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.”

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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.

Comments

It WILL come. There are so many changes being reflected and commented on by this Pope, that irritates and causes FEAR among those who need not be at the 'head' of their congregations. Bishops who cannot see past the rantings and ravings of those who would disenfranchise LBGT people.

Just as the Pope is seriously discussing marriage for the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church, he is attempting to enfold ALL communicants that are wishing and hoping for change.

Those who pays thousands of dollars to have their marriages annulled -- even after decades -- are also caught in this loop of MAN-MADE 'rules and regulations' within the Church. Jesus only spoke about divorce -- which he dispised, NEVER any LGBT people. The various writings within the Bible are NEVER attributed to a direct quote from Jesus. This is unfortunate, in that those that are fearful of anything 'different' latch on to Leviticus like it was God's direct word.

'Once upon a time...' Catholic Priest WERE MARRIED, with families. Why did this change? Largely because of inheritance laws that deprived the Church of wealth at the death of a Priest. Greed, in other words. The Seven Deadly Sins include this. The Ten Commandments say NOTHING about LGBT issues, Again, those who would rail against inclusion are hypocrites, who would have you believe this is directly 'dictated' by God.

As a 'lapsed Catholic' who is now an Episcopalian, I see inclusion of LGBT families, divorced individuals receiving communion and empathy from the clergy. Women can serve as Priests. Gay/Lesbian couples can be Priests and even Bishops. A Church -- any Church -- of any denomination should/could minister to any and all, but for their very own bigotry.

I wish this Pope the very best. For all the reasons I left the RC Church (none of which reflecting sexual orientation), should he change the hypocrisy of those who are 'better' than anyone else...I just might return to my 'roots'. BTW, I left mentally at age 9 when I was told NONE but Roman Catholics who had been baptized in the faith could enter heaven. My father was not RC -- but did take us to Church more often than my mother. He attended the necessary indoctrinations prior to marriage and he'd PROMISED to raise his children as Roman Catholics. He, definitely IS in Heaven (as is my mother)...

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