Quest Annual Conference 2019

What: Rainbow Parenting and the Catholic Church

Who: Dr Mary McAleese and Dr Samuel Hall

Where: University of Winchester

When: 9 – 11 August 2019


To discuss and explore the issues relating to Rainbow families we are delighted to welcome to our 2019 Conference, DR MARY MCALEESE – 8th President of Ireland (1997-2011), mother of a gay son – Justin, an advocate for equality in the Church and LGBT rights, and a doctor in canon law. Dr McAleese will be joined DR SAMUEL HALL, who describes himself on his Twitter page as doctor, parent, feminist & human rights activist with big ideas for the future of humanity and care of the planet. He is known to readers of G Scene, Brighton’s LGBT magazine, as Sam the Trans Man.

The booking form can be found here.

Pope Francis in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia makes the case that the complex realities that families face today are singularly different from those of the past (AL32). Nowhere is this more the case than in respect of Rainbow families, e.g. children raised by same-sex couples; children raised by an opposite-sex couple where at least one partner is gay or lesbian; heterosexual parents raising an LGBT+ child or children, a transgender parent and grandparent, etc.

Scientific research consistently shows that LGBT+ parents are as fit and capable as heterosexual parents, and their children are as psychologically healthy and well-adjusted as those reared by heterosexual parents, and yet the Catholic Church has consistently emphasised the importance of heterosexual parenting to the detriment of LGBT+ parenting.

In Matthew 12:48-50, Jesus is told that his mother and brothers are outside, asking for him. His answer is immediate: “Who are my mother and my brothers?” With unequivocal clarity Jesus turned his gaze to those around him and determines that his true family is composed of those who sit around him and listen to him, not blood relatives who are “outside”. This true family overcomes every barrier and is able to embrace people of every culture, ethnicity, colour, language, sexuality and gender. It is ‘the family of God’ as Jesus defines it: those who gather around his word.


Requests for subsidised places – which are limited in number – should be submitted no later than 28th February 2019. Applications received after this date may not be considered. Successful applicants will be contacted in March.

The booking form can be found here.

About our Previous conferences

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