Manifesto “Living unity in diversity”.
CLC sees as “a gift from God” the diversity of sexual orientations in its midst.
The Christian Life Community (CLC), which brings together 1,100 people in 35 communities throughout Spain, has noted in recent years “the presence of LGBT+ people in the Church and in the community itself” who, “like the rest of the members of the people of God, want to live their faith fully, in love and service, but often find added difficulties to do so and even rejection, which generates great personal and family suffering”.
As stated in a communiqué made public on Wednesday, December 2, for CLC it is “a gift from God to be formed by people with diverse sexual orientations” and “this experience of diversity in the Church has brought about a deep gratitude and joy in the community”. Aware that “every person is by nature a child of God, created in his image and likeness,” it is committed “to accompanying these processes of faith and integration into the ecclesial community” and to raising awareness and providing internal formation.
Tuesday, December 2, 2020
In our local communities, in recent years we have noticed the presence of LGBT+ people in the Church and in the community itself who, like the rest of the members of the people of God, want to live their faith fully, in love and service, but often find added difficulties to do so and even rejection, which generates great personal and family suffering. From our local communities, various people have committed themselves to accompanying these processes of faith and integration into the ecclesial community.
As Pope Francis recalls in Amoris laetitathe Church must make her own “the behavior of the Lord Jesus, who in boundless love offers himself to all people without exception” and, for this reason, no “sign of unjust discrimination” towards “persons with homosexual tendencies” is permissible.
As a result of the experience of accompaniment, and linked to this reflection, in the last General Assembly of CLC Spain, held in August 2019 in Pamplona, it was agreed to deepen the theme and make a public manifesto to state that:
- Our community lives as a gift from God to be formed by people with < diverse sexual orientations, people in whose families there are members LGTB+, single, married and divorced people. As members of the Church, they participate in it as equals, far from any stigma. For example, positions of responsibility and community representation are open to all of them.
- The discrimination, always unjust, that many people suffer because of their sexual orientation is a wake-up call to the Christian community to continue to remember that every person is, in their nature, a child of God, created in his image and likeness; and to redouble efforts to recognize, welcome and accompany them.
- Our community is committed to raising the awareness and internal training of its members on this topic, as well as incorporating it into the different areas of work.
This experience of diversity in the Church has given rise to deep gratitude and joy in the community.
The CLC communication area can provide interviews with the president of CLC Spain, Eduardo Escobés, as well as testimonies of LGTB+ people belonging to different communities. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
ORIGINS OF THE DIVERSITY MANIFESTO
The Spirit speaks in incarnate reality. It has done so in this path that has led us to make public our diversity reality.
Our initial intuitions and concerns took shape as we encountered experiences of a real inclusive Church. Listening to the experiences, sometimes joyful and sometimes painful, of those who had gathered at Ichthys and Crismhom helped us to open our eyes, to prepare our hearts and to discover a call from the Spirit knocking at our door.
Not only that, we came across the PADIS initiative in Chile, where CLC had also set out on the path of encounter, of welcome, in a truly daring way. It was the confirmation. Here are their testimonies, with them something began to sprout:
First we will listen to Carmen Luz. In Chile, in 2009, the Pastoral de la Diversidad was born, linked to CLC, she is an exceptional witness of this process and a source of inspiration for all of us.
Next we will listen to the testimony of Raquel and Antonio who explain what CLC has meant for Ichthys, with whom through the mediation of two Chilean Jesuits involved in PADIS+, in 2014 we discovered each other.
And finally, to highlight that CLC’s work in the field of diversity was recognized in 2018 by Crismhom, homosexual Christians of Madrid, who awarded us their Rainbow Award. Alberto and Enzo tell us what that moment was like.
OWN EXPERIENCES OF THE COMMUNITY
Sometimes the most obvious realities, the ones that are closest to you, are the ones you leave aside, the ones you don’t pay attention to, the ones that go unnoticed.
Our own experience of diversity within the community, real, incarnated, with concrete people and life stories, was beginning to become visible, to take shape. We were no longer talking about other people and other people’s realities. Looking inward began to help us become fully aware of this call and of the need to contribute to a more inclusive Church, in the style of Jesus of Nazareth, and to a community that was more welcoming and respectful of the experiences of love of those who made it up.
All of them were also an expression of God and an experience of fullness. These are their lives, with them we began to notice that what began to sprout was growing like our roots and was becoming visible.
In the following video, first of all, we will listen to Pili and Bea, from CLC Seville who will explain their family journey; then Aitor and Josu from CLC Arrupe Elkartea in Bilbao will share with us what their family is like; Then Yolanda from CLC Jerez and her daughter Candela will explain how they responded to the call that was presented to them, and finally Pablo and Marisol, from CLC Barcelona will compare how they lived the coming out, a delicate moment for many parents with LGBT children.
