Italy: LGBT Christians want Pope Benedict XVI to defend their human rights
Today the European Forum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christian Groups has sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI asking for true respect of the human rights and the personal integrity of LGBT people. They appeal to the Pope for a clear statement against homophobic violence and any pressure by religious authorities to undergo „reparative therapy“, often causing harmful psychological damage. In this letter the Catholic Church is called on to grant LGBT people the same fundamental right to get involved in a relationship with a beloved other without being afraid of negative consequences from church hierarchies.
The European Forum represents 44 Christian LGBT member groups from 23 European countries. Originally initiated by the Polish group „Faith and Rainbow“ the letter was approved by the Forum’s Annual General Meeting in early May. It indicates a new atmosphere within the Catholic church, where fear and desperation of LGBT people are replaced by courage and the demand for open dialogue.
The letter is presented to the public today at the conference, "LGBT people and Christian churches in Europe: fears and opportunities for a full acceptance and inclusion", which is part of a program of events on Faith and Homosexuality that for the first time is included in the Europride 2011 that will take place in Rome from june 1st to 12th. The conference is organized by the Italian member group "Nuova Proposta" in cooperation with the European Forum. One of the speakers at the event is John McNeill, one of the founding fathers of gay theology, who was excluded from the Jesuit order because of his homosexuality.
- Michael Brinkschroeder (Munich / Germany) – Male Co-President of the European Forum – , Tel. +49 177 5526962
- Diane Xuereb (Netherlands / Malta) – Female Co-President of the European Forum – , Tel. +31 610760583
- Andrea Rubera (Nuova Proposta / Rome) – Organizer of the program „Faith and Homosexuality“ of the Europride 2011 – , cel.: +39 335 7510922
- Andrea E. Krueger - (Network of Catholic Lesbians -Germany) - Public Relations for the EF Berlin conference 2011 – , Tel. +49 6071 618236
Members of the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups: Adverta Evangeliska Draudze (Latvia), The Anglican Clergy Consultation (UK), Arcus (Finland), Associació Cristiana de Gais i Lesbianes de Catalunya (ACGIL) (Spain), AG (Arbeitsgemeinschaft) Schwule Theologie e.V. (Germany), “C+H” (The Lesbian and Gay Christian Group of Geneva) (Switzerland), Changing Attitude (UK), Church of St Cornelius (Ukraine), CooL (Christliche Organisation von Lesben): (Switzerland), Courage (UK), La Communauté du Christ Libérateur (Belgium), David & Jonathan (France), Drachma (Malta), Riks EKHO (Sweden), Evangelical Fellowship for Lesbian and Gay Christians (UK), Faith and Rainbow (Poland), FELGBT-The Spanish Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals (Spain), Ganymedes (Slovakia), Gei Kristlaste Kogu (Estonia), Gruppo del Guado, (Italy), Gionata (Italy), Gruppo Varco-Refo (Italy), HomoDiversus (Moldova), Homosexuelle und Glaube, Wien (HUG) (Austria), HuK (Germany), Labrystheia, Netzwerk Lesbischer Theologinnen in und nach der Ausbildung (Germany), Landelijk Koördinatie Punt groepen kerk en homoseksualiteit, (Netherlands), Lesben und Kirche, Ökumenische Arbeitsgemeinschaft (Germany), Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (UK), Lesbische und Schwule Basiskirche Basel (Switzerland), Light of the World (Russia), Maria und Martha Netzwerk, (Germany), Metropolitan Community Church, European District region 4, Metropolitan Community Church Region 5 (România), Netwerk Mirre (Nederlands), Netzwerk Katholischer Lesben (Germany), Nuova Proposta (Italy), Open Church Group (Norway), Projekt Schwul und Katholisch in der Gemeinde Maria Hilf or PSK Maria Hilf, Frankfurt (Germany), Quest (UK), Roman Catholic Caucus in the LGCM (UK), We for Civil Equality (Armenia), Werkverband van Homotheologen (WHT) (Netherlands), Werkverband van Katholieke Homo - Pastores (WKHP) (Netherlands), Zwischenraum (Switzerland)
The European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups: Urgerplein street 16-b nl-3033 bv – Rotterdam (The Netherlands) -