QUOTES TO NOTE: LGBT Issues & Pope Francis' Encyclical on the Environment?

computer_key_Quotation_MarksIn Laudato SiiPope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, the pontiff has a number of quotations which are worth noting for Catholic LGBT advocates.  Although the context of his comments are the environment, if Pope Francis would apply the same reasoning behind these quotes to LGBT issues, we would be moving toward a church of greater equality.

Here are some worth noting:

Pope Francis

 Paragraph 13: “Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded.”  As today’s earlier Bondings 2.0 post reported, young people are also demanding change on LGBT issues, and “the sufferings of the excluded” is a main motivation for their call for change.

Paragraph 14:“We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.”   The same conversation is needed for LGBT issues, and the conversation must include LGBT people.

Paragraph 15:“I will begin by briefly reviewing several aspects of the present ecological crisis, with the aim of drawing on the results of the best scientific research available today, letting them touch us deeply and provide a concrete foundation for the ethical and spiritual itinerary that follows.”   If Pope Francis would similarly respond to the results of the best scientific and social scientific research on sexual orientation and same-gender relationships, church teaching would develop in this regard.

These were found on a quick, initial reading of the document.  If, after more careful reading, other quotes emerge that are relevant to LGBT issues, we will post them.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

13 replies
    • newwaysministryblog
      newwaysministryblog says:

      Thanks for your comment, José. Just to clarify, I don’t think that the environmental encyclical contains anything about LGBT issues. What I do think it contains are principles of reasoning that can also answer some of the discussions that Catholic people are having about LGBT issues. Specifically, I think that if the Vatican would listen to science, pay attention to young people, and open a conversation with LGBT people–all of which are mentioned as important steps in responding to the environmental issue–then the Church could make much progress on LGBT issues. In effect, I am asking the pope to apply the same principles he uses to discuss the environment to the way he should approach LGBT issues. I hope that clarifies my view.

  1. amagjuka
    amagjuka says:

    No matter how many great things the Pope does, if we do not stop the sin of discrimination, our church will be blemished. The Pope is wonderful, but on LGBT issues, the church has a far way to go. Many Catholics of conscience see the discrimination of LGBT people to be a backdrop for all else. Many Germans who were part of the Nazi Youth say they “had no idea” what was going on. Many Americans say the KKK was a “social organization,” and many did not know about the horrific acts done in the name of the KKK. We Catholics do know that a bishop stood next to the Ugandan government official and congratulated him on draconian laws against LGBT people. We know that LGBT teachers and parish workers are being fired. We know that Catholic bishops are backing discriminatory legislation in America. Many of us do not want the church to gloss over this blight. We must speak up, speak up, and never stop speaking up. We have to fix this! As the headline in the Indianapolis Star said when Pence tried to float his anti-gay legislation in my home state: FIX THIS NOW.

    • Friends
      Friends says:

      Just to reinforce your core arguments, Amagjuka: remember the sickening charade of Bishop Paprocki in Illinois — who performed a public exorcism to “drive Satan” out of the souls and bodies of lovingly-partnered gay Catholics. Until and unless Pope Francis puts a stop to this sort of horrific and hateful abuse practiced by his duly-authorized diocesan bishops, it will be hard to get too psyched about the otherwise admirable “position papers” that he is publishing to the world. The truth of CHRIST’S LOVE for all of those who love Him, and who strive to follow His teachings, is simply not negotiable. It is a WHOLE TRUTH, and it needs to be accepted in its wholeness.

  2. terryweldon
    terryweldon says:

    The most interesting point of this encyclical and LGBT issues is simply what it says about priorities: matters of sexuality and sexual ethics are clearly NOT at the top of his mind – just as they do not feature prominently in the Gospels.

  3. Susanne M cassidy
    Susanne M cassidy says:

    I heard paragraph 15, quoted on the radio this morning and thought was can’t they apply same message to LGBT issues, thank you for keeping us so well informed

  4. Trish Fowlie
    Trish Fowlie says:

    Doesn’t matter too much that LGBT people were not specifically mentioned. This is a timely intervention in a fundamentally moral, not political, matter. I wouldn’t give him Life Insurance! Any document which emphasises human dignity and even, by implication, the value of such incomprehensible things as the Scottish midge, or the woodworm (the animal Noah tried to keep off the Ark, according to Julian Barnes) has importance for us.
    And surely Papa Francesco’s message to ALL of humanity – a first for any encyclical – and actually drawing on real science and knowledge from many fields, not just tame Curia “rent-a-mouths”, signals a change in Vatican thinking. In the 1990s, B16 was still defending the Church’s treatment of Galileo, because the faithful ” would be disturbed by ideas that did not fit with the Bible.” ( Not that many people could read in Galileo’s day, or afford books!


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  1. […] as Pope Francis depended on scientific consensus when dealing with the environment, the church should also consult the best of social science before making sweeping assertions about […]

  2. […] the world, and it will surely be the topic of frequent discussion in weeks and months ahead.  I’ve already commented on how some of the principles that Pope Francis puts forth in this encyclical could just as […]

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