Accompanying is a verb that we continually conjugate in our community. Sometimes even to excess. Sometimes, the use of the word wears out and empties, it loses its meaning. Not here. Spaces for mutual accompaniment in which we can take care of meeting, welcoming, listening and respecting each other are those that have allowed us to verify the presence of the Spirit in this call. To accompany in order to discern is to put life at the center, it is to let ourselves be carried and affected, it is to be ready to be surprised, it is to let God be God in our lives so that he can transform them. It is, in short, to live from the freedom that He gives us. Essential freedom in each of these moments that have made us meet and become more community, more life-giving and, hopefully, more Christian. That is where you can see that what was supposed to sprout has already sprouted. Now, let it bear fruit.
In this video we will listen to Ana, MªJosé and Mikel from CLC in Valencia who from PADIS groups accompany people who approach this reality; Macarena and Manolo from CLC in Seville who share their experience and accompaniment to other LGTBI+ people in the community; Thirdly we will listen to Pedro and Mariluz from CLC in Las Palmas who share their experience of accompaniment lived in PADIS as well, and finally we will listen to Alfonso from CLC in Salamanca who brings us closer to the reality of living Easter in Salamanca and that translates into a concrete way of celebrating our faith.
COMMENTARY OF THE CVX-E COUNCIL TO THE RESPONSUM OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH TO A DUBIUM ON THE BLESSING OF SAME-SEX UNIONS
March 22, 2021
Seven days ago today we learned the official response of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the question of whether the Church has the power to bless same-sex unions. By the way, it is a curious way of asking about something as precious as the blessing that is offered by the community to its members, the image of God, when they open themselves to God’s love from their conscience.
The answer was negative, and that door slam resounded loudly in Christian communities where homosexual people walk as God’s people. However, the answer is not far from correctness, in accordance with the doctrine written today.
This is not an obstacle for CLC to regret that the Church continues to defend this doctrine, and that the still recent assumption in this matter “of the behavior of the Lord Jesus, who in unlimited love offers himself to all persons without exception” (AL 250), has not given rise to the recognition of the presence of God’s Love in the unions of homosexual persons, stable, committed and Kingdom-builders from the family they constitute.
Amoris Laetitia left, 5 years ago, questions open to debate and further deepening: “The complexity of the issues raised showed us the need to continue to deepen freely some doctrinal, moral, spiritual and pastoral questions. The reflection of pastors and theologians, if it is faithful to the Church, honest, realistic and creative, will help us to find greater clarity.” (AL 2). Undoubtedly, same-sex unions are one of those complex issues to which the exhortation alludes, and we hope that it will be addressed sooner rather than later, in the spirit of the exhortation itself.
CLC Spain continues on its path of continuous search for the will of God, and in this journey we live as a gift the presence of homosexual companions. Some of them have formed stable couples in which they have taken in minors, whom they in turn accompany in their development as Christian persons of the future. Their witness of faith and love nourishes our hope and leads us to continue working for a future Church in which their blessing is but a custom.
CLC Spain Council
Monday, May 17, 2021
ON THE OCCASION OF MAY 17 “INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST LGTBIPHOBIA”.
On May 17, 1990, the General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) eliminated homosexuality from its list of psychiatric diseases, where it had been included since the origin of this international organization.
In the nineties, when the dramatic effects of HIV were sweeping our cities and towns, and perhaps also your family, the LGTBI reality moved in a discourse whose pillars were disease and sin. Some people with sexual and gender diversity put faces and names to invisibility in this harsh context, risking losing their jobs and their families by being visible and denouncing the injustices that were shamelessly inflicted. They had to prove time and again that they were not perverts and that what was at the heart of the matter was simply a question of human rights.
This day was conceived in 2004 and was definitively institutionalized in 2005, after an important and hard work of training and awareness campaigns in different countries around the world, declaring May 17 as the International Day against LGTBIphobia.
Prayer vigils against LGTBIphobia
They arose when the Christian group “Kairos” of Florence (Italy), in 2007, became aware of the tragic suicide of a young homosexual man in Turin, and organized themselves to express their grief and also their rainbow-eyed faith.
They quickly coordinated with other LGTBI Christian groups, and were able to organize in 14 Italian cities a series of prayer vigils in memory of the victims of homophobia. Since then, vigils have been held in an increasing number of countries, cities, groups, communities and churches on May 17. Since 2010, this initiative has been gaining momentum, and is now shared by more than 50 groups of the European Forum LGBT Christians Groups, as well as the groups that make up the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics.
Jesus, the all-inclusive one, reminds us that no suffering goes unnoticed by God, that it is worth trying not to get caught up in the wounds and to continue working for a Church where diversity is valued and taken into account, and a world in which all people without exception feel cared for, welcomed and motivated to work for the common good.
In this wake of prophetic denunciation and vindication, also today, here and now, CLC in Spain has publicly manifested itself as a community of inclusion, which values difference and accompanies people from all walks of life. On December 2, 2020, we declared it publicly. In the videos that accompany this post, you can see the work sessions that the CLC community in Spain held during the months of November and December 2020, spaces to give thanks for the road traveled, recognize this reality, and sensitize us to it.