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Youth Push For More Inclusive Message For LGBTQ Catholics

Call comes on the heels of a month-long meeting of bishops at the Vatican…

The Roman Catholic Church has had a long and complicated history with the LGBTQ community. Now young people are leading the charge to push for change.

Catholic bishops are meeting at the Vatican and issues affecting Catholic youth – including the church’s relationship with its gay members – are at the top of the agenda. The month-long meeting, or synod of bishops, ends October 28 with the adoption of a final document and approval of a separate statement addressed to Catholic youth around the world.

A contingent of youth delegates has made it clear that they want the final document to include a more inclusive message for LGBTQ Catholics, and the Vatican appears to be heeding the call by including a first-time reference to “LGBT” in its preparatory document heading into the meeting. While the final document has yet to be voted on, some bishops are already voicing support for striking a more inclusive tone:

“The youth are talking about it freely and in the language they use, and they are encouraging us ‘Call us, address us this because this is who we are,’” said Papua New Guinea Cardinal John Ribat at a recent press conference.

However, some bishops seem to be less inclined to support a message that makes members of the LGBTQ community feel welcome. In the words of Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, “there is no such thing as an ‘LGBTQ Catholic’ or a ‘transgender Catholic’ or a ‘heterosexual Catholic,’ as if our sexual appetites defined who we are.”

The meeting has also focused on the church’s response to the sex abuse scandal with youth delegates demanding that the final document address the issue head on while also pushing for more transparency and accountability from church leadership.


JUMOL ROYES is a Toronto-based writer/PR & communications strategist with a keen interest in personal development and transformation. Follow him on Twitter @Jumol.

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