An international network of 13 organizations of/with LGBT Catholics met for the first time during the Family Synod 2014 in Rome and since then we have worked together to initiate a global network of LGBTQI Catholics, their parents and families.
We are very happy to announce and invite you to the First Assembly of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, the foundational meeting of the new network. Under the title “LGBT Voices to the Synod”, this meeting will take place from 1−4 October 2015 in Rome, on the opening weekend of the second Family Synod.
Invitation to the Foundational Meeting
Part of the program is a public conference Ways of Love—Snapshots of Catholic Encounter with LGBT People and their Families. This conference will present LGBT pastoral activities from all over the world that are already going on.
Invited are groups and organizations of LGBT Catholics, their parents and families as well as ecumenical groups with significant numbers of Catholic members; also advocates who work for inclusion, dignity and equality for LGBT people, their parents and families in the Catholic Church.
(European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups – Coordinator Roman Catholic Church Activities)
- European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups
- Associació Cristiana de Gais i Lesbianes de Catalunya (ACGIL, Spain)
- Comitato promotore dell'associazione Cammini di Speranza – associazione nazionale cristiani lgbt (Italy)
- Dette Resources Foundation (Zambia)
- DignityUSA (USA)
- Drachma (Drachma LGBTI and Drachma Parents Group, Malta)
- Ichthys christian@s lgtbh de Sevilla (Spain)
- LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council (UK)
- New Ways Ministry (USA)
- Nuova Proposta (Italy)
- Ökumenische Arbeitsgruppe Homosexuelle und Kirche (HuK, Germany)
- Pastoral de la Diversidad Sexual (Chile)
- Wiara i Tęcza (Poland)
LGBT Voices to the Synod
First Assembly of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics
This assembly has the following goals:
- to initiate a global exchange about the life situations of LGBT Catholics,
- to explore the gifts and needs of the participants for LGBT pastoral,
- to inspire new activities and co-operation among the participants,
- to discuss and develop the mission, objectives and values of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (see below),
- to elect a steering committee,
- to celebrate our faith in prayer, singing and Eucharist.
The program will also include
- the launch of a new book And God saw that it all was excellent with autobiographic stories from LGBT Catholics from Europe with the editors Sandy Taylor and Hazel Barnes,
- a guided tour through the city of Rome,
- the public conference Ways of Love—Snapshots of Catholic Encounter with LGBT People (see below).
The Assembly will take place in the Centro Pellegrini, a guest house in the city of Rome.
Centro Pellegrini “Santa Teresa Couderc”
Via Vincenzo Ambrosio 9/11 – 00136 Roma – Italy
Phone: +39 06 35401142, Fax: +39 06 92911822
The Assembly begins Thursday, 1 October at 5 pm and ends on Sunday, 4 October at 1 pm (after lunch). Please, take care that your arrival at the Centro Pellegrini must be before 7 pm.
- Triple Room: 120 €
- Double Room: 150 €
- Single Room: 200 € (only few available)
These costs are for the entire meeting. They include lodging, breakfast, one main meal per day, coffee break, tourist tax, free WiFi. Costs per night can be divided by three.
Registration and Application for Scholarships
Registration is open until 15 July. Please, respond to all questions of this questionnaire. By 1 August, you will receive a response as to whether or not your application has been accepted. If it has, you will also receive detailed payment instructions at that time. Participants (especially from the Global South) can apply for scholarships on the same registration form, if necessary. Scholarship notifications will be sent by 1 August with further information.
Ways of Love—Snapshots of Catholic Encounter with LGBT People and their Families
The conference will present examples from all over the world of LGBT pastoral care and inclusion already realized in the Catholic Church.
Time: Saturday, 3 October 2015, 3-7pm
Place: Rome, Centro Pellegrini „Santa Teresa Couderc“, Via Vincenzo Ambrosio 9/11
The entrance is free.
Moderator: Gabriella Caramore (author and host or the Italian radio program Human beings and prophets)
|15.00||Welcoming and Introduction|
|15.45||Catholic LGBT Pastoral Projects—Snapshots from Chile, USA, UK, Kenya, Italy, Thailand with
|17.45||Keynote Speech: Bishop Raul Vera (Mexico)|
|18.30||Final Panel: Hopes and expectations from the Family Synod|
Concept Paper for the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics
This is to be considered as a working document to be further developed at the Assembly in Rome. Your response to the questions in the registration form would help us to improve it.
The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC) is a global network of organisations and advocates who focus on pastoral care and justice for LGBT people and their families. Through common projects, support, and exchange the Network works for inclusion, dignity, and equality for LGBT people, their parents and families in the Catholic Church and society.
Ethos & Values Statement
Representing a wide variety of sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds, GNRC members are united by a shared Catholic faith which calls us to pray and work to ensure that LGBT people have full and equal membership in all areas of the Catholic Church, and that their human dignity and rights to respect and equal treatment will be protected by civil and church laws.
Rooted in Catholic social justice tradition, we respect the intrinsic equal value of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, relationship status, or gender identity. We believe that Catholic Church leaders, structures, and institutions should promote policies and practices which include the full participation of LGBT people at all levels, including access to pastoral care, sacramental participation, employment and decision-making, and ministerial leadership. We envision a Catholic Church where all God’s people—LGBT and heterosexual—can live, worship, and serve together harmoniously.
The Catholic faith also calls us to challenge all structures which treat LGBT people in a discriminatory manner. Civil and church law should protect LGBT rights and equality, not deny them. Any law or practice which oppresses, restricts, punishes, or harms LGBT people is contrary to the Gospel. We work both to eradicate prejudicial attitudes and practices which harm LGBT people and, through education and awareness-training, to enable those with homophobic and transphobic views to be aware that such views and behaviours have no place within the Catholic Church.
We work to educate Catholic leadership, institutions, and audiences about the spiritual gifts that LGBT people bring to the Church, and how our community is blessed by their presence and experience.
The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics will dialogue with theologians and Church leaders to facilitate pastoral practice, theological reflection and doctrinal development.
While the experiences, struggles, and opportunities of GNRC members may differ greatly, we stand in solidarity and prayer with one another, and we pledge our support to one another to help bring about a more just and equal church and world.