From the Margins to the Center

An Educational Series for LGBTQ+ Catholics & Allies about Engaging the Synod on Synodality

What Participants for the 2023 Synod Have Said About LGBTQ+ Topics

Our new resource for the Synod on Synodality documents the LGBTQ-related records of participants in the 2023 global synodal assembly, who were named by the Vatican in July 2023. The resource highlights public statements and actions that have been supportive, negative, and everything in between. It seems certain the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in the church—a consistent theme in previous stages at the local, diocesan, national, and continental levels—will carry through to October. This resource hopefully can inform efforts to further that conversation in Rome.

For the full list of participants with LGBTQ+ records, click here

Report on LGBTQ+ Catholics & the Synod

From the Margins to the Center

To facilitate LGBTQ people and allies’ participation in the Synod on Synodality, New Ways Ministry held three Spiritual Conversations this past spring. Nearly 1,000 people from a variety of nations took part in these sessions, making it one of the most extensive consultations of LGBTQ Catholics in history. This report is a prime opportunity to help educate Catholics about how LGBTQ people experience the church.

To read the report and learn more about how you can help share it, click here

Previous Programs

Webinar: The Synod & LGBTQ+ People (January 2024)

The Synod on Synodality concludes in October 2024 with a second global assembly. Between now and then, the Vatican has asked Catholics to both deepen and broaden their engagement with the synodal process. To help LGBTQ+ people and allies respond to this invitation, New Ways Ministry hosted two Synod delegates, Dr. Cynthia Bailey Manns and Julia Osęka, who offered insights about how issues of gender and sexuality have been addressed in the Synod so far, and how LGBTQ+ people and allies can continue engaging the Synod in the lead up to this October.  More information is available here.

The Synod & LGBTQ+ People: What Happened? (November 2023)

After the Synod on Synodality’s first General Assembly concluded, New Ways Ministry hosted a conversation about what happened at the assembly and how Catholic LGBTQ+ advocates can proceed in the Synod’s final year. Participants discussed what, as LGBTQ+ and ally Catholics, have they seen and heard at this point in the synodal process? What has been learned? How do LGBTQ+ advocates move forward? Is there hope? More information is available here.

Live from Rome! A Mid-Synod Conversation (October 2023)

In October 2023, halfway through Synod on Synodality’s first General Assembly, New Ways Ministry’s Francis DeBernardo and Robert Shine presented about LGBTQ+ developments they were tracking while in Rome covering the assembly. True to being a synodal church, the conversation included plenty of time for participants’ questions and comments. More information is available here.

Webinar: The Synod and LGBTQ+ Issues: A Conversation with Fr. James Martin, S.J. (September 2023)

This webinar featured Fr. Martin, a member of the 2023 global Synod assembly, to share his hopes for that gathering regarding LGBTQ+ issues, as well as answering questions from attendees. More information is available here.

Webinar: Synodality as a Path to Reconciliation with Sister Nathalie Becquart, XMCJ (April 2023)

This webinar by the undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican considered how synodality can be put into practice as the Catholic Church becomes a listening and inclusive church. A recording of the 75-minute presentation and discussion can be viewed by clicking here.

Webinar: A Rainbow Synod: Global LGBTQ+ Perspectives on Synodality So Far

This webinar featured a panel of global advocates to converse about their experiences of this synodal process so far. The 75-minute webinar is a tool to pause, reflect, and consider next steps. Participants explored questions like: Which insights were most pronounced? What lessons have been learned? How do we proceed from here? A recording is available by clicking here.

Webinar: LGBTQ Catholics & Synodality with Dr. Robert Choiniere

This webinar explored how all Catholics, especially LGBTQ people and allies, can help make sure that every voice is heard and recorded. A recording of the 75-minute presentation and discussion can be viewed by clicking here.

Webinar: Celebrating Synodality: Synods as a Spiritual Practice with Dr. Brian Flanagan

This webinar examined the spiritual foundations of synodality, as well as how all Catholics, especially LGBTQ Catholics and their supporters, can prepare for and prayerfully engage in the synod. A recording of the 75-minute presentation and discussion can be viewed by clicking here.

LGBTQ Spiritual Conversations for the Synod

The Spiritual Conversations were opportunities for LGBTQ people and their supporters to contribute to the Synod. Rooted in the Ignatian tradition for discerning the will of the Holy Spirit in a community of faith, participants entered a space of encounter with others and with the Spirit in small, intimate, prayer-grounded conversations groups. The results of these conversations will be reported to church leaders as part of the synodal process.


Direct Submissions to the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops

Thierry Bonaventura, the Synod office’s Communications Manager, has said LGBTQ+ and ally Catholics, as well as others on the margins of the church, may submit comments directly to [email protected].

Latest Updates on LGBTQ+ Issues and the Synod on Synodality

For the latest news and commentaries on the Synod as it relates to LGBTQ+ issues, visit New Ways Ministry’s blog, Bondings 2.0, by clicking here.

New Ways Ministry & the Synod

In December 2021, a communications official with the Vatican’s General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops apologized to New Ways Ministry and to LGBTQ Catholics. The apology came after this official, Thierry Bonaventura, removed a link to New Ways Ministry content from the Synod office’s website. Francis DeBernardo “warmly” accepted the apology on behalf of New Ways Ministry, and the link has since been restored.

The same week of this incident, news broke that New Ways Ministry had been in correspondence with Pope Francis earlier in 2021. In his letters, the pope thanked the organization for “your neighborly work,” as well as describing co-founder Sister Jeannine Gramick as a “valiant woman.”

As part of his apology, Bonaventura said LGBTQ people could write directly to the Synod office at [email protected].

In April 2022, Sister Nathalie Becquart, undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican, delivered New Ways Ministry’s 2022 Father Robert Nugent Memorial Lecture on the topic of “Synodality: A Path of Reconciliation.” This lecture was the first time a Vatican official directly addressed an audience of LGBTQ Catholics. A recording of the lecture is available here.

New Ways Ministry encourages LGBTQ people to respond to the Vatican’s apology and correction by participating in synod consultations and sharing the journeys of their lives and their faith. The church will benefit greatly by LGBTQ involvement.

Throughout the coming months, New Ways Ministry will continue to produce educational events and materials to encourage LGBTQ participation in the synod.