As mentioned on this blog the other day, the March issue of U.S. Catholic magazine has an excellent article, “Pride and Prejudice: The uneasy relationship between gays and lesbians and their church,” surveying the landscape of LGBT issues in Catholicism.
Two sidebar pieces that accompanied this article are also worthy of note. The first, “The mamas and the papas: What it’s like for Catholic parents of GLBT children,” explains exactly what it’s title describes. To accomplish this task, writer Kristen Hannum went to the leading national experts on this topic, Fortunate Families, a network of Catholic parents with LGBT sons and daughters.
Fortunate Families co-founder Mary Ellen Lopata talks about the need for outreach ministry to parents in an ever-increasing rigid Catholic atmosphere:
“The church has lost so much in not welcoming our gay and lesbian children. They have left the church in droves because they are not welcomed. They can stay if they’re silent, suppressing a big part of who they are. Now the church is starting to lose their parents as well.”
Fortunate Families board member Deb Word highlights the importance of being clear and unconditional in expressing the church’s welcome:
“We have to start by acknowledging that there are GLBT kids in the pews, and that God loves them. . . . ‘God loves you, but . . .’ is different from ‘God loves you.’ ”
(Fortunate Families co-founders, Mary Ellen and Casey Lopata, wrote a Bondings 2.0 blog post last month on the importance of welcoming parents of LGBT people in Catholic settings. You can access it by clicking here.)
The main article’s other sidebar is “A history of the relationship between gay and lesbian Catholics and their church.” The piece is a historical timeline, mapping the ups and downs of the Catholic LGBT movement from the late 1960s to the current day. It is inspiring to see how far this movement has matured, how many struggles it has faced, and how many accomplishments it has achieved!
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry