Ahead of the Synod, LGBT Activists Lobby Bishops — and Here’s Their Wish List
by KEVIN J. JONES
Backed by funding from the U.S.-based Arcus Foundation, which hopes to advance ‘its successful strategy of shifting traditional views,’ the lobbying network is staging a conference this weekend in Rome.
As the synod on the family approaches, a well-funded LGBT activist coalition is lobbying bishops to revive controversial language from the debates of the 2014 extraordinary synod.
It also advocates that the synod adopt the practices of dissenting Catholic groups.
The European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups is among the organizers of the “Ways of Love” conference of LGBT Catholic activists and their allies. The conference will be held in Rome Oct. 3, just ahead of the Catholic Church’s family synod.
The forum’s event is distinct from — and even opposed to — the Living the Truth in Love conference, held Oct. 2 at the Angelicum by Courage, Ignatius Press and the Napa Institute, which aimed at welcome and accompaniment, aligned with Church teaching, of Catholics with homosexual tendencies.
Michael Brinkschroeder, the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups’ Catholic coordinator, is inviting bishops to attend the conference. In an email sent to several bishops and obtained by CNA, he said he and his allies see the Church as engaged in “a process of spiritual discernment” that “will lead the Church to greater respect for the dignity of persons who identify as lesbian or gay, our love and partnerships — including their sexual expression — and our families.”
He said the conference puts forward “best practices for pastoral projects with LGBT people and their families from all regions of the world.”
The European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups has been the recipient of at least two Arcus Foundation grants totalling over $390,000 for several activities, including advocacy related to the synod on the family. These activities include the forum’s response to “homophobic Catholic Church family synod decisions” and efforts to “pursue its successful strategy of shifting traditional views.”
The grants also fund the drafting, testing and use of “a counter-narrative to traditional values,” including a special focus on “advocacy opportunities,” such as the 2015 Catholic synod on the family, according to the forum’s annual report and grant announcements from the U.S.-based foundation.
The European Forum is a founding member of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, a new activist coalition that includes the dissenting Catholic groups New Ways Ministry and Dignity USA. These U.S.-based groups recently called for same-sex unions to become a sacrament of the Church.
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