A network of Christian Life communities in Spain has released a manifesto on LGBTQ issues that affirms the right of LGBTQ people to hold positions in their network and commits to training its members to be more inclusive.
The Community of Christian Life (CVX) issued the manifesto, titled “Viviendo La Unidad en La Diversided (Living Unity in Diversity)” on December 2, 2020. That network represents some 1,100 people in 35 communities in the country. The manifesto recognizes that LGTB+ people are present in their communities, as well as in the wider church, people who “want to live fully their faith, in love and service,” but who face “added difficulties. . .and even rejection” in seeking to do so.
The community’s call is to accompany, the manifesto reads, citing Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. It continues:
“As a result of the experience of accompaniment, and together with this reflection, at the last General Assembly of CVX Spain, held in August 2019 in Pamplona, it was agreed to deepen the subject and make a public manifesto to state that:
“Our community lives as a gift of God to be made up of people with diverse sexual orientations, people in whose families there are LGTB + members, single, married and divorced people. As members of the Church that they are, they participate in it equally, and without any stigma. For example, positions of responsibility and representation of the community are open to all of them.
“The discrimination, always unjust, suffered by many people because of their sexual orientation is a wake-up call to the Christian community to continue remembering that every person is, by nature, a daughter of God, created in [God’s] image and likeness; and to redouble efforts of recognition, reception and accompaniment.
“Our community is committed to taking care of the awareness and internal training of its members on this issue, as well as incorporating it in the different work areas.
“This experience of diversity in the Church has brought deep gratitude and joy to the community.”
CVX Spain’s manifesto is a major step forward for LGBTQ Catholics in Spain and for the wider church there. When so often LGBTQ people are precluded from church positions or are fired after long periods of service, CVX Spain’s affirmation that all are welcome to lead is unfortunately necessary. It is a bold, prophetic stance to take, and a stance more Catholic communities should and will endorse.
Further, the manifesto issued a call to work actively for equality. That call stems from the “wake-up call” that anti-LGBTQ discrimination should prompt in every person. CVX Spain’s commitment to ensuring its members are trained in LGBTQ inclusion and that LGBTQ issues become part of its general programming is the very work that every Catholic community and institution should be doing. Hopefully, this manifesto is only a first step not only for Spain’s communities, but for the international Christian Life movement as well.
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, December 7, 2020