Our charitable purpose as defined in our constitution is “To proclaim the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ for the advancement of the Christian religion amongst LGBT+ Catholics”.
In concrete terms, we aim to:
- Bring good news
- Deliver pastoral support
- Develop and Provide resources
- Practise advocacy
- Organise ourselves into regional groups
- Run annual conferences and other spiritually focussed events
Bringing Good News/ Proclaiming the Gospel
The word “Gospel” is derived from “Good News”. Pope Francis’ first Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), emphasised this aspect of the Gospel message, and insisted that evangelization and proclaiming the Gospel is a task for all Catholics, not just for ordained clergy. In taking on this task in accordance with our own constitution, we are, in effect, bringing good news to LGBT+ Catholics – and carrying out Pope Francis’ instruction (and have been doing so, since well before he issued it).
Specifically in terms of sexuality and gender, we seek to reassure and demonstrate to LGBT+ Catholics that it is possible to reconcile their sexual orientation and gender identity with their Catholic faith.
We do this by a range of means. Our existence provides a simple counterexample to the claim that one cannot be both Catholic and LGBT+. We can, and we are. The overwhelming majority of our members identify as both Catholic and openly LGBT+. Many are also fully practising Catholics, out and proud in their local parishes and making valued contributions to parish life.
The idea that being an “LGBT+ Catholic” is an oxymoron, that it is impossible to be both a practising Catholic and LGBT+, rests on a partial, inaccurate and incomplete reading of what Church teaching actually says. Quest aims to counter this by promoting a more complete and balanced understanding of that teaching by showing how matters of sexuality and sexual ethics fit into the broader context of the Gospels and Catholic teaching as a whole by illuminating neglected but supportive elements that also exist.
Delivering pastoral support.
Proclaiming Good News to LGBT+ Catholics is itself a form of pastoral support. For those who have been accustomed to hearing allegations that an affectional orientation to the same sex, or a non-conformist gender identity are somehow pathological, disordered, unnatural or sinful, and who in consequence have found themselves or believed themselves to be rejected by the Church.
Specifically, this pastoral support is made concrete in a number of ways, at both national and regional level.
The support we offer is to our own members in the United Kingdom, but is also available to others, here and worldwide, through the resources we provide on our website, in our publications, and at our conferences and retreats.
Advocacy on behalf of LGBT Catholics
We practise “establishing and extending a dialogue between homosexual Catholics and members of the clergy” by writing to and meeting with bishops, other diocesan officers, parish priests and religious orders, and lay groups, reminding them that relevant Catholic teaching is far more extensive, and more complex, than the simplistic “don’t do it” which is the popular understanding of the doctrine.