Catholics Working for LGBT Equality Pledge to Continue Dialogue that Began at Synod
October 18, 2014: Equally Blessed, a coalition of four Catholic organizations with a combined history of 125 years working for LGBT equality, released the following statement:
This month’s Synod on the Family confirms that there are deep divides in the Catholic hierarchy around issues of human sexuality and that even in the Vatican many Catholics know that it is past time for the church to reconcile with faithful LGBT Catholics.
The synod’s message to the faithful stated that “Christ wanted his Church to be a house with doors always open to welcome everyone.” It is unfortunate that in their final document the synod attempted to shut those doors on the thousands of faithful LGBT Catholics and their families who have been left out in the cold by a church that repeatedly refuses to acknowledge the sanctity of their lives and their loves.
Equally Blessed is inspired by Catholics in the pews who see the face of Jesus in our LGBT loved ones, who celebrate the profound witness of love shown by LGBT people in their relationships, families and parishes. It is these Catholics who are answering Jesus’ call to open the doors of the church.
“For Catholics in the pews, LGBT people aren’t just an issue to be discussed and argued over. They are our family members and our friends. They are faithful Catholics who we worship alongside each Sunday,” said Deb Word, President of Fortunate Families, a member of the Equally Blessed Coalition. “As a faithful Catholic and the mother of a gay man, I pray for the day when the Catholic hierarchy will provide support and care for all Catholic families, including my own. It is crucially important that families like mine share our stories and let the bishops put a face to the folks they dismiss as ‘intrinsically disordered.’ Our church will continue to be broken until we can welcome her lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children as God made them, in His image and likeness.”
The next twelve months will be pivotal ones for LGBT equality in the Catholic Church, as the bishops will continue to engage in prayerful dialogue and reflection in preparation for their Ordinary Synod in October, 2015. “The conversation that began at the Synod on the Family isn’t over-- in fact it’s just beginning,” said Word. “Equally Blessed will keep reaching out to the bishops to offer suggestions about how the Catholic Church can better minister to Catholic families like mine. Giving church leadership an opportunity to know our families will make a positive impact as our church goes into the second half of the synod in 2015.”
Equally Blessed is a coalition of four Catholic organizations that have spent more than 125 years working on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families. Collectively and individually, Call To Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, and New Ways Ministry are devoted to informing, supporting and giving voice to the growing majority within the Catholic Church in the United States that favors equality under law for LGBT people.