LGBTQIA+ Catholics attending a symposium in Sydney have called for greater acknowledgement by Church bodies and ministers and inclusion in 2020 Plenary Council preparations.
“There is still a great silence around LGBTIQA+ people in our Church and those who have walked away,” Queensland delegate Tony Robertson said.
“Acceptance is more than simple tolerance.
“It is about welcoming, engaging, acknowledging and having a recognition of our presence in the pews, the schools, the pastoral works and ministries.”
Mr Robertson said he was heartened when Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long joined the symposium’s closing session.
A final symposium statement reads: The 2020 National Catholic Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) Pastoral Care Symposium offers a voice of hope for a better church that reflects the deliberations of the delegates that honour the dignity, wholeness and holiness of LGBTQIA+ Catholics.
“We have been inspired and energised to work in our Church in Australia so that our Churches and agencies may become safe and spiritually nurturing places for all God’s children, in particular those who identify as LGBTQIA+ who have suffered violence, discrimination, criminalisation, hate, prejudice and abuse in our church and society.”
The symposium called for removal of language from the Catechism of the Catholic Church “that causes emotional, social, physical and spiritual trauma detrimental to LGBTQIA+ people’s dignity and wellbeing”.
“We refer specifically but not limited to, the terms ‘intrinsically disordered’ (CCC 2357) and ‘objectively disordered’ (CCC 2358),” a final symposium statement said.
The symposium statement draws on scripture and Pope Francis’ reminder that “the goodness of God has no limits and discriminates against no one”.
“Because of this, the banquet of the Lord’s gifts is universal, for everyone” (Sunday Angelus Address, October 12, 2014) and that we as Church must go out to the ‘existential peripheries’ where pain, suffering, healing alongside great faith and new ways of flourishing are being found,” the statement reads.
“We call for the dignity and status of all baptised Catholics, especially LGBTQIA+ Catholics, to be recognised and celebrated, so that LGBTQIA+ Catholics can stay steadfast in commitment to the Gospel and the church we love.”
Mr Robertson said he planned to pass on the statement to the president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge.