The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics Responds to Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia – The Joy of Love

IF THE DOOR IS STILL NOT UNLOCKED MAYBE THE KEY IS UNDER THE MAT ?  

Pope Francis’s response to the 2014 & 2015 Synods of Catholic Bishops on Marriage & Family, the Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of Love , raises more questions than it answers for LGBTQI Catholics, parents and families, globally. Disappointed by the light touch given to same-sex and gender identity concerns in the papal document, published 8 April 2016, the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics welcomes, nevertheless, the fact that the doors of welcome in this Jubilee Year of Mercy have not been slammed shut definitively. However, the GNRC is pleased that Pope Francis offers some clues as to where the key might be found, even if it looks more like it might be under the door-mat!

key under the mat
Pope Francis has opened up new ways for the Church to engage pastorally with the reality of its members’ lives, including all its LGBTQI people of God. The GNRC welcomes the move away from outmoded theological understandings, and emphasis on law and regulations, to strategies which empower all who minister in the Church to stand alongside and learn from those whom it has previously considered ‘irregular’ or even ‘disordered’. A key question now is how The Joy of Love’s principles on personal and ecclesial discernment, primacy of conscience, respectful and justice-rooted pastoral care, and refreshed ways of doing moral theology can be applied within LGBTQI contexts.
The Exhortation reinforces the priority of respect for the human dignity of each person, not only in its rejection of homophobic and transphobic discrimination but in any form of aggression or violence towards LGBTQI people. These general statements need to lead to the Vatican’s active and public support for global de-criminalisation, as well as the condemnation of torture and the death penalty on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Vatican must be vocal in its support for LGBTQI human rights and the GNRC regrets that the unfounded allegation that aid to poorer countries continues to be linked to the implementation of same-sex marriage remains Vatican rhetoric.
Even though the emphasis on pastoral care priorities is warmly welcomed, the GNRC cannot ignore the continuing harm to spiritual and personal well-being caused by the use of untrue and inaccurate theological language such as ‘ intrinsically evil’ and ‘objectively disordered’ . The GNRC welcomes the lack of such vocabulary in The Joy of Love but such categories foster prejudicial stances towards LGBTQI persons and communities, not least in contributing to higher-than-average rates of bullying, self-harm, and suicide among LGBTQI younger people.
LGBTQI Catholics, parents and families cannot continue to be treated as ‘problems’ that challenge the wider Church, but must be seen as active participants in the dialogue to which Pope Francis calls us all, with gifts to bring for the common good. We therefore renew our call for a structured, international ‘listening process’ wherein the Church’s hierarchy and theologians can engage with LGBTQI Catholics, parents, and young people, including children in samesex families, alongside a diverse group of experts in the human sciences. Such a process will enable the whole people of God to develop its vision, language and teaching on human sexuality and gender identity.
A more detailed response to The Joy of Love may be found on the GNRC website.

NOTE

The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC) brings together organizations and individuals who work for pastoral care and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, questioning, and intersex (LGBTQI) people and their families. The Network works for inclusion, dignity and equality of this community in the Roman Catholic Church and society. The GNRC was founded in October 2015 at the Rome conference, “Ways of Love”, with 80 participants from 30 countries. To date, the GNRC represents 25 groups of LGBTQI Catholics, their families and friends from all continents.

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

SI LA PUERTA AUN NO SE ABRE, ¿PUEDE SER QUE LA LLAVE ESTE BAJO EL FELPUDO?

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

SE LA PORTA NON E’ STATA ANCORA APERTA, FORSE LA CHIAVE E’ SOTTO LO ZERBINO? 

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 – CNN.com

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 – CNN.com

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

LGBT people want equality, not Pope’s compassion, says GLEN spokesman 

The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network said that it is disappointed by the Pope’s document on love and the family, calling it a missed opportunity to tackle homophobia.

Pope Francis published Amoris Laetitia (or ‘The Joy of Love’) this morning, in which he repeated the Catholic Church’s teaching that gay partnerships are not the same as traditional marriage.

Kieran Rose, the co-chair of GLEN, said it was a shame that the pontiff wasn’t more inclusive.

“It was billed as something that was going to be very progressive, but basically the only progressive thing, as far as I can see, in the statement is a call for compassion for LGBT people,” he said.

“To be very honest with you, I think me and every other single LGBT person are far more interested in equality and full human rights than in somebody’s compassion.”

Source: BreakingNews.ie

Some Hope But Not Much Joy for LGBT Catholics in Pope’s ‘Joy of Love’ Document

Statement of Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry,   in response to Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on marriage and family life.

While Pope Francis’ latest document, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), contains some hopeful passages, it does not inspire joy in LGBT Catholics and their supporters.  As far as sexual orientation and gender identity issues are concerned, the pope’s latest apostolic exhortation reiterates church formulas which show that the Vatican has yet to learn from the experiences and faith lives of so many LGBT Church members or their supporters.

Though the pope calls for church leaders and ministers to be less judgmental and to respect individuals’ consciences, he has not provided a new pastoral approach to LGBT issues or people.

On other family topics such as divorce and co-habitation, Amoris Laetitia, offers some hopeful advice—and if this advice were simply applied to LGBT issues, which would not be incompatible to do, this document would have been much more positive.  Pope Francis calls for non-judgmental pastoral care, assisting people in developing their consciences, encouraging diverse pastoral responses based on local culture, and calling church leaders to be more self-critical.  All these things, if applied to LGBT people and issues, could produce enormous positive change in the church.

Source: Bondings 2.0

Top ten takeaways from “Amoris Laetitia” 

At America magazine, James Martin S.J. lists “top 10 takeaways” from Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love):

Pope Francis’s groundbreaking new document “Amoris Laetitia” (“The Joy of Love”) asks the church to meet people where they are, to consider the complexities of people’s lives and to respect people’s consciences when it comes to moral decisions. The apostolic exhortation is mainly a document that reflects on family life and encourages families. But it is also the pope’s reminder that the church should avoid simply judging people and imposing rules on them without considering their struggles.

Using insights from the Synod of Bishops on the Family and from bishops’ conferences from around the world, Pope Francis affirms church teaching on family life and marriage, but strongly emphasizes the role of personal conscience and pastoral discernment. He urges the church to appreciate the context of people’s lives when helping them make good decisions.  The goal is to help families—in fact, everyone—experience God’s love and know that they are welcome members of the church. All this may require what the pope calls “new pastoral methods” (199).

 

Source: America Magazine

Martin continues, by listing and expanding on the following “top 10 takeaways”:

The church needs to understand families and individuals in all their complexity.

The role of conscience is paramount in moral decision making.

Divorced and remarried Catholics need to be more fully integrated into the church.

All members of the family need to be encouraged to live good Christian lives.

What might work in one place may not work in another.

Traditional teachings on marriage are affirmed, but the church should not burden people with unrealistic expectations.

Children must be educated in sex and sexuality.

Gay men and women should be respected.

All are welcome.