The LGBT Catholic community which gathers in the Diocese of Westminster, sent a Briefing Paper to Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, and Bishop Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton and Chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference Committee for Marriage and Family Life, who are representing the Catholic Bishops of England & Wales at the International Synod of Bishops on the Family in Rome.
The LGBT Catholics Briefing Paper is the result of a Reflection Day, sponsored by the LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council in June 2013.
It calls for the harsh language of previous Vatican documents referring to LGBT people as 'disordered' to be rescinded. It urges the Vatican Synod to reject the global criminalisation of LGBT people, including the death penalty. It calls for the Vatican to initiate a three - five year Listening Process, to include Bishops, theologians, LGBT people and their parents, parish clergy and pastoral workers, in order to develop models of pastoral care which more closely reflect Pope Francis' call for mercy, justice and equality, particularly applying this to the concerns of LGBT people, parents and families. The document calls for the Church to turn from a preoccupation with sexual behaviour to an acceptance of loving relationality, as reflecting the love of God for all people.
Members of the Diocese of Westminster's LGBT Catholic community were also involved in the launch of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics which took place between 1-4 October in Rome. During its Foundational Assembly, the Network held a public conference - Ways of Love: Catholic Encounters with LGBT People & Families. Keynote speakers for the conference included Dr Mary McAleese, former Irish President, and Bishop Raul Vera OP, from Saltillo, Mexico. Others from around the world will offer snapshots of good pastoral practice for and with LGBT people, parents and families:
To read the full statement and other documents, see: www.lgbtcatholicswestminster.org/news-notes/synod-on-the-family-2015