Quest’s annual conference, “So hope for a great sea change”, will take place in Scarborough, 25-27 July.
A free seminar in Nottingham on 23 January 2014:
This seminar is the third of six themed seminars aimed at exploring gaps in knowledge and research about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) Ageing, and identifying ways to address those gaps.This seminar address the complex influences of ethnicity, culture and religion in lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people’s lives, that have been relatively little discussed.
The project intends to bring together academics, policy-makers, service providers, third-sector organisations, LGBT activists and advocacy groups and older LGBT people themselves.
Women’s retreat – what does it mean to be LGBTQ and made in God’s image?
Facilitator – Pat Pierce. Pat is a lesbian and Catholic, and has a background in Education and Chaplaincy work, with a postgraduate degree in Theology. Pat is particularly interested in LGBT and Queer theology.
23rd November, at Farm Street, Mayfair.
The first session will start at 10am, with coffee from 9.30am.
The day will end at 5pm.
Theme for the day:
What does it mean to be LGBTQ and made in God’s image?
The day will enable us to explore our faith journey as gay women before God.
There will be opportunity to pray together, prepare liturgy together, listen to one another, reflect, and share something of our stories.
The aims of the day are to bond as a group and share the journey in our faith together, and also to leave with some insight into our own image of God and how we take that forward in our lives.
Securing a place:
please email Ania on firstname.lastname@example.org
From The Tablet, by Robert Mickens
The ground-breaking questionnaire about marriage and family life posted online by the bishops of England and Wales is part of an effort by Rome to encourage lay Catholics to say “openly and with all sincerity, what they really think”, a Vatican official said yesterday.
Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, whom Pope Francis recently named Secretary General of next October’s meeting of the Synod of Bishops, which will focus on the family, told a press conference in the Vatican yesterday: “We don’t just want the bishops sitting around a table and drawing up a report.”
His view appeared at odds with Hungarian Cardinal Péter Erdő, the extraordinary Synod assembly’s General Relator, who told reporters the responses to the questionnaire would not prompt a change in the Church’s Magisterium. “We don’t want to re-open a discussion on Catholic doctrine, but look at all situations based on a pastoral approach,” he said. Read more…
From now on, the future issues of the Quest Bulletin will be on open access. The main publication of Quest for its members, it will serve the spiritual needs of anyone who may find it useful and helpful - to proclaim the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ so as to sustain and increase Christian belief among homosexual men and women [Quest's Purpose].
The file can be downloaded and viewed on a computer screen or tablet, or printed out. It is full-text searchable and easy to archive.
Quest Bulletin 67 (PDF) download
Quest is organising the first LGBT-friendly pilgrimage to Walsingham, the National Shrine of Our Lady. Please book early (now!) since places are limited.
Coach from Farm Street (Mayfair, London) to Walsingham, with at least one other pick-up in North London, to be arranged nearer the time.
We encourage everyone who can to travel by coach with the main group to do so to foster a real ‘pilgrimage-feel’. For those unable to travel via London, contact Ania, email@example.com, for separate arrangements; if there are enough people, a group can be organised.
concerning recent remarks by Pope Francis
Quest, the UK association for LGBT Catholics, their families and friends, welcomes Pope Francis’s recent words on homosexuality on his return to Rome from World Youth Day in Brazil. Quest believes this is a Pentecost moment for two reasons.
- Unlike his predecessor Benedict XVI who often appeared uneasy and defensive with the press, Pope Francis’s approach is more in keeping with the Apostles who preferred the risk and uncertainty of leaving the Upper Room in order to take the message of the risen Christ to the wider world. His eighty minute press conference on board the plane showed a leader who was unafraid to tackle a wide variety of questions and he engaged freely and openly. This is in contrast with traditional protocol which has often seen journalists having to submit written questions in advance, questions which were often selected with a view to avoiding controversy and in which ecclesiastical control frequently did not permit spontaneous exchange of question and answer. Pope Francis has changed all expectations.
- Francis used the word, “gay” not once, but five times. He is the first Catholic leader to do so. This is deeply significant. “Gay” is the term that originated in the struggle for human rights and it is a word that the many in the LGBT community use to refer to themselves. This shift of language suggests empathy and engagement. After the Pentecost, the Apostles left the Upper Room and spoke in many languages. This shift in language enabled them to be understood more widely among many people who had not heard the Christian message.
Many have reacted by suggesting his words, “if a person is gay, who am I to judge?” suggest no essential change of Church teaching which still condemns sexual acts between members of the same sex. But that is to miss the point. Quest believes the Spirit is blowing forcefully in Pope Francis’ recent remarks and sincerely hopes these will not be his last words on the subject.
For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.
- Matt 18:20
That’s any two or three – including two or three gay and lesbian people.
Catholic teaching on LGBT people is crystal clear: we are to be treated with respect, compassion and sensitivity, should be free of any unjust discrimination, and must be protected from any malice or actual violence, in speech or in action. It also includes, as Pope Francis recently reminded us, that it is not up to anybody else, even for himself, to judge others – including gay and lesbian people.
The experience of far too many gay and lesbian Catholics sadly, is that very many ordinary Catholics, and some priests and even bishops, simply ignore these compassionate elements of teaching to focus exclusively on the best known part of Vatican doctrine – that all genital acts outside of marriage and not open to procreation, are prohibited. That prohibition of course, applies equally to everybody – but those who rant and rail so frequently against homosexuals in the Church, are usually strangely silent on that.
Another important element of Catholic teaching applicable to people of any orientation and spelled out clearly in the Catechism is that sexuality is an important part of our human make – up, which needs to be integrated into our personalities.
“Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity.” (2333)
“Sexuality, in which man’s belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another” (2337)
Taking a Chance on God
Saturday, 2 November 2013, 10:30 am – 4:30 pm
A day long workshop for LGBTQ Christians and their allies.
How are we called to be disciples and leaders? What does our experience as LGBTQ Christians, or as straight allies and friends, teach us about trust, faith, and spiritual growth?
This day long workshop in the heart of London at historic St. Martin-in-the-Fields offers fellowship, input, and space for those who feel called to deeper reflection, and for those who feel inspired to spirit-led action.
Join us as LGBTQ pastors and theologians reflect personally on the challenges and risks of leadership in a sometimes unwelcoming church. Find inspiration in the stories of others. Gain tools for sustainable ministry. Find the room to notice how God may be calling you out of your own comfort zone – calling you more deeply into service, or activism, or prophecy, or leadership, or prayer.
Speakers include Revd. Sharon Ferguson, MCC minister and Chief Executive of LGCM (The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement); Revd. Bernárd Lynch, psychotherapist and Catholic gay activist; James Alison, acclaimed theologian; and Brendan Fay, film producer and Christian grass-roots organizer. Our leader will be Revd. Clare Herbert, Lecturer in Inclusive Theology at St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Activities include presentations, small and large group discussion, and professionally facilitated process. Read more…