Accompanying Vocations and Beyond

Abstract: Being LGBT in Africa can be really scary. Too many African presidents have said, “Someone can’t be homosexual and African.” Taboos and stigmatization are so rampant. My accompanying persons who are LGBT began when I was Jesuit vocation director; I somehow communicated that it is OK to be have same sex attractions or to be gay so I began hearing from this or that young man as he discovers himself to be gay and tries to figure out what to do with it.Of course, some join religious life; others move forward in other walks of life. Most are amazingly successful; but they carry so much pain at thinking they have to hide and that Church and Society would reject them if they were known to be LGBT. Most are alienated from the Church. As the Church reflects about family at the upcoming Synod, the Church in Africa needs help to make a start at providing a space where LGBT persons can receive understanding pastoral care and where families with members who are LGBT can learn how to receive them with love. In my presentation, using African cultural perspectives, I want to propose how we in Africa can become more open, welcoming and affirming.

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A priest working in Africa whose superior requested anonymity (Kenya)

.A priest working in Africa whose superior requested anonymity (Kenya)

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Posted in ENG