The Malta Independent 20 August 2019, Tuesday

'We urge the Church to be more inclusive and embracing towards LGBTIQ youth' - Drachma

Saturday, 15 September 2018, 16:18 Last update: about 12 months ago

This is the very first Pride March in which the banner of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC) has been officially used, Drachma has said in a statement.

GNRC is an international network that brings together 35 different organisations from around the world, registered in Italy in December 2017. There are two GNRC board members from Malta, one of whom is the first Co-Chair.

Drachma is a co-founder of GNRC, but we also pioneered the building of the European Network of Parents of LGBTI+ persons (ENP), which was registered in Malta last year.

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"Yet, today we choose to walk behind the GNRC banner, in support of all LGBTIQ persons, youth, and their families who identify as Catholics, and to counter the scapegoating of gay priests and other LGBTIQ celibate religious that is happening around the world. We hope to send out a clear message to all."

"The persistent negativity and prejudice surrounding, what is ultimately a variant in nature (just like being left handed), has continued to fuel social stigma. This leaves several people unable to 'come out' and instead, they choose to hide the truth about themselves which can be very harmful. We are advocating for an open, honest dialogue with Vatican officials to see a change in the language used to describe LGBTIQ people in the catechism. To insist on the removal of words like intrinsic disorder or intrinsically evil and instead replace with a teaching that shows more respect, compassion and sensitivity."

"We urge the Church to be more inclusive and embracing towards LGBTIQ youth, especially in the upcoming Youth Synod, where they should be visible and represented."

"We are also concerned that gay celibate priests and other LGBTIQ celibate religious are forced to live closeted lives in shame and anxiety, and this does not help them in their human development and spiritual formation. They live hidden lives in fear of becoming scapegoats and so their ministry is negatively affected. But gay celibate priests who are open about their sexual orientation and who accept themselves and live in peace, would be more able to grow healthily from this experience."

"Church officials should be seeking to address these issues and GNRC (and Drachma) is offering a safe space where this may happen together in trust and a spirit of collaboration. We stand by you. We believe in a love that is truly just."

 


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