A facebook post at LGBT et catholicisme, un lieu d’échange et de dialogue has drawn my attention to an interesting example of sensitive LGBT ministry in the French diocese of Créteil. What I particularly like about this initiative:
- Incorporating the rainbow flag into its logo, on a Catholic diocesan website
- the clearly non-judgemental approach, with an emphasis on listening and prayer
- the collaboration with two organisations outside the diocesan structure, which each have an explicit welcome to LGBT Christians, their friends and their families (and yes, the “T” here is specifically spelt out).
This information is taken directly from the diocesan website (loosely translated by myself):
SE PARLER (“Talking”) is a pastoral initiative to support people affected by homosexuality persons with homosexual orientation, questioning people , parents, husbands , wives, friend(s) …
“A team has been meeting for 18 months around the Vicar General . It includes homosexuals, parents and other Christians. Its goal is to be responsive to the difficulties encountered, to help everyone, each find a path that takes into account his spiritual life, including sexuality, and think about proposals that would allow each to take his place in his parish community.”
“SE PARLER currently offers :
- A listening service by a team of trained and experienced volunteers, available at 08 12 02 02 22, (toll free) and at firstname.lastname@example.org. (The listening service is also available in English at the same number and address. Please leave a message at the above number or email address.)
- A spiritual walk Saturday, May 2, 2015 from 9 am to 17:30 in the Bois Notre Dame between Boissy-Saint-Léger and Marolles, for any person concerned, directly or indirectly, by homosexuality. “
SE PARLER is working in conjunction with two associations in our diocese :
Devenir Un En Christ( DUEC ) www.devenirunenchrist.net. “ Become One In Christ” A Christian welcome for gay people or their relatives.
Communion Béthanie : communionbethanie.blogspirit.com. (“Bethany Community”). wants to be ” a contemplative communion covenant ” in the radiance of St. Mary Magdalene and unconditional attesting the benevolent gaze of God on every woman and every man, especially homosensibles and transgender people.
A little further exploration of the associated groups discloses:
Devenir Un En Christ says on its website that
“speaking to Christians who are concerned personally or otherwise by homosexuality, the association is
A place of welcome, listening and sharing
A place of learning of the spiritual life
A place of maturation and growth in faith
A place of friendly and fraternal life
A springboard for engagement in other social and ecclesial realities.
The Bethany Communion says that it wants to be
” a contemplative covenant community” in the radiance of St. Mary Magdalene attesting the benevolent and unconditional gaze of God on every woman and every man, especially homosocial and transgender people.