Queer Catholic Theologians of Color Offer “A New Agenda for Catholic Theology and Ministry”
A group of LGBTIQ+ Catholic theologians and advocates from the Americas, Asia-Pacific regions, and Europe held a conference at Loyola University of Chicago to discuss being Catholic, LGBTIQ+, and a person of color.
Chicago. October 27, 2021. From October 20th to October 22nd, a diverse group of queer Catholic theologians and advocates of color met to share their experiences, reflections and insights on Catholic theology and ethics, gender identity, race and ethnicity, migration, and religious syncretism. They were guided by the statement “Towards justice, Towards the Catholicity of our Church – All of our Identities or None of Them.”
The gathering was a milestone for Catholic theology. Collectively, these scholars and activists—gathered from the United States, Mexico, Chile, India, and the Philippines— brought their areas of expertise to bear on the vast array of complexities that actively affect the experiences of Catholic LGBTIQ+ persons, such as gender identity, racial diaspora, economic inequality, classism, and white supremacy. They challenged the Catholic Church to become even more inclusive and live into its identity as Catholic, a word meaning ‘universal’.
The second day of the gathering included a public panel presentation at Loyola University of Chicago entitled “A New Agenda for Catholic Theology and Ministry.” The event was hosted by Dr. Miguel H. Diaz, John Courtney Murray, S.J., University Chair in Public Service and former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. He introduced the project with a panel comprised of Dr. Bryan Massingale, STD, James and Nancy Buckman Chair in Applied Christian Ethics at Fordham University; Dr. Melissa Pagán, PhD – Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Religious Studies at Mount Saint Mary’s University; and Dr. Craig A. Ford Jr., PhD, Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at St. Norbert College. “This is the first meeting in history where a group of LGBTIQ+ Catholic theologians and advocates can expose and give visibility to the particularities of being LGBTIQ+, Catholic, and people of color,” Dr. Diaz affirmed during his introductory remarks.
“Past and modern theology, including that dealing with sexual minorities, was mostly written by White and/or European theologians. So, without diminishing its value, it’s important to include the perspectives of those who are part of the Church in Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, and Latin America,” Dr. Massingale, who is a Catholic priest, asserted. Those attending the event had the chance to ask questions of the panelists, who in turn highlighted the importance of gaining a deeper understanding of multicultural LGBTIQ+ communities in the Roman Catholic Church and in society.
Perspectives from Queer Catholic Theologians of Color Project Members
From left to right: Dr. Miguel H Diaz, Dr. Bryan Massingale, Dr. Michael Sepidoza Campos, Dr. Elsie Miranda, Fernando González, Dr. Melissa Pagán, Carlos Navarro, Dr. Craig A. Ford Jr., Dr. Kenneth Hamilton. Background on screen from London: Ruby Almeida.
The following is the detailed list of the queer Catholic theologians and advocates involved in the project, their contact information and the tentative names of the articles in where they are involved for the project:
- Dr. Miguel H. Diaz, John Courtney Murray, S.J., University Chair in Public Service and former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. Contact: email@example.com . Article: “La Virgen of Sexiles – Mariconeando the Experience and Language of Grace”
- Dr. Melissa Pagán, PhD – Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Religious Studies at Mount Saint Mary’s University. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Article: “Les Indocumentadxs: The Coloniality of Gender, Complementarity, and Rethinking Border Being/s”
- Dr. Craig A. Ford Jr., PhD, Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at St. Norbert College. Contact: email@example.com . Article: “Following the Drag Queen Prostitute: Towards a Queer of Color Account of the Natural Law”
- Dr. Elsie Miranda, PhD, Independent Scholar. Article: “A Journey to Radical Love: Encountering the Divine at the Intersection of Faith and Culture”
- Ruby Almeida, Media Lecturer, Quest LGBTI+ Convenor and Co-chair in the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org . Article: “Sisters Where Art Thou?”
- Dr. Bryan Massingale, STD, James and Nancy Buckman Chair in Applied Christian Ethics at Fordham University. Contact: email@example.com . Article: “I’ll Fly Away: Toward A Black Queer Spirituality of Desire, Transformation, and Resistance”
- Fernando González, B&A Bachelor Universidad de Chile, Media Executive in the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org . Article: “A Frontier inside the Frontier: Diversity and Inclusion in the Ibero-American LGBTIQ+ Welcoming Catholic Communities”
- Carlos Navarro, Freelance Journalist and Co-founder of the National Network of Rainbow Catholics México. Contact: email@example.com . Article: “Indigenous and Homosexual: Multiple discriminations in Mexico and Latin America”
- Dr. Michael Sepidoza Campos, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Education, De La Salle University Manila; and High School Teacher, Schools of the Sacred Heart San Francisco, California. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org . Article: “Transfguring Baklâ”
- Dr. Kenneth Hamilton, PhD, Independent Scholar. Contact: 2733 Park Blvd; Oakland, Ca, 94606 . Article: “‘All for Which He Deserves to be Burned’: The 1886 Ugandan Martyrdom, Sodomitical Discourse, and Colonial Hagiography.”
This meeting was sponsored by the Louisville Institute and held at Loyola University Chicago. The proceedings of this collaborative effort will be compiled in a book to be published in the near future.
Perspectives from Queer Catholic Theologians of Color Project