A new survey is the first of its kind to document trends and major insights from LGBTQ Catholics and their families and allies in Latin America.
The “Survey on Inclusive Latin LGBTIQ Catholics for the Synod” documents the responses of over 800 Catholics. According to the organizers , the survey seeks to “investigate the experience of their community in the lay and ecclesial sphere and identify possible scenarios of transformation, greater inclusion and visibility within the Synodal process and local pastoral work.”
Key insights from the survey were presented in a letter to the Ecclesial Assembly, which Bondings 2.0 reported on yesterday. A summary of the findings presented to the Ecclesial Assembly are as follows:
- “98% of those who answered the survey [are] part of the LGBTIQ community, allies or would like to see a more positive approach for the rainbow catholic community in the church.
- “33% described that they only [sometimes] feel themselves as part of the Church and even an additional 6% argued that they do not feel part of the Church. This [raises] many questions: Where does the message of love and embrace get lost? What makes this particular community feel as different from the rest?
- “81% of the Catholics who answered believe that presenting direct testimonials from LGBTIQ people and their families is the best way to reflect on the issue.
- “Only 4% considers that the LGBTIQ community and their families have adequate and relevant spaces for the recognition and living of their faith inside the church.
- “99% believes that a major step for inclusion is the recognition of the presence of LGBTIQ people and their families in the Church, establishing that sexual orientation and gender identity are not an option but rather part of human creation and diversity”
Ultimately, the survey results show much room for growth around LGBTQ inclusivity in the Catholic Church. It is striking that more than four out of five respondents said that they believe the best way to reflect on LGBTQ issues is through direct testimonials from queer people and their families. Additionally, almost the entire sample was in agreement that a major step in the church during this synodal process must be acknowledging sexual orientation and gender identity as a part of the diversity of human creation.
In a letter to the Latin American regional assembly, the survey organizers wrote:
“Let us pay attention to what the Lord wants from us in this Ecclesial Assembly and let us try to become a single body that aspires to be United in “one Heart and Spirit”, contributing our love, service, wealth and pastoral sense without feeling discriminated against or relegated.”
As our global church continues to listen and discern the spirit together, may these groundbreaking survey results guide our united spirit and uplift the testimonials of the LGBTQ and allied community in Latin America.
—Barbara Anne Kozee (she/her), New Ways Ministry, December 15, 2021