At the start of London Pride Fortnight, Saturday June 24th, the LGBTCatholicsWestminster group from London’s Farm Street parish will be hosting a one day conference on promoting pastoral care for LGBT Catholics, under the title, “PROUDLY CREATED – LGBT PASTORAL CARE & THE JOY OF LOVE”

 It is widely acknowledged that under Pope Francis, there has been a distinct improvement at least the tone on pastoral care coming from the institutional church, and a greater willingness to expand suitable support. The 2014 and 2015 Synods of Roman Catholic Bishops in Rome raised hopes that new directions of pastoral care with and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans Catholics, parents and families might begin to be explored. Cardinal, bishops, priests, parents’ groups, and LGBT Catholics from around the world voiced their regrets that the opportunity was not grasped. In England and Wales, as well as other parts of Europe, grassroots initiatives have begun to emerge with various Bishops taking steps towards welcoming LGBT Catholics, parents and families, into the Church’s mainstream.

This improvement though, comes off a low base: there remains a great deal to be done. The LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council will hold a day-conference to explore how pastoral care can be developed in the light of the principles outlined by Pope Francis in his post-Synods Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia). The event will take place at Farm Street Jesuit Church on Saturday 24 June 2017, marking the beginning of the Pride in London Festival Fortnight, 24 June – 8 July.

A spokesperson said: 
There cannot be a ‘one size, fits all’ model of LGBT pastoral care. Diverse patterns of support, care, and integration are emerging in various Catholic Dioceses and local parishes. This is a way of responding to the challenges which Pope Francis has given to the whole church – to face the reality of people’s lives and experiences, not least of those who are often on the margins of both church and society. Proudly Created  will be an opportunity to share what is now happening up and down the country.
The conference title echoes the words of the late Cardinal Basil Hume, when he wrote on the pastoral care of homosexual people:

God has a love for every person which is greater than any love which one human being could have for another. In all the circumstances and situations of life, God calls each person, whatever his or her sexual orientation, to fulfill that part of his created design which only that person can fulfill. (1997)  

Pastoral Care for LGBT Catholics is at the heart of what Quest aims to provide. I am part of the planning team, and will be a panellist on the day. I will most certainly speak about the work and experience of Quest in this important area. It would be good to have other Quest members present too, to offer their own, personal thoughts and experience.

Here’s the information currently posted on the LGBTCatholicsWestminster website. I hope to see you there!

You are warmly invited to a national day-conference to explore experiences and developments of pastoral care with and for LGBT Catholics, parents and families in the light of the 2014 & 2015 Vatican Synods on Marriage & Family

SATURDAY, 24 JUNE 2017, 11.00 – 17.00
114 Mount Street, Mayfair, London W1K 3AH
Conference Fee: £15.00 waged – £5.00 unwaged, including Resource Pack & light refreshments – bring & share lunch
REGISTRATION REQUIRED – programme details on receipt of booking

REGISTRATION : lgbtcatholicswestminster@gmail.com