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The LGBT Catholic community which gathers in the Diocese of Westminster has sent a Briefing Paper to the two Bishops from England & Wales who will be delegates to the International Synod of Bishops on the Family. The document is attached.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, and Bishop Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton and Chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference Committee for Marriage and Family Life, will represent the Catholic Bishops of England & Wales at the Synod, which opens in Rome on Sunday, 4 October 2015.

The LGBT Catholics Briefing Paper is the result of a Reflection Day, sponsored by the LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council in June 2013. 

It calls for the harsh language of previous Vatican documents referring to LGBT people as 'disordered'  to be rescinded. It urges the Vatican Synod to reject the global criminalisation of LGBT people, including the death penalty. It calls for the Vatican to initiate a 3-5 year Listening Process, to include Bishops, theologians, LGBT people and their parents, parish clergy and pastoral workers, in order to develop models of pastoral care which more closely reflect Pope Francis' call for mercy, justice and equality, particularly applying this to the concerns of LGBT people, parents and families. The document calls for the Church to turn from a preoccupation with sexual behaviour to an acceptance of loving relationality, as reflecting the love of God for all people.

Members of the Diocese of Westminster's LGBT Catholic community will also be involved in the launch of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics which takes place between 1-4 October in Rome. During its Foundational Assembly, the Network will hold a public conference - Ways of Love: Catholic Encounters with LGBT People & Families. Keynote speakers for the conference include
Dr. Mary McAleese, former Irish President, and Bishop Raul Vera OP, from Saltillo, Mexico. Others from around the world will offer snapshots of good pastoral practice for and with LGBT people, parents and families: www.rainbowcatholics.org  –  www.waysoflove.wordpress.com 

Further information: Martin Pendergast - 020 8986 0807 - martinjp@btinternet.com 

                              Global Network of Rainbow Catholics Press Office:

           Emilio Sturla Furnò +39 3404050400 - info@emiliosturlafurno.it