Bishops explore ways to make LGBTIQ+ community feel welcome

Photo: Drachma

Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi met with theLGBTIQ+ community to discuss ways to make the LGBTIQ+ community feel more comfortable with the Church.

In a meeting held on Tuesday with a number of LGBTIQ+ organizations in Malta, namely Allied Rainbow Community (ARC), Drachma LGBTI, Drachma Parents Group, LGBTI+ Gozo and Malta LGBTIQ Rights Malta (MGRM), representatives of these organizations were able to share aspects of their lives as well as their work.

In a press release on Thursday, the organizations said they spoke about the challenges faced and the positive changes they have seen in recent years.

One of the things that came up at the meeting was pride, they said.

They explained how, for an indefinite period, the LGBTIQ+ community felt worthless and ashamed of their identity and themselves.

“They have been and still are persecuted in a significant number of countries. They just wanted to embrace their sexuality, they wanted to move away from shame and into self-acceptance and pride in who they are, and that’s how Pride was born,” the reps said.

They also spoke about the invaluable work they do with Malta’s LGBTIQ+ community, the support, awareness and rights they have worked for.

In their discussion, the Bishops showed great sensitivity to the needs of the LGBTIQ+ community and pledged to continue supporting a welcoming space for all.

The importance given to the continuous development of the humanities and what they show us was one of the topics of interest that was raised during the meeting.

The organizations said such data is needed for the Church to deepen its thinking and pastoral attitudes in light of evidence-based research on the LGBTIQ+ reality and their families.

And in fact, representatives of LGBT+ Gozo and MGRM forwarded two investigations they had carried out independently, with both Bishops happily enjoying the current information.

Bishop Scicluna emphasized that “we must move away from the language of ideology and stop speaking without thinking first.”

His main message was that we must always keep in mind that we are talking about other human beings, and therefore we must treat each person with respect and dignity, because that is the only way to show the love of Christ.

The two-hour gathering held at the Archbishop’s Curia of Floriana had a deep sense of synodality that was clearly felt and expressed by all present. One activist was very moved by the meeting and described it as a truly heartwarming and calming experience.

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