This is the Final Draft from the Steering Committee for the foundational concept paper of the GNRC. We used all the input provided during the Rome Gathering on October 2015 and it is intended to represent all the ideas, discernments and spiritual gifts supplied by the participants.
We request your discernment and internal discussion with your local Catholic LGBTI communities and ask for your feedback before the 2017 GNRC Assembly, where this concept paper will be ratified. Please send your comments, clarifications and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
GLOBAL NETWORK OF RAINBOW CATHOLICS MISSION
The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC) brings together groups and their members who work for pastoral care and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people and their families. The Network works for the inclusion, dignity and equality of this community in the Roman Catholic Church and society.
ETHOS & VALUES
1) GNRC represents diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, sex characteristics, cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds. GNRC members are united by a shared Christian faith, which calls us to pray and work to ensure that LGBTI persons and their families have full and participative membership in all areas of the Catholic Church.
2) Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus and the Catholic social justice tradition, we respect the intrinsic human dignity and equal value of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, relationship status, gender identity or sex characteristics. We envision a Catholic Church where all God’s people can live, work, worship and minister with one another harmoniously and contribute to the health and well-being of everyone.
3) Our faith calls us to challenge all discriminatory structures and to advance the equality of LGBTI persons. Civil and church law should value and protect their human rights, not diminish or deny them. Any law or practice which oppresses, restricts, punishes or harms LGBTI persons is contrary to the Gospel.
4) We affirm the spiritual gifts and lived experiences that LGBTI persons bring to the People of God. We value open, sincere and respectful dialogue based on the encounter with individual persons and communities in the spirit of reconciliation.
5) As members of GNRC we stand in solidarity and prayer with one another through our varied experiences, struggles and opportunities. In that same spirit, we commit ourselves to ecumenical cooperation and interfaith dialogue on LGBTI issues.
6) We affirm the goodness and holiness of sexuality as a gift from God to help us become closer to our beloved, to the divine, and to ourselves. We recognize that sexuality touches the most vulnerable parts of our identity and needs to be expressed in ways that are generously loving and compassionate.
KEY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
1) PROPHECY & JUSTICE: We acknowledge, support and lift up the voices of LGBTI people, and all who are marginalized in the Catholic Church and in society. These groups include racial, gender, and sexual minorities. We advocate for those who suffer from violence, prejudice, persecution and criminalization because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We foster a culture of equal rights and acceptance. We promote the equality of women in the Catholic Church.
2) DIALOGUE: We work to connect LGBTI Catholics with one another and with the wider church. We promote dialogue with theologians, Church leaders and lay people to facilitate pastoral practice, theological reflection and doctrinal development.
3) INCLUSION: We respect the different cultural experiences that LGBTI people encounter across the globe. We aim for fair representation of peoples from all regions, nations and cultures in church, society and our own network. We develop a culture of inclusivity and understanding in our network. Among our members, we support collaboration, developing resources, and sharing ideas and best practices.
4) SPIRITUALITY and FAITH DEVELOPMENT: We share our spiritualities, sensibilities and faith with one another, with other LGBTI people and the whole church. We strive to educate Catholic leadership, institutions, and audiences about the spiritual gifts that LGBTI people bring to the Church. We encourage the church to support and welcome pastoral activities that respect the diversity of LGBTI spiritualities and reach out to LGBTI people who feel alienated from the church.