As the United States prepares to welcome Pope Francis next week for his historic visit for the World Meeting of Families—the excitement within the Catholic and non-Catholic communities is palpable.
Since becoming elected just two years ago, Pope Francis has offered hope to many.
Pope Francis has offered hope not just for a better church that recognizes the lives and dignity of all Catholics, but hope for a better world for all. During the World Meeting of Families, Pope Francis is expected to address the LGBTQ families within the Catholic Church, and many Catholics hold hope that he will use this opportunity to affirm the dignity of LGBTQ people.
LGBTQ Catholics have historically been excluded from conversations pertaining to the Catholic Church’s position on family. For decades our voices have been silenced while Church hierarchy has continued to label gays and lesbians as “intrinsically disordered.” As a result many LGBTQ Catholics feel unwelcome to participate in their local Catholic communities, while others have been fired from their jobs at Catholic institutions or even alienated from their own Catholic family members.
After thirty years away, I returned to the Catholic Church because I knew my story as a gay Catholic mattered.
The Church taught me how to love, as Jesus loved. And as a result of this teaching, I feel confident that Jesus would have not only invited LGBTQ people to his table—he would have listened to us as well.
The silencing of LGBTQ people will continue next week at the World Meeting of Families unless we make the voices of LGBTQ people and allies heard! The official programing includes only one workshop where LGBTQ issues will be discussed—a panel including a celibate gay Catholic and his mother. In addition, several LGBTQ-inclusive workshops planned by Equally Blessed were canceled by the local host parish St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.
In order to break through the silence we must get creative! Today, Believe Out Loud launched a campaign to empower LGBTQ people and our allies to tell Pope Francis that our LGBTQ families matter by sharing our stories of faith and family.
Join with me as we keep up the hope!
Photo provided by Candice Czubernat