Point of view. The Synod seen by a group of Italian Catholic homosexuals
Luca Borghini, Blog The Lobbyst ITALY, 20 October 2014
What does it mean to be homosexual Catholics in 2014? It means recognizing sexual orientation without living faith as an element of obstruction or contradiction. This may sound simple, but it is not. We have behind us a Catholic education often bigoted and hypocritical. We have an idea of homosexuality influenced by negative prejudices or stereotypes. The good thing is that, honestly, thanks to groups like Kairos, being homosexual Christians in 2014 is less difficult and more beautiful than it has been in the past. This Synod is introducing very important issues. It really seems that the Church is ready to deal with issues related to homosexuality. For you it is a success?
We are waiting to talk about success. The synodal journey has just begun and will continue for one year. The resistors are not lacking in the Synod and it will not miss in the Church. If words of love towards the gay and recognition of human value of homosexual couples were confirmed, surely we have been very happy! For all of us and our families!
As a group we have completed the questionnaire preparatory Synod, we sent it to Rome, we read and discussed the working papers, we followed the press conference … The words that have been spoken in the Vatican rooms were for us like a balm after years of harsh words and unjust sentences …
The end result, though disappointing, however, opens up new perspectives: more than a third of the Synod Fathers believed that the official position on the issue of homosexuality, held by the Vatican in the past twenty years, is no longer current..
As this Synod may change, according to you, the Church?
This Synod was, finally, a true Synod. The work was carried out freely, the discussions were extensive and reported to the press, the Vatican has not imposed a rigid agenda. The credit for this goes definitely to Francis.
Precisely for this reason the instance of change that has emerged reflects the actual needs of the Church! This change is part of the DNA of the Church, which has as its mission to preach the gospel in a changing world.
But I would say something more: this Synod can change us. If the homophobic attitudes (more or less conscious) will be deprived of legitimizing reference to the Magisterium of the Church, homophobes will no longer have a “cover” authoritative. And also we gay would not have more alibi of the “outside enemy” to assume charge of the difficulties, the cultural backwardness, the non-acceptance that, in truth, has its origin from us than from what the Church says “against” us..
The Italian church does not seem to be in favor of openness to the themes of homosexuality. Do you think it is so, or is there a “distance” between the leaders of the Italian Church and the faithful?
Both things are true. Surely the Italian episcopal hierarchy, and even more the Vatican Curia, represent the most conservative part of the Church on homosexuality, but also on a wide range of theological and ethical issues. But the faithful (and let’s not forget that the faithful “are” the Church!) Are often far ahead of their pastors … It ‘s the same “distance” that exists at the political level, between institutions and citizens, no?
And certainly the Church leaders often talk as politicians than as pastors … When you keep in mind the Gospel, however, this distance is shortened, almost to disappear. I believe that everyone – believers and men of the Church – we heard the Gospel resound when we heard that Pope Francis said, “Who am I to judge a gay man who seeks God? ‘.
By Catholic homosexuals your position on civil unions and adoption to gay couples.
The group Kairòs does not have an official position on this legislation. Among us there are different opinions. All, however, we feel the need of a full recognition of the rights and dignity of individuals and same-sex couples.
As for adoption, for years, are part of our group gay fathers and lesbian mothers. They are wonderful parents and they would certainly even if their children would be adopted!
Kairòs Group. The Kairòs Group is a group of Christians Tuscan homosexuals, men and women of all ages. They gather in Florence since 2001 to share a spiritual path that will help them reconcile the Christian faith with the affective and relational identity. In fact, gay people, belonging to a minority in fact often the subject of social rejection, compounded in many cases by religious motives, they experience marginalization that is the cause of many sufferings.
The Kairòs Group meets at least twice a month in the premises of a parish in Florence and in a religious house in Florence.
“We are also in contact with non-Catholic Christian communities and associations with Catholic and secular associations that promote the rights of gays and lesbians.
We work closely with priests, religious men and women, as well as with representatives of different Christian denominations, with a fruitful exchange of experiences.
Every year we organize a vigil for the victims of homophobia, prayer retreats, participate in national events, such as the Forum of Christians Homosexual Italian, Florence Queer Festival and other events in the city.
For us, the group Kairos, is a meeting place in the fraternity: here we experience the hospitality that facilitates comparison between those who elsewhere, can rarely speak out around the experiences; here we seek and find in the Gospel, the joyful proclamation that makes us grow toward that true liberation when the discomfort becomes the host school“.