A new publication from New Ways Ministry makes the case for why and how Catholics should support non-discrimination initiatives for LGBTQ people in both church and society.
A Home for All: A Catholic Call for LGBTQ Non-Discrimination is a brief 60-page book designed for Catholics in the pews, pastoral ministers, and educators to understand why their Catholic faith promotes equality for LGBTQ people, despite some church leaders’ opposition.
The book was written by Francis DeBernardo and Robert Shine, respectively New Ways Ministry’s executive director and associate director. In addition to the main text, the book contains 24 testimonials supporting LGBTQ non-discrimination from a diversity of Catholic leaders, including bishops, cardinals, theologians, women religious, community organizers, and social justice advocates.
“Because of an increase in anti-LGBTQ initiatives and legislation, it’s important for Catholic people in the pews to be part of these important debates,” said DeBernardo. “We hope this book will help people understand how one can be faithfully Catholic and support LGBTQ equality.”
“Discrimination against LGBTQ people exists not only in civil society, but in the church when jobs are terminated and sacraments are denied,” said Shine. “Catholics must be outspoken, strong advocates for equality in both spaces as a mandate of our faith.”
Despite well-publicized opposition to LGBTQ initiatives on the part of some bishops, U.S. Catholics consistently poll as extremely supportive of LGBTQ equality. As with many issues of gender and sexuality, the majority of the faithful have different opinions than the majority of the U.S. hierarchy.
The book’s main text is based on a theological statement about LGBTQ non-discrimination that New Ways Ministry produced in the summer of 2021. It was publicly endorsed by over 750 key Catholic figures including theologians, scholars, pastoral leaders, and social justice advocates. Additionally, close to 2,000 other Catholics with leadership roles at the grassroots levels of the church also endorsed the statement.
The book’s main text is supplemented with 24 testimonials from prominent Catholics including Washington’s Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Santa Fe’s Archbishop John Wester, prominent theologians Fr. Bryan Massingale and Cristina Traina, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Fr. James Martin, S.J., and even Pope Francis.
The book, which was created with the intention that it be used not only for educating individuals but to be used as a pedagogical tool in parishes, schools, and other Catholic institutions, also includes a list of eight discussion starter questions, and a list of resources for further information and research.
—Dwayne Fernandes, New Ways Ministry, June 22, 2022