBTQI, e contribuito anche, ai tassi più elevati rispetto alla media di bullismo, autolesionismo e suicidio tra i giovani LGBTQI.
I cattolici LGBTQI, i loro genitori e famiglie non possono continuare ad essere trattati come “problemi” che sfidano la Chiesa nella concezione più allargata, ma devono essere visti come partecipanti attivi nel dialogo a cui Papa Francesco ci chiama tutti, con doni da offrire al bene comune. Rinnoviamo, quindi, la nostra richiesta di uno strutturato, internazionale ‘processo di ascolto’ in cui la gerarchia e teologi della Chiesa possano confrontarsi con i cattolici LGBTQI, i loro genitori e i giovani, compresi i bambini delle famiglie arcobaleno, affiancati da un gruppo eterogeneo di esperti nelle scienze umane. Tale processo consentirà a tutto il popolo di Dio di sviluppare la sua visione, il suo linguaggio e il suo insegnamento sulla sessualità umana e l’identità di genere.
Una risposta più dettagliata su “La gioia dell’amore” può essere trovata sul sito del GNRC.

Il Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC) riunisce le organizzazioni e gli individui che lavorano per la cura pastorale e la giustizia per le persone lesbiche, gay, bisessuali, transgender e intersessuali (LGBTQI) e le loro famiglie. Il network lavora per l’inclusione, la dignità e l’uguaglianza di questa comunità nella Chiesa cattolica e nella società. Il GNRC è stato fondato a Roma, nel mese di ottobre 2015 durante la conferenza “Ways of Love”, con 80 partecipanti provenienti da 30 paesi. Ad oggi, il GNRC rappresenta 25 gruppi di cattolici LGBTQI cattolici, le loro famiglie e amici di tutti i continenti.

Pope Francis to church: Accept gays, divorced Catholics –

Pope Francis put his shoulder to the doors of the Catholic Church and shoved them open a little wider Friday, calling for the church to be more tolerant in practice while not changing any official doctrines.

He urged priests around the world to be more accepting of gays and lesbians, divorced Catholics and other people living in what the church considers “irregular” situations.”

A pastor cannot feel that it is enough simply to apply moral laws … as if they were stones to throw at people’s lives,” Francis writes in a sweeping paper outlining his stance on family matters.

He urges more common sense and less unthinking following of rules.”By thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and growth,” he writes.

He emphasizes that “unjust discrimination” against gays and lesbians is unacceptable, downplays the idea of “living in sin” and suggests that priests should use their own discretion on whether divorced Catholics in new marriages can take Communion.

Source: Pope Francis to church: Accept gays, divorced Catholics –

Fr. James Martin, LGBT Groups, Others React to Pope Francis’ “The Joy of Love” | Bondings 2.0

Yesterday’s release of Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family whose title translates as The Joy of Love, has provoked a tremendous amount of news reports and commentaries that will surely continue as this more than two-hundred page text is digested further. Today, Bondings 2.0 provides an initial round-up of reactions as they relate to LGBT issues.

Today, Bondings 2.0 provides an initial round-up of reactions as they relate to LGBT issues. You can read LGBT-related excerpts from Amoris Laetitia by clicking here.  You can read New Ways Ministry’s response by clicking here.

Source:  Bondings 2.0

Amoris Laetitia: Reaction from the Catholic community

A response to Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation the Joy of Love

Martin Pendergast, campaigner for LGBT rights in the Catholic community

“Anybody who has been involved in the synod process for the last two years has come to realise that same-sex issues were not going to be a central part of the Pope’s exhortation. That said, even though it’s pretty light treatment of same-sex issues, in paragraphs 250 and 251 there’s some key points. First of all, no condemnations, no quoting of language of “intrinsic disorder”, a nuance around the use of language like same-sex attraction, which some of us find offensive, an actual recognition of homosexual orientation, which is very significant in a document of this status.One of the key debates in the Church has been: is there such a thing as a different sexual orientation and paragraph 250 refers to people who manifest homosexual orientation. So it’s actually acknowledging that homosexual orientation exists: that’s very important.I don’t see this document to be quite as flowing or coherent as the Joy of the Gospel or Laudato Si’ and I think it shows evidence of interventions from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith to insert more conservative references to teachings from John Paul II and Pope Benedict, to sweeten the pill for more conservative Catholics.The question that many of us will have is: how are you going to apply those very important principles about conscience, internal forum, not judging people, not throwing stones at people? How are you going to apply that to people in same-sex relationships, children in same-sex families, parents of lesbian, gay or trans people? Those are the kind of questions this document throws up.Doors remain open rather than closed and those of us working to welcome LGBT people into the Church will be wanting to run with those…I think it’s encouraging us along the path.”

Source: The Tablet 

Cupich says Pope Francis’ landmark document on sex, marriage and family life ‘fresh’ and ‘striking’ – Chicago Tribune

Catholics should rely on their own consciences rather than looking exclusively to church doctrine to navigate the complexities of sex, marriage and family life, Pope Francis said Friday in a landmark document that Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich called “a game changer for the way we as a diocese are going to work with people.”

While the major church document titled “The Joy of Love” made no explicit change in church doctrine, the most controversial issue that arose was whether Francis would loosen the Vatican’s strict opposition to letting Catholics who divorce and remarry receive Communion.

While the pope didn’t explicitly endorse the “penitential path” of bringing those civilly remarried to Communion, he emphasized the need for pastors to help individual Catholics over the course of spiritual direction to ascertain what God is asking of them.

Source: Cupich says Pope Francis’ landmark document on sex, marriage and family life ‘fresh’ and ‘striking’ – Chicago Tribune