Many truths of our faith have come from the early centuries of Christianity. Our understanding of humanity and of the universe is radically different now, so we need to find new ways, new language, and new images to make sense of the Gospel message in the modern world. Our aim will be to help us have a closer relationship with the Creative Spirit, whom we call God, as someone who is not distant from us in the “Heavens,” but is with us, within us, and all around us in every aspect of creation. For those interested in LGBT issues and those concerned about church reform, the retreat will provide a sound theological and spiritual base to ground their work, even when the road ahead is stormy.
Today “sexuality” means anything and everything: identity; orientation; the way we organize love, desire, and affection; even our whole way of being in the world as embodied spirit. We are part of a Church still struggling with how to connect all these fluid, evolving meanings. We come from a religious past with a narrow vision of binary sexes created for the purpose of procreation, in which a limited degree of male sexual desire is sanctioned and women’s experiences are considered irrelevant.
From January 21-27, 2019, six brave young adults are headed to World Youth Day in Panama to create the space now for LGBTQI people within the Catholic Church. This comes in the wake of:
- a Synod on the Youth, where LGBTQI issues were discussed, and where only (mostly older) cisgender men were allowed to vote;
- a recurrence of rhetoric that blames child sexual abuse on homosexuality;
- the attempted erasure of LGBTQI Catholics and same sex couples from the church;
- an alarming increase in unjust treatment of LGBTQI church workers, including violence and threats of violence;
- public silence from Pope Francis on all of these recent developments.
While our church has repeatedly villainized LGBTQI people as “disordered,” our pilgrims will counter this with a message of love and radical inclusion.
Our pilgrims commit to embracing the spirit of prophetic non-violence and witnessing to their fellow World Youth Day participants by:
- Engaging in one-on-one conversations about issues of importance to young LGBTQI Catholics on the streets of Panama City, Panama
- Engaging with the media
- Being a visible presence at World Youth Day events
- Sharing the message that we are all Equally Blessed!
While we raise awareness about issues of gender and sexuality in the lives of Catholics, we will challenge harmful teachings and pastoral practices that dehumanize us rather than celebrate the gifts that we LGBTQI people bring to the church and to the world.
LIVE at 8:30 PM Eastern / 7:30 PM Central / 6:30 PM Mountain / 5:30 PM Pacific / 4:30 PM Hawaii
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
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