For years, parents of LGBT+ children have called on the church to change its language when speaking of our children in relationship. We have pointed out that the language used in the catechism does not reflect the lived experience of our children or their families. Instead it drives our children from church and creates an unhealthy environment. Last week Cardinal Reinhardt Marx called for the Catholic Church to apologize to the LGBT+ community
for its mistreatment of that community within the church. Pope Francis echoed this notion in a statement made on Sunday, June 26. He said:
"I believe that the church not only must say it's sorry ... to this person that is gay that it has offended, but it must say it's sorry to the poor, also, to mistreated women, to children forced to work."
The Fortunate Families Board of Directors appreciates Pope Francis’ statement and thanks him for recognizing the harm the positions of the church have caused to LGBT+ individuals.
Yes, Catholics and other Christian churches have marginalized our children, and they deserve an apology, but even more so they deserve outreach that makes them feel welcome in our churches
. The words "objectively disordered" and "intrinsically evil" have given ammunition to those who would harm our children, and when internalized, often produce unhealthy self-loathing. A significant part of this apology should be to stop using this language. Being sorry should result in a change in church policy. The bishops and clergy reaching out to listen to the experiences of LGBT+ persons, educating themselves about the issues of the LGBT+ community, and welcoming LGBT+ support groups into parish spaces would be an excellent start to repairing the damage that years of condemnation have wrought.
Click here to read more about Pope Francis' statement.
Call To Action, a US Catholic justice organization, is petitioning to ask the church hierarchy to change its language about LGBT+ people, especially the damaging terms “objectively disordered” and ‘intrinsically evil.” CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION