Thursday, April 07, 2016

On Eve of Amoris Laetitia's Release, "A Moment of Pause and of Prayer"

NOTE: Be sure to see updates at the end of this post.

Bob Shine, Young Adult and Social Media Coordinator at New Ways Ministry, has posted the following on Facebook ahead of tomorrow's release of Amoris Laetitia ("The Joy of Love"), Pope Francis' response to the 2014 and 2015 Vatican synods on marriage and family life.

As you'll see, Bob's statement is both a call for "a moment of pause and of prayer" and an invitation to prayerfully reflect upon how far as a church we still need to go in relation to understanding and lovingly responding to LGBTQI people and issues.

There's a lot of buzz about Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation on the family that will be released tomorrow. Join me now in a moment of pause and of prayer before it comes out . . .

What will almost certainly be unaddressed are the LGBTQI youth who suffer from homelessness, substance abuse, and mental health. There may be more than one million such youth experiencing homelessness in the U.S. alone.

And they suffer overwhelmingly because families and churches refuse to love and to accept these youth as God created them to be.

We, as the Catholic church, are complicit in their suffering. Our teachings include violent phrases like "intrinsically disordered" to refer to human beings. Our church institutions deny sacraments and fire church workers. Our bishops refuse to condemn heinous anti-LGBT laws like those passed in Mississippi and North Carolina. Our own trans- and homophobic prejudices trap us from being in solidarity, from speaking out and standing alongside all people who suffer.

And yet, we as the church, can overcome these tragedies to seek justice and offer charity. This recent story about Covenant House partnering with LGBT groups to help vulnerable youth is a sign of hope that, despite the teachings and the bishops, we as the church can incarnate the Gospel today for all those LGBT people suffering in our world.

Whatever is in Amoris Laetitia tomorrow morning, there will still be millions of LGBT people suffering under the church's violence across the world. We must keep their stories and their dignity and their wounds at the forefront of our minds as we read. It is to those least in our society, whom God loves most, that we are most accountable.

God, in your mercy....

Some Hope But Not Much Joy for LGBT Catholics
in Pope’s "Joy of Love" Document

– Francis DeBernardo (Bondings 2.0, April 8, 2016).

LGBT-Related Excerpts from Amoris Laetitia
– Francis DeBernardo (Bondings 2.0, April 8, 2016).

Amoris Laetitia ("The Joy of Love") Offers No Joy
for LGBT Catholics and Families

– DignityUSA (April 8, 2016).

"The Joy of Love": Also for Lesbian and Gay Catholics?
– Terence Weldon (Queering the Church, April 8, 2016).

Interpreting the Silence of Amoris Laetitia
About LGBTQ Lives

– William D. Lindsey (Bilgrimage, April 9, 2016).

Pope: "There Are Absolutely No Grounds" to Equate
Same-Sex Unions to Heterosexual Marriage

– Philip Pullella (Reuters via HuffPost Queer Voices, April 8, 2016).

Do the Pope's Latest Words on Marriage
and Homosexuality Go Far Enough? Not for Me

– Charles P. Pierce (Esquire, April 8, 2016).

Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia is a
Closeted Argument for Gay Marriage

– William Saletan (Slate, April 8, 2016).

Pope Francis Eases Up on Gays, Not Women
– Barbie Latza Nadeau (The Daily Beast, April 8, 2016).

Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse Survivors
Disappointed By Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia

– Julia Glum (International Business Times, April 9, 2016).

What Is Francis Saying with Amoris Laetitia?
– Massimo Faggioli (Commonweal, April 8, 2016).

Pope Insists Conscience, Not Rules, Must Lead Faithful
– Nicole Winfield and Rachel Zoll
(Associated Press, April 8, 2016).

Top Ten Takeaways from Amoris Laetitia
– James Martin, S.J. (America, April 8, 2016).

Papal Proclamation Urges a More Welcoming Church
– Austin Cross and A Martínez (Take Two, April 8, 2016).

Reactions to Pope's Reflection on Family Life
National Catholic Reporter, April 8, 2016).

Reactions to Pope's Reflection on Family Life (Part 2)
National Catholic Reporter, April 11, 2016).

Related Off-site Links:
Reader’s Guide Offers Hints to Tomorrow’s Much-Anticipated Apostolic Exhortation – Francis DeBernardo (Bondings 2.0, April 7, 2016).
This "Queer Brown Jesus Lover" Can't Wait to See the Pope – Xorje Olivares (The Advocate, September 22, 2015).
What It's Like Being Young and Catholic in 2015 – Cecilia D’Anastasio (Vice, September 29, 2015).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
James Alison on the Likely "Really Big Deal" of Synod 2015
Quote of the Day – October 30, 2015
Beyond the Hierarchy: The Blossoming of Liberating Catholic Insights on Sexuality (Part 8)
"Trajectory is More Important Than the Current Status"
Quote of the Day – October 20, 2014
LGBT Catholics Respond to Synod 2014's Final Report

Image: Subject and photographer unknown.

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