Yesterday, Bondings 2.0 reported on the Aecond Assembly of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics. Today, we feature reactions from several participants about what the conference was like for them and what hopes they have for GNRC.
Joseanne Peregin, Drachma Parents Group (Malta)
What I witnessed in these few days was that we all have a priestly role. I think by our own baptism, we have something special to offer to the church, that is a reflection of the face of God which is seen in each and every individual without distinction, without discrimination. Each person is a valued creation of God.
Benjamin Oh, Acceptance Sydney (Australia)
It has been a very meaningful assembly. The community that has gathered from all the corners of the globe brought together all our struggles but also our gifts, our celebrations. We are meeting the challenges head-on. We know that our God of hope and the arc of justice and equality bend towards that which is good and right because so many good things are happening around the world. We must keep building on them. Hopes? That in the next five to ten years, our church, our hierarchy, and our structures will be places that are sanctuaries of flourishing and places of radical inclusion and hospitality for all people, especially for LGBTQI Catholics and Christians, and all our families and loved ones.
Alicia Houston Nalunkuma, Sexual Minorities Uganda & Transgender Equality Uganda (Uganda)
It has been a good opportunity for me to be here. I’ve very much liked meeting different people because back in Uganda it is always very difficult for us to meet with the hierarchy. . .Here, in the pre-conference as well, we have been talking about how to engage the hierarchy, so it has really been a great platform for me as a Ugandan, and as a Ugandan trans person.
Argel Tuason, Asia Pacific Rainbow Catholics Network (Philippines)
The Assembly made me realize that our pastoral work will be about the ministry of presence. I really need to be connected with my own Catholic community, which is a contemplative community [Benedictine Oblates], and make my presence known as an LGBTQ Catholic. . .Eva, my partner in the Philippines, and I will be starting a Rainbow Catholics in the Philippines. . .we will be showing support to a gay priest who just came out as gay through a certain LGBT advocacy magazine. We will be making an appointment with him to show him our support and, if he’s interested, to share our cause.
Dumisani Dube, Holy Trinity Catholic Church LGBTI Ministry (South Africa)
The conference has been a good opportunity, especially for African countries and Catholics because the African continent is where most homophobia is. The pulpit is being used as a platform to insult homosexuals and to discriminate. I think this conference will help us reach out to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, the bishops and some laymen that are there are in Africa, so that we’ll be able to spread the word about homosexuality and being Catholic.
Susanne Birke (Switzerland)
I was very happy to take part in this event. It was historic for me, but it was to me very much a reflection of the Roman Catholic Church as a whole where women are on the outside. I really think we need to work on that.
Jeff Stone, DignityUSA (United States)
I was thrilled to be able to come to this Assembly for the second time and to participate in the founding of this organization that we hope is going to be a very strong voice for LGBTQI Catholics around the world. I was particularly happy that we’re going to focus on probably the most urgent need of the global LGBTQI community which is criminalization and violence.
Joanita Warry Ssenfuka, Freedom and Roam Uganda (Uganda)
Mikhail Tumasov, Russian LGBT Network (Russia)
The Assembly was very inspiring to me. It gives me hope that we can really do something with the Church, inside the Church, together to make Church more acceptable.
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, December 22, 2017