Acceptance Sydney conveys its deep sadness in the recent statement by the Vatican’s Responsum ad Dubium of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, dated 15 March 2021, on banning blessings of same sex unions.
While the statement conveyed the message that this "does not preclude the blessings given to individual persons with homosexual inclinations”, it nonetheless does much to damage the relationship that faithful LGBTQI+ Catholics, their family and friends have with the Church. Many may see it as yet another example of where the Church acknowledges the ‘dignity’ of LGBTQI+ people, yet refuses to give them that dignity by not affirming their relationships.
Acceptance Sydney, formed in 1972, has a proud and long history of championing and supporting LGBTIQ+ Australian Catholics in the reconciliation of their faith and sexuality, providing a pastoral ministry emphasising the authenticity and dignity of LGBTIQ+ Catholics through liturgy, witness, and fellowship.
Groups like Acceptance Sydney evangelise and bring LGBTQI+ people back to the Church, yet this message only serves to drive people away. This is our sadness.
Jesus often used doctrine to challenge religious leaders of his time and understood the law; the doctrine, to be made for people, not people to be made for the law. Jesus’ response was always pastoral. We do, however, maintain great hope in Pope Francis. He, like Jesus, understands and upholds the doctrine of the Church but his response is also often pastoral. You can see this by his actions. In the 2020 documentary “Francesco” we discover his support for the recognition of our relationships.
Our key message is to pray for the Holy Father and the Church. Not to throw away one’s faith, but to embrace the message of the Gospels that God’s love is deeper than any doctrine. Through prayer and contemplation of the scripture, God’s message will continue to burn in our hearts and give us strength and courage to live our lives according to God’s plan for us; for those who are LGBTQI+, this is God’s plan.