Frank DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry and member of the Pax Christi USA Anti-Racism Team, published the following statement in response to the newly released working document on the Vatican’s Synod on Synodality:
It is nothing short of an amazing and true blessing that LGBTQ+ people were mentioned twice in the Vatican’s working document for the assembly of the Synod in October, which was released [on June 20]. The language and style of the document, called the Instrumentum Laboris, is highly generalized, mentioning very few specific topics, so getting not just one, but two mentions in the document signifies that LGBTQ+ issues are priorities that cannot be ignored as the Synod participants continue to reflect on building a church that, as the document says, welcomes all and respects diversity.
For LGBTQ+ Catholics, who for decades have called on the church’s leaders to have a conversation, this synodal process has signaled the beginning of such a process. Today’s document emphasizes that the excluded “are bearers of Good News that the whole community needs to hear and that “whenever we encounter another person in love, we learn something new about God.” LGBTQ+ people are indeed bearers of Good News inviting the church to learn more about God.
The synod will certainly not resolve all the issues that LGBTQ+ Catholics have raised, but this document indicates they are taken seriously by church leaders. The document’s promise for respecting diversity, encounter, and dialogue ensures that LGBTQ+ Catholics will continue to be included in the synodal journey, with their concerns being taken seriously by church leaders. All of this paves the way for ongoing conversations in the future. …
As we celebrate Pride Month, Pax Christi USA wants to take the opportunity to affirm our unequivocal support for LGBTQ+ Catholics. As an organization committed to reconciliation and justice, we are proud to stand with our colleagues at New Ways Ministry and with Outreach, the new program led by Fr. James Martin, SJ, who is the celebrant for this month’s PAX Mass.