Concept Paper for Global Network of Rainbow Catholics

Please read the concept paper and provide send your comments and feedback on it to RainbowCatholicsAssembly@gmail.com.  Please include your individual name, organizational name, and country with your remarks.  You may make your remarks in the body of the email or you may make them in a document attached to the email. 

CONCEPT PAPER

 

MISSION STATEMENT

The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC) is an alliance of organisations and advocates who focus on pastoral care and justice for LGBT people and their families. Through common projects, support, and exchange, the Network works for inclusion, dignity, and equality for LGBT people, their parents and families in the Catholic Church and society.

ETHOS & VALUES STATEMENT

Representing a wide variety of sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds, GNRC members are united by a shared Catholic faith which calls us to pray and work to ensure that LGBT people have full and equal membership in all areas of the Catholic Church, and that their human dignity and rights to respect and equal treatment will be protected by civil and church laws.

Rooted in Catholic social justice tradition, we respect the intrinsic equal value of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, relationship status, or gender identity. We believe that Catholic Church leaders, structures, and institutions should promote policies and practices which include the full participation of LGBT people at all levels, including access to pastoral care, sacramental participation, employment and decision-making, and ministerial leadership. We envision a Catholic Church where all God’s people– LGBT and heterosexual–can live, worship, and serve together harmoniously.

The Catholic faith also calls us to challenge all structures which treat LGBT people in a discriminatory manner. Civil and church law should protect LGBT rights and equality, not deny them. Any law or practice which oppresses, restricts, punishes, or harms LGBT people is contrary to the Gospel. We work both to eradicate prejudicial attitudes and practices which harm LGBT people and, through education and awareness-training, to enable those with homophobic and transphobic views to be aware that such views and behaviours have no place within the Catholic Church.

We work to educate Catholic leadership, institutions, and audiences about the spiritual gifts that LGBT people bring to the Church, and how our community is blessed by their presence and experience.

The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, will dialogue with theologians and Church leaders to facilitate pastoral practice, theological reflection and doctrinal development.

While the experiences, struggles, and opportunities of GNRC members may differ greatly, we stand in solidarity and prayer with one another, and we pledge our support to one another to help bring about a more just and equal church and world.

STRUCTURE

Membership: Member-organisations would be those who agree with the aims and values of theGlobal Network of Rainbow Catholics, as expressed in its Concept Paper and Mission Statement (which will be finalized at the foundational meeting on 1-4 October 2015, in Rome, Italy). Membership will be open to those organisations of LGBT people their parents, friends and families which have specific Catholic identity, as well as ecumenical groups which demonstrate significant numbers of Catholic members. Personal “Supporter” membership will be available to those individuals who do not belong to any of the constituent organisations. Associate membership will be available to other non-LGBT-specific groups who demonstrate a commitment to LGBT concerns within their activities and are sympathetic to GNRC’S ethos. A graduated membership fee will be payable according to organisations’ numerical strength and financial capacity.

Governance A: GNRC will be accountable to its membership through a Board of 12 Directors elected for a tenure of three years at a Triennial Assembly. The Board’s members will represent the 6 regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and Caribbean, North America, Australia & Oceania. The Board shall have equal representation of male and female gender and include trans people and non-LGBT allies. The Board will have the power to include other non-elected members with particular expertise as long as those members do not exceed the number of elected members. Board members will have the option of retiring after 3 years of service, but with a possibility of re-election for a further 3-year period. Voting and governance responsibility will be exercised by constituent organisations. Board Directors will appoint from amongst their number a President, Deputy-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Governance B: The plenary elects a Steering Committee of 9 people which represent the global constituency and has the task to set up the organizational structure of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, to represent and speak on behalf of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics and to prepare the next assembly.

-end-

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