A Welcoming Pastoral Approach to Homosexual and Trans People
Some proposals for the Synod of bishops
As an integral part of the conference Ways of love, for a pastoral care with homosexual and trans people that took place in Rome on october 3thrd 2014, a document was read that summarizes the appeal that the Organizing Committee of the Third Italian Forum of LGBT Christians sent to the Italian participants to the Synod and to the secretariat of the Synod as a contribution to the work of the Synod itself. The paper was drawn up by a working collective over several months, starting from the responses made by Italian LGBT Christian groups to the questionnaire distributed last year.
This is a short version of the paper with a link to the whole paper.
Welcoming homosexual persons
We hope for a Church community which is able to genuinely welcome and to love homosexual persons, especially during the upheavals of adolescence; one that sustains them in their self-discovery, in their ability to relate to others, and in their full acceptance of their own dignity as humans capable of giving and receiving love.
Welcoming the parents of homosexual persons
We hope for a Church community which is able to welcome the parents of of homosexual persons with words of support, encouraging them to see their own child as made in the image and likeness of God, as worthy of God’s love, and as marked by Grace in every aspect of their life; one that explicitly rejects, as lacking in any scientific merit, all approaches designed to “change sexual orientation” as if this were a matter of choice.
These approaches deceive both as to expectations and results. Above all they promote a superficial reading of human affectivity and its inherent complexity, one in which the good of the person is sacrificed on the altar of ideology and the norm.
Welcoming same-sex love
We hope for a deep renewal of pastoral guidelines concerning the affective lives of homosexual persons, one which will make clear how much good is to be found in the expression of their love, and how exemplary such love can be in its strength and generosity towards others.
Welcoming same-sex couples
We hope for a Church community that is able to take to its heart those homosexual people within whom the desire for life as a couple waxes strong; one that knows how to include such couples, embracing them and guiding them; one that has set itself free from ideological battles, and is strong in its conviction that the love of Christ is for all, and for all is the source of abundant life.
Welcoming same-sex parents
We hope for a Church community that is able genuinely to welcome the children of same-sex parents, and which has their true interests at heart; one which knows that it is love which turns people into parents, and so doesn’t exclude from itself same-sex parents, those first charged to transmit the Christian message to their own children.
Standing up against homophobia
We hope for a Church community that is able to recognize dramatic stories of everyday homophobia and is able to take a clear stand in favour of victims, creating a respectful and inclusive environment in dioceses and parishes that will lead progressively to the eradication of homophobia. We hope for a Church community that wants to make its own the pain and fear of homosexuals and transsexuals who find themselves living in countries where they are criminalized, and who face daily risks to life or liberty because of their identity and their love; one which will stand up against the very sorts of persecution that historically have been unleashed against the Church itself.
Welcoming trans people
We hope for a Church community dedicated to knocking down the barriers to trans people becoming full members of society; one which knows how to embrace the truth and beauty of their journey into freedom. In this way the journey of each individual, and of every community, can be enriched by the diverse experiences of all who share it.