In a first-of-its-kind initiative, 125 church employees including priests, nuns, academics, musicians and others have jointly come out founding the ‘Out In Church’ group and are calling on the Catholic church to end discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.
According to the group’s manifesto, “Not all of them dare to be out with their real name and their photo, but many do. A collective coming out of so many LGBTIQ church employees is a world premiere as far as we know. But it is also an adventure with an existential risk.
“’It’s us! There has been much talk about us. Now we speak for ourselves.’ Signatories of the campaign include current and former employees, as well as volunteers of Catholic institutions, involved in all aspects of church life, including pastoral ministry, education, and administration.”
The German church is rocking again! #outinchurch is a new LGBTIQ Catholic workers association that belongs to institutions such as schools, colleges, NGO´s, and other offices inside the Catholic Church. Find their first PR, Manifest and their Demands on https://t.co/RfQiPNiceN pic.twitter.com/Mnt5E7qONv
— Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (@GNRcatholics) January 24, 2022
The group are calling for non-discrimination, inclusion within the Catholic Church and have published 7 core demands which will be available on their website in 12 different languages.
Among their demands, the group says that they want to be able to live and work openly within the Church as LGBTQ+ people without prohibition from any fields of activity or occupation.
They state, “The church employment rules needs to be changed. An open life according to one’s sexual orientation and gender identity, even in a partnership or civil marriage, must never be considered a breach of loyalty or reason for dismissal.”
View this post on Instagram
Along with the calls for the removal of workplace stigma, the group are also calling on the Church to consider its holistic approach to inclusion. “Defamatory and outdated statements of church doctrine on sexuality and gender needs to be revised on the basis of theological and human-scientific findings. This is of utmost relevance especially in view of worldwide church responsibility for the human rights of LGBTIQ+ persons.”
They believe that the Church should provide equal access to LGBTQ+ people to receive the sacraments, including church blessings for same-sex couples.
They are also calling for the Church to adopt a broader response to discrimination stating, “A church that invokes Jesus and his message must firmly oppose all forms of discrimination and promote a culture of diversity.”
Lastly, the LGBTQ+ Church group are calling for bishops to take the lead in responding to historic suffering, as well as supporting the changes that they are calling for.
“In dealing with LGBTIQ+ persons, the Church has caused much suffering throughout its history. We expect the bishops to take responsibility for this on behalf of the Church, to address the institutional history of guilt, and to advocate for the changes we call for.”
"As God Created Us": 100 believers in the service of the #Catholic Church come out. In a documentary on German TV ARD they dare to go public together. They are all #queer and tell of the struggle for their #church: #OutInChurchhttps://t.co/zmXjbejWU7
— Alexandra Nusser (@AlexandraNusse1) January 24, 2022
Along with the release of their manifesto, a documentary titled “Wie Gott uns schuf” (How God created us) will be aired on the German TV channel ARD. The film highlights the stories of 5 of the groups members, including a short statement from the wider group. On the ARD website, they will host a further 100 filmed interviews. All interviews are in German and will be available for a couple of weeks.
From tomorrow, it is expected that numerous big and small Catholic lay associations will publish a common statement in solidarity with the group. Although the campaign is targeted at the Catholic church in Germany, the group are aware of its wider-reaching implications.
“It is hoped that this example can inspire the emergence of similar networks in other countries in the long run so that nobody will be again fired or questioned due to their sexual orientation or gender identity!”
© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.