From the Margins to the Center: LGBTQ Catholics and Synodality

A Conversation with Dr. Robert Choiniere

Fordham University

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Pope Francis is calling all baptized Catholics to walk together during a two-year process known as the Synod on Synodality.  This process, which begins this October, will be a time for all to share our hopes and our dreams for the church.

The first step is a broad local listening and engagement process for all Catholics. The Vatican is especially inviting those who are excluded or marginalized by the church. The Synod on Synodality recognizes that the Holy Spirit is alive and well in the hearts of all the faithful. Gathering everyone’s wisdom is critical for the church’s future. If LGBTQ people and allies want the church to learn about their experiences, they must step up and participate in these synodal discussions.

This webinar will look at how all Catholics, especially LGBTQ people and allies, can help make sure that every voice is heard and recorded. The 75-minute program will provide an overview of  this unprecedented request from Pope Francis. Participants will learn concrete steps to remind and encourage bishops of their responsibility to convene listening sessions and to provide resources that encourage marginalized and disaffiliated Catholics to participate. Skills for how to engage church leaders in this dialogue will be offered.

We hope to begin to empower all Catholics to their stories and insights with courage, honesty and hope.

Robert Choiniere, D.Min, is a professor of theology at Fordham University and the Director of Adult Formation at the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Manhattan. Bob also has an extensive background in pastoral planning and ecclesial consultation, including work in the Diocese of Brooklyn, Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia. He is the former chair of the Conference of Pastoral Planning and Council Development.

Bob is also the creator of Full of Grace: Journeys of LGBT Catholics, a unique interview-based play produced in several cities. He is a founding member and Managing Director of Stages on the Sound, Inc., a non-profit theatre education company serving Catholic elementary schools in the New York area.

Bob holds a Doctor of Ministry from Fordham University, an MA in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College and a BA in Theology and Theatre from DeSales University.