The October 25, 2015, Religious News Service article “Who won? Who lost? 5 points on the contentious Vatican summit” gives the background we need to establish to fully appreciate Columbia Other Sheep Coordinator Fidel’s report on his recent participation at the synod on the family, in Rome, in October 2015.
The Religious News Service reports:
The most significant and contested gathering of Roman Catholic bishops in the last 50 years formally ended on Sunday (Oct. 25) after three weeks of debate and dispute, but the arguments over who “won” and who “lost” are only beginning.
The synod of 270 cardinals and bishops from around the world was the second in a year called by Pope Francis to address how and whether Catholicism could adapt its teachings to the changing realities of modern family life. Traditionalists had taken a hard line against any openings, especially after last October’s meeting seemed to point toward possible reforms.
While the delegates made hundreds of suggestions on a host of issues, two took center stage, in part because they represented a barometer for the whole question of change: Could the church be more welcoming to gays, and was there a way divorced and remarried Catholics could receive Communion without an annulment?
Fidel Mauricio Aristizabal Ramirez, in an article dated October 13 and entitled “Catholic LGBT voices are felt in the Vatican” published by Sentiido – a Spanish language Internet news service that focuses on LGBT issues, reports:
BOGOTA, COLOMBIA. by FIDEL RAMIREZ. OCTOBER 13, 2015.
From October the 1st until the 4th, we met in Rome, Italy. We were about 70 altogether, from 32 different countries from different continents. Why did we come to Rome? The Synod of Bishops on the family was meeting in Vatican City from October the 4th until the 25th and we wanted our collective voices to send a message. We are part of the Catholic LGBT movement.
In addition, as a global network of Rainbow Catholics, we were in Rome for our very first global meeting. This opening meeting of the Rainbow Catholics network was themed “The Synod LGBT Voices.”
As part of the program, the Conference presented “Ways of Love: Images of Catholics meeting LGBT people and their Families” from different pastoral developments in America, Africa and Europe.
We heard and shared various experiences, and made contributions to the discussion on marriage and the family which was taking place in the Synod.
The testimony offered by Catholic pastoral leaders from around the world show that pastoral work focused on dialogue is the best way to promote peaceful and fruitful relations with the LGBT community of the Catholic faith.
It is about sharing our Christian calling in search of justice, from principles of brotherhood and love. Our shared experiences served as an example for the bishops gathered, on how to create ways to include LGBT people in our church communities.
The testimony of these pastoral leaders (bishops, priests and laymen) show that the inclusion of LGBT people among Catholics is already a reality and this is without any existing concrete pastoral guidelines from the church’s hierarchy.
If we are inspired by the second encyclical of Pope Francisco Laudato, then we believe that the time is now for all people to be recognized, respected and beloved in our communities of faith.
LGBT people have been present, with great commitment, throughout the history of the Roman Catholic Church, however, we have been invisible and even persecuted because of our sexual orientation and gender identity.
– See more at: http://sentiido.com/voces-lgbt-catolicas-se-hacen-sentir-en-el-vaticano/#sthash.I5vIiF1L.dpuf
For an article, in Spanish and published by Sentiido, about Fidel Ramirez as an LGBT activist, click here.