Commonweal magazine’s latest issue featured “Why We Came. Why We Left. Why We Stayed,” a series from ten writers exploring their relationships with the Catholic Church. These stories are from converts and cradle faithful, some who remain weekly Mass attendees and some who have decisively left. But the series left a lot of people out. The writers are ten white people, seven of whom are men, all of whom are quite educated, and none of whom are openly LGBT.
This last absence is particularly striking because struggling to remain in the Church and leaving because of exclusion based on sexuality and gender is so central not only to LGBT people; according to a 2016 Public Religion Research Institute report, 39% of all Catholics who leave the church do so because of LGBT exclusion (7% points higher than clergy sexual abuse, the second reason). An attempt to explore why Catholics join, leave, and remain in the church has to include voices of LGBT people, their loved ones, and vocal allies.
Thankfully, Bondings 2.0 has a community of supporters ready to supplement Commonweal’s series with our own stories about why we are (or are not) Catholic and how we navigate the complexities of our faith. We invite you to consider sharing your own story with us. Later this month, we will feature highlights from these reader submissions here on the blog. Help us share the joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties of LGBT Catholics and the faithful in solidarity with them as a gift to the wider church this Christmas season.
To submit your story, please fill out the form below. Submissions may be edited for content and length, and not all submissions may be published. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
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—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, December 1, 2018