December 31, 2014– The Equally Blessed Coalition applauds Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp, who has forthrightly invited the Roman Catholic Church to formally recognize the grace in committed, loving same-sex relationships.
“We have to look inside the church for a formal recognition of the kind of interpersonal relationship that is also present in many gay couples,” Bishop Bonny asserts. “The intrinsic values are more important to me than the institutional question. The Christian ethic is based on lasting relationships where exclusivity, loyalty, and care are central to each other.”
These bold and beautiful words simply reflect what many Catholics have already witnessed from their lesbian and gay family members and friends. LGBT Catholics and their many Catholic allies know that the Spirit of God is not bound to Church teaching, and has moved freely and with power in the lives and loves of gay and lesbian people. The Equally Blessed Coalition joins Bishop Bonny in asking that the Church confirm this truth in her sacramental expressions.
Jim Smith of DignityUSA, a member of the Equally Blessed Coalition, said “Though pushback is sure to come, the Equally Blessed Coalition calls on all bishops who privately acknowledge the beauty of Bishop Bonny’s declaration to publicly support his invitation to the Church. God is very much alive in both straight and gay families. It is the time for our Catholic bishops and all church leaders to come out of that doctrinally rigid closet and stand with this brave bishop.”
Equally Blessed is a coalition of four Catholic organizations that have spent more than 120 years working on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families. Collectively and individually, Call To Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, and New Ways Ministry are devoted to informing, supporting and giving voice to the growing majority within the Catholic Church in the United States that favors equality under law for LGBT people.