Why it is important for Catholic Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Allies (LGBT) to engage the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales and its President Archbishop Gerard Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster in a public debate about LGBT Rights, because they are unreasonable and clueless in their pronouncements to most rational UK Citizens when it comes to sexuality. The Rainbow Sash Movement wants to introduce a policy of public engagement with the Roman Hierarchy of England and Wales.
We will not engage the Church’s phantasm of homosexuality, or the game of closeted clericalism. We will challenge it with reason not based on the mindless minutia of stealth homophobia that only sidetracks the issues of justice in the Church, and tries to silence any reasonable dialogue around the issue of sexuality.
On two (2) levels the question of ministry for us is huge. Are we to approach such a ministry by buying into public shame the UK Bishops promote in order keep the issue of a viable LGBT Ministry in the shadows, and ignoring the Teaching of the Church on the Homosexual Person? Will ministry completely ignore the just struggle of the Same Sex Community in the arena of both civil and human rights?
Our response is public dialogue with Archbishop Nichols to promote a Church wide ministry that is fully supported by Church and publicized like any other ministry, with adequate funding and staffing? It is our view that the current position of the Archbishop Nichols and his bishops is locked in ignorance and a closet mentality in the name of Truth.
We wish to suggest to Archbishop Nichols that prior to Pope Benedict’s visit in September that a mature and reasonable dialogue process begin on the issue of LGBT ministry with the goal of establishing such a ministry outside the arena of bigotry.
It is time for integrity to be restored to the matter of a ministry to the LGBT Community in England and Wales. This will not happen by only telling the Archbishop and the Bishops what they want to hear.
We understand that some have become comfortable with the present situation in the UK these will view our efforts as upsetting possibly threatening their leadership. However, if we do not shine the spotlight of public dialogue on this matter it will only continue.
We don’t have to be patient with homophobia because we are both Catholic and LGBT contrary to what some members of the Catholic LGBT community are saying. It is our opinion, that all of us should understand that when you have an attitude that impedes the possibility for discourse, you need to go about the business of changing things, and not embracing it.
UK Rainbow Sash Movement