Coming from ultra-conservative past trad Catholic circles, I never dreamed that I would admire the recent action of the Flemish Bishops, one that actually rebelled against the authority of the Vatican to create same-sex liturgies. How is it possible that little-old conservative Catholic me could condone such a thing. Simple, families are being destroyed when their children come out LBGTQIA+ in the Catholic Church. Parents have to choose between their child’s right-to-life or stay in the Catholic Church. It’s just like that due to the political climate which has been at least partially inflamed by the Catholic Church and other Religious Right and Neo-Nazi groups. By following science, Flemish Bishops give a solution for the Catholic Church to follow Pope Francis’s Encyclical Amoris Laetitia. I am hoping that every diocese will follow the template of the Flemish Bishops to preserve the family who has LBGTQIA+ persons. I will add that this is also about the sanctity of life, the dignity of the human person, and the second greatest commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves.
I invite you to read the article written by New Ways LBGTQ+ Ministry in the Catholic Church.
Two years ago, I discovered something I did not know— many Christian families have been forced to leave their churches because their children came out as gay or transgender. Through my work with FreedHearts, an LGBTQ-affirming nonprofit that aims to spread a “message of love, inclusion [and] belonging” between LGBTQ people and Christian churches, I have met many families who left their churches because they had to choose between upholding their LGBTQ child’s right-to-life and remaining in their parish.
I am a pediatric therapist and the Catholic parent of adult, neurodiverse children. As a professional, I define “neurodiverse” as describing anyone who falls on a behavioral spectrum that doesn’t fit the majority of the general population. For example, approximately one percent of the world population falls on the autism spectrum. This includes LBGTQIA+ people because they have variances in gender and sexuality just like other Neurodiverse spectrums have natural variances.
I am just now comprehending the magnitude of what the Catholic/Religious Right has done to the LBGTQIA+ community. They have attempted to strip away every human right of the LBGTQIA+ community to live in safety and be treated as human beings. This includes LBGTQIA+ Catholics and children. It’s almost unforgivable. I am ashamed of the damage my Church has done to the LBGTQIA+ community which is why I stand for their human rights to live in safety, to be part of a family, and to have the same healthcare and basic freedoms as everyone else.
God forgive my past ignorance.