Two days before the Synod of Bishops on the family, which will take place in the Vatican between 5 and 19 October 2014, various associations and Catholic groups from Europe, Africa and the United States of America will meet in Rome (On 3 October 2014) for the International Conference “The Ways of love, towards a pastoral care for LGBT people”. Catholic and non-catholic theologians and religious people, parents of LGBT people and catholic LGBT people themselves will work together on a serious proposal for a complete acceptance of LGBT people in the Church to present to the Bishops.
Marco Politi, journalist and vaticanist of Il Fatto Quotidiano, will moderate the conference. Here is the list of speakers:
Msgr Geoffrey Robinson, emeritus bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese in Sydney (Australia), will debate how the Catholic Church can begin a new understanding of LGBT people, because “There is no possibility of a change in the Church’s teaching on homosexual acts unless there is first a change in its teaching on heterosexual acts”.
Father James Alison, Catholic theologian and English priest who worked profusely in South America, will dwell on “how homosexuals and transsexuals can become the new protagonists of a new evangelization that is more inclusive and able to welcome and free diverse sexualities from oppression and discrimination around the world”.
Sister Antonietta Potente, theologian and Dominican nun, from Italy, starting from her contribution “From the exile to the inclusion, from waiting to participation: a new approach for LGBT people”, will offer some suggestions for a more inclusive attitude in relation to the evangelization of LGBT people.
Letizia Tomassone, Waldensian pastor, from her perspective as President of the Commission on Faith and Homosexuality of the Baptist, Methodist, and Waldensian Churches will talk about the path that these Churches have taken from prejudice to full inclusion.
Joseanne Peregrin, President of the Christian Life Community in Malta and mother of a homosexual man, will discuss Catholic parents’ feelings and fears about their homosexual children.
Moreover, some gay and lesbian Catholics will tell their stories and there will be the reading of “The appeal for a welcoming pastoral care for LGBT people“, which will be handed over to the Synod of Bishops. The international conference “The Ways of Love” aims to give the Fathers of the Synod suggestions on how to fully include LGBT people, same-sex couples and their families in pastoral care because “A debate on families can’t be discussed without considering all kinds of families based on love”.
“The Ways of Love”, an international conference for a pastoral care with LGBT people (Rome, 3 October 2014), sponsored by the European Forum of LGBT Christians and funded with the contribution of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. Conference venue: lecture hall of the Faculty of Waldelsian Theology, via Pietro Cossa 40, Rome (Italy). Free admittance. For info and documentation in advance, email firstname.lastname@example.org
> Program of the International Conference “The ways of Love” (October 3, 2014)
The international promotion committee of the Conference: Francesco Boschi (REFO, Italy); Michael Brinkschroeder (European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups, Holland); Michael Clifton (David et Jonathan, France); Francis De Bernardo (New Ways Ministry, United States); Marianne Duddy-Burke (DignityUSA, United States); Gianni Geraci (Il Guado, Italy); David Musonda (Dette Resource Foundation, Zambia); Innocenzo Pontillo (Progetto Gionata, Italy); Andrea Rubera (Nuova Proposta, Italy); Diane Xuereb (Drachma LGBT, Malta)
Spokesmen of the Conference: Gianni Geraci (Guado group from Milan) and Andrea Rubera (Nuova Proposta group from Rome)
For immediate release
Bishop Geoffrey James Robinson: “Towards a new understanding of LGBT lives and love”. ”
So if you want change in the teaching on homosexual acts, work for change concerning all sexual acts. There is a profound need for this change”
James Alison: “Towards global inclusion of LGBT people within Catholic communities: a new theological approach”.
“It is becoming clear in the life of the Church that those long held to be incapable of being truth-bearers are being revealed as long-term learners of truthfulness, while many who claimed truth turn out to have been blindly defending sacred ideology”.
Antonietta Potente: “From the exile to the inclusion, from waiting to participation: a new approach for LGBT people”.
“We read the long story of exclusion and the personal experience of those who dreamt of going through the cultural and religious barriers built by the collective understanding of gender. Today we walk on a path of redemption and dignity.”
Letizia Tomassone: “The path of Protestant churches from prejudice to full inclusion of LGBT people”.
Is not the Church’s vocation to be the place of freedom? The site of a banquet so well prepared that crumbs of freedom could fall even for those who are hiding under the tables for fear of being persecuted? To tell about oneself is one of the many ways towards a world of greater authenticity and truth.
Joseanne Peregrin: “LGBT children’s parents’s fears and expectations”
“Pastoral care means building a friendship that accompanies people where they stand – focusing therefore on emotional support and spiritual care. We ‘are sent’ to the periphery to take upon ourselves the hostilities experienced by LGBTs choosing to defend, rather than judge them”.