Members of the leading LGBT Catholic organzation, meeting in Seattle for the organization’s national convention, have voted to begin advocating for equal access to all of the sacraments of the Catholic Church for LGBT people and their families.
A unanimously-passed resolution states that “DignityUSA and its members call on the leaders and members of our Roman Catholic Church to ensure that all of the sacraments of our Church be administered regardless of the gender identity, sexual orientation, or relational status of the person(s) seeking the sacrament.”
“DignityUSA stands for full inclusion and equality of LGBT people in the Catholic Church. We can’t be fully equal if we are barred from any of our Church’s sacraments,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA’s Executive Director.
“Right now, we are officially banned from marriage and ordination, and often denied other sacraments, as well.”
“We hear stories all the time of people told they cannot have Communion because they are gay, in a same-sex relationship, or civilly married. Many priests refuse to baptize the children of same-sex couples. A gay man in Washington, DC was denied ’last rites’ after suffering a heart attack. These incidents cause pain and alienation for us, and for our families, and create division within our Church,” continued Duddy-Burke.
“We believe that the Church’s own theology about the importance and nature of sacraments supports our goal. Sacraments are means of celebrating what is sacred in human lives, and ways of being open to God’s grace. Surely the lives of LGBT people and our families are just as sacred, and just as deserving of grace, as the lives of other people,” said Duddy-Burke.
“We know that it is going to take a lot of work, and probably many years, to achieve this goal,” said Duddy-Burke.
“But having gained civil marriage equality in the US, we know that the miraculous is possible. We believe that rethinking how sacraments are administered will be good for everyone in the Catholic Church, because it will help us to live our belief in the intrinsic dignity and equality of every person as created and loved by God. This broadened understanding of the sacraments would apply not just to LGBT people, but to everyone, including women and married men and women seeking ordination, for example.”
The full text of the resolution is as follows:
Whereas DignityUSA works for the full inclusion and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) Catholics in our Church and our world, and
Whereas DignityUSA has long proclaimed its belief in the sacredness of the lives and families of LGBTQI people and our families, and
Whereas LGBTQI people and our families have too often experienced difficulty in accessing, or have been explicitly denied, the sacraments of our Church simply because of who we are or whom we love,
Therefore be it resolved that DignityUSA and its members call on the leaders and members of our Roman Catholic Church to ensure that all of the sacraments of our Church be administered regardless of the gender identity, sexual orientation, or relational status of the person(s) seeking the sacrament.
DignityUSA is the nation’s foremost organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Catholics, their families, friends and supporters. Founded in 1969, it works for full inclusion and equality for LGBT Catholics in the Church and society. Photo via flickr user Adam Fagen