June 19, 2016

The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC) expresses sorrow and solidarity with the LGBTQI community in the United States

We are not far from the pain and sense of incomprehension, that overwhelm us all as LGBTQI people, in these difficult days of grief and a search for hope. For us, LGBTQI Catholics and our families, it is difficult to reflect on and to rationalize an event that took so many lives in Orlando. This situation reminds us of our human limitations and the search for God´s mercy in such moments in which anger and sadness often are our natural and honest reactions.

We consider all people our brothers and sisters. Believing in God or not, professing a particular religion or not. We are people that work for inclusion and justice in society or the Church, and as such, we join the grief of the LGBTQI community in our belief that we are all children of the one God, whether Muslims or Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Jews or believers of any other faith. We are all made of the same substance, recalling that the first statement of all religions is that LOVE, above all is fundamental. Praying for the victims, their families and friends has been constant in our local LGBTQI Catholic communities in the days after the mass shooting. You can see how deeply we have been touched through the many expressions of support, through prayers, Masses, letters and articles, inside and outside the United States. In particular, our members at New Ways Ministry and DignityUSA who have done some great, committed work communicating our shared feelings and inner thoughts, since the shocking events of Orlando became public.

Even during these dark days, not only lay people but also our Catholic leaders have made public their solidarity and empathy in ways that we have never seen before. The words from many Bishops, like Robert McElroy of San Diego pledging “I stand with you”, encourage us to keep working. We have hope that through education, ecumenical dialogue and the sharing of our life experiences we’ll make a change in the society and the Church, where still too often we find people who express and justify homophobic attitudes. Pope Francis called, in his recent document “Amoris Laetitia”, to be more welcoming and inclusive and to reject all kind of expressions of violence towards LGBTQI people. Such a statement from Pope Francis reinforces that peace is not just the absence of violence, but also the presence of justice. Our commitment and will, as GNRC, is to walk down that path in Orlando and wherever LGBTQI people suffer from violence, discrimination and victimization, be it in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Oceania or Africa.

May the Peace and Love of God be constantly present and visible in all of us.

Steering Committee of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC).

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Website:    www.rainbowcatholics.org    Mail:          rainbowcatholicsassembly@gmail.com

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The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC) brings together organizations and individuals who work for pastoral care and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, questioning, and intersex (LGBTQI) people and their families. The Network works for inclusion, dignity and equality of this community in the Roman Catholic Church and society. The GNRC was founded in October 2015 at the Rome conference, “Ways of Love”, with 80 participants from 30 countries. To date, the GNRC represents 25 groups of LGBTQI Catholics, their families and friends from all continents.