LGBT Catholics: Global Conference Invitation

Back in October 2015, I was in Rome for the foundation conference of the  Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, timed to coincide with the Synod of Bishops gathering on marriage and family. At that conference, a steering committee was elected to create a permanent foundation for the new  body. That work has now been completed: the next conference will now take place in Germany, later this year. Read the details in this invitation letter, from the co-chairs Ruby Almeida and Michael Brinkschröder:

“Hear a just cause“ (Ps 17.1)

Invitation to the 2nd Assembly of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics
30 Nov − 3 Dec 2017 in Munich-Dachau

After decades of an “ice age” on LGBTQI issues, Pope Francis has opened up the church for new approaches in pastoral work with LGBTQI people, while the moral doctrine seems to remain sealed. This situation creates tensions and controversies: Some parishes, dioceses and regions use this new opportunity for creating more inclusive and welcoming spaces, while others react even more hostilely to societal progress such as equal marriage. In the midst of these contradictions, it is more important than ever for the Catholic Church to “hear a just cause”.

Since its creation in October 2015, the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC) brings together groups and organisations, which provide pastoral care and work for justice for LGBTQI people. The Network strives for inclusion, dignity and equality of this community in the Roman Catholic Church and in the wider civil society. The GNRC held its 1st Assembly in October 2015 in Rome at the conference, “Ways of Love”, with 80 participants from 30 countries. To this date, the GNRC represents 25 allied groups across all continents.

Through this letter, we’d like to invite you to the 2nd assembly of the GNRC to take place in Munich, from 30 Nov to 3 Dec 2017. This will be an exciting opportunity for sharing our stories and to work hand in hand for progress in the Roman Catholic Church in the famous capital of Bavaria. The local hosts for this assembly, the Ecumenical Working Group Homosexuals and Church (HuK) and the Community of the Catholic Queer Church Service Munich (Queergottesdienst), are very much looking forward to welcome you in Munich.

The assembly has two goals: 1) to consolidate the organisational development of GNRC and 2) to define strategies in key areas such as
 dialogue with leaders of the Catholic Church.
 promoting best practices of pastoral work with LGBTQI people and their families
 campaigning for a Catholic statement against criminalization of LGBT people
 confronting the anti-gender rhetoric within the Catholic Church.
Conference language is English. Plenary sessions will be translated into Spanish and German.

The complementary program of the assembly includes
 a guided tour and a prayer at the Concentration Camp Memorial in Dachau
 a visit of the Christmas market in Munich
 a Eucharist service in the “Bürgersaalkirche” in the city of Munich
 a Bavarian dinner in Munich
A pre-conference for African participants starts at Wednesday (29 Nov) at 12pm.

The venue of the Assembly is the International Youth Guest House (Jugendherberge Dachau) in Dachau, a suburb of Munich. The conference fee is €200 (3/4/5-bed-room), €250 (double-room) or €420 (single room in a hotel nearby) and includes accommodation, all meals and tours to the Concentration Camp Memorial and to Munich City.

There are two scholarship programs available to help with conference fees for the following groups:
1. Participants from the Global South (includes support with travel costs)
2. Participants from Central and Eastern Europe (reduction of conference fee)

The registration and application for scholarships can be found at this link.
The deadline for scholarship application is 15 August 2017.
The deadline for self-financed registration is 15 September 2017.

The Assembly is financially supported by the Arcus Foundation and the Open Society Institute for Europe.

Ruby Almeida                    Michael Brinkschröder
(Co-Chairs of GNRC)

For more information on GNRC:

Related posts from 2015 conference:

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