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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Sister Jeannine Gramick, the co-founder of New Ways Ministry and an advocate for LGBT people for close to 50 years, is leading an LGBT-friendly pilgrimage to Belgium and Germany. The itinerary includes sites of spiritual, historical, and cultural significance.
This trip is Sister Jeannine’s 16th pilgrimage, and past participants have praised them for not only the amazing places they have visited, but for the spirit of community and friendship which develop on each journey. Through daily Mass and occasional group sharing of experiences and perspectives, participants have forged connection with one another that have lasted for years.
On each trip, the pilgrims have also had an opportunity to meet with local groups of LGBT Christians, and wonderful international exchanges of ideas and support have also grown.
(Above photo: Grand Place market square, Brussels)