FROM THE LATINAMERICAN COMMUNITIES OF THE GLOBAL NETWORK OF RAINBOW CATHOLICS AND ALLY GROUPS TO THE ECCLESIAL ASSEMBLY
November 26, 2021
Dear Latin-American Ecclesial Assembly:
As part of the Latin-American Rainbow Catholic community, we salute and encourage the organizing committee and representatives that participate in the Latin American Ecclesial Assembly. We join in prayer to the process of discernment in the search of and recognition of a more inclusive, welcoming, and fair Roman Catholic Church for Latin America and worldwide.
In the first place, we want to thank you – the Ecclesial Assembly – for mentioning our affirmative communities in the Document for the Path, considering the work historically carried out in favor of the visibility and inclusion of LGBTIQ + Catholics, our families and allies. Within this gratitude, it is worth mentioning that as a pastoral initiative, our communities are a space with an eminently secular and not institutional charism, supported by the CLC at the regional level, as well as by religious men and women of the Society of Jesus, the Sacred Hearts, the Sacred Heart and many more congregations, whose accompaniment we deeply value. Our charism in Latin America comes from a diverse and self-convoked origin, and this is also replicated in our sibling communities throughout the region, Spain and Portugal.
Since our genesis, we have sought to abandon the position of pastoral objects that has prevailed in previous instances or discussions and we have worked so that our presence is considered through participation, reflection, and testimony, as an input and a different value and above the achievements that our families and allies can carry out as witnesses of our work. Our allies, especially the groups of Catholic parents of LGBTIQ + people, accompany us in this mission from their own life experience, but, for the same reason, they cannot replace the voice and experience of those of us who have worked for more than ten years in the so-called border of the Church during this Ecclesial Assembly.
Since our genesis, we have sought to abandon the position of pastoral objects that originally prevailed in earlier instances or discussions, moving towards a presence to be considered through participation, reflection, and testimony, as an input and as a different value driver, beyond the achievements that our families and allies can express as witnesses of our work. Our allies, especially the groups of Catholic parents of LGBTIQ + people, accompany us in this mission from their own life experience, but, for the same reason during the Ecclesial Assembly, they cannot replace the voice and experience of those of us who have worked for more than ten years in the so-called border of the Church.
Given the above, we seek to raise the following considerations to the Ecclesial Assembly:
- Diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity are a reality of human nature and therefore must be considered as part of the wealth for the Church and society. Our orientation or identity is not an “option.” These two points must be part of a continuous reflection on a modern theological and exegetical level, as that promoted by figures such as Pope Francis himself.
- We are not the fruit of a whimsical “Gender Ideology”. We have evidence from biology, psychology, psychiatry, and other sciences that supports the first point over other discourses.
- We believe it is important to identify other actions and documents promoted or institutionalized by the Church that constitute harmful actions that have led many members to leave the Church and that lead to unnecessary and un-Christian pain for those of us who decide to remain in it. We speak of texts such as the references to our relationships as acts “intrinsically disordered” in articles 2357, 2358 and 2359 of the Catechism or the promotion of documents referred to us such as the Responsum of March of this year. In addition, chastity is imposed on us as an obligation and not as a genuine vocational call of free discernment.
- Our life experience is a manifested image of God in as much as we were constituted in our sexual orientation and gender identity since our creation in Thy image and likeness. The expression of our sexuality and gender is part of the wealth of Thy Work and of the Church, and we see it as a Divine Gift that is made concrete at the individual level as in the relationships we build: couple, family, social and community.
- For this reason, we are not an error in the Divine Work that must be “corrected”, as proposed by certain approaches of doubtful scientific basis, through therapies or spiritual direction. We question those speeches and practices accepted or promoted either by ideological whim or in good faith, knowing that they are in turn useless, harmful, and even deadly for those who receive them as well as for those around them.
- We seek to be recognized as Christians committed to our Faith and to be treated as everyone in equality, according to the dignity received by our baptism. We are One in Christ Jesus; we believe in God father and mother who loves us as every human person. Those of us who consider ourselves Christians seek to live accordingly, and this applies to all individuals or families.
These inputs that we present to you today come from a continuous work and that is manifested in the First Survey on Inclusive Latin-American LGBTIQ+ Catholic Communities for the Synod Way. In it, more than 700 LGBTIQ + Catholics and their families expressed themselves and direct therir voice to the Ecclesial Assembly.
Additionally, we invite you to think of the Church as a single body where the community comes together to manifest Faith in a Christ who is still alive and who recognizes today, as in the Gospel, each one of us as different from our neighbor, each one with their own experiences, their gifts and with the desire to continue discovering the mystery of God. Let us pay attention to what the Lord wants from us in this Ecclesial Assembly and let us try to become a single body that aspires to be United in “one Heart and Spirit”, contributing our love, service, wealth and pastoral sense without feeling discriminated against or relegated.
We reiterate our commitment and deep feeling of active belonging to our Church, as well as our willingness to participate in the present or future instances of this Ecclesial Assembly and other spaces of witness, reflection and incidence in the Church and society. In addition, we took the opportunity to invite you to share with our communities during the IV Extraordinary Assembly of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics to be held in Mexico City from September 9 to 15, 2022.
Greetings again to the Ecclesial Assembly and united in Christ,
- Antonio Ortiz (Spanish) – GNRC Delegate for Latinoamérica – mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cris Serra (English / Portuguese) – GNRC Delegate for Diversity – mail: email@example.com
Latin-American Communities of the GNRC and Ally Groups
We are more than 60 communities, including national confederations in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, that work for the pastoral care, dignity, justice, and inclusion of LGBTIQ + Catholics and their families in the Church and Society:
Argentina: Grupo el Centurión, Comunidad Católica de la Diversidad Argentina, Siquem, EFAG / Brazil: Rede Nacional de Grupos Católicos LGBT / Chile: Padis+ Chile, Diversidad Vocal, Kairos / Colombia: Padis+ Colombia, Comunidad San Sebastian / Costa Rica: Espacio Seguro Católico / Spain: Crismhom, Ichthys Sevilla, Padis+ Canaria, Padis+ Pamplona / Mexico: Red de Católicos Arcoíris México / Nicaragua: Grupo Artemisa / Paraguay: Cristianos Inclusivos del Paraguay / Peru: COMOCAD, Padis+ Perú / Portugal: Caminhar na Diversidade (CaDiv)