Official Catholic Church Documents Foundational to Our Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Orientation
As a Catholic Association, we strive to clearly present Catholic doctrine on homosexuality in its fullness. The following core documents serve as a guide for member ministries which operate under the direction and leadership of bishops, pastors, and other pastoral leaders. These documents also provide the framework for the outreach work of CALGM. Listed first is the 2006 Document which is the foundational document on providing pastoral care to those to whom we are called to minister. The other documents are listed here in order from most recent to earliest. Note that since CALGM has Canadian members, we have also included several relevant documents from the Canadian Bishops.
These directives from the U.S. Bishops provide a clear framework for ministry. The document lays out basic principles underlying our ministry, and then provides guidelines for pastoral care, and ends with a statement about the need for a respectful dialogue, citing Pope John Paul II: "Authentic dialogue, therefore, is aimed above all at the rebirth of individuals through interior conversion and repentence, but always with profound respect for consciences and with patience and at the step-by-step pace indispensable for modern conditions." The authors note that "Such dialogue facilitates an ongoing, interior conversion for all parties truly engaged in the exchange." This kind of respectful dialogue and ongoing conversion is essential for all pastoral ministy and is central to the Christian life.
This document contains guidelines from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops written out of pastoral concern for adolescents and young adults who are questioning their sexual orientation or who are experiencing same-sex attraction. The document is intended to provide guidance "to all Catholics, pastors, parents and educators, as well as to young adults themselves."
Always Our Children: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions for Pastoral Ministers (1997)
Written by the Bishops' Committee on Marriage and the Family, this message from the U.S. Bishops is directed primarily to Catholic parents of children who have come out to them as gay or lesbian. It provides practical and encouraging advice for parents on accepting both themselves and their children. It also provides recommendations for pastoral ministers working with these populations. This link provides the document in both English and Spanish versions.
This is the Vatican's directive to Bishops about providing pastoral care to persons with a homosexual orientation.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Important passages about sexuality, sexual orientation, and the integration of sexuality with one's spirituality. The full text is available here.
The chapter of the Catechism on sexual morality explains Catholic teaching on the nature and role of sexuality, and presents the rules by which all Catholics are to live in terms of sexuality. Within this chapter on sexual morality, paragraphs 2357-2359 speak specifically about homosexuality.
Other Pastoral Resources Helpful for Ministry
The following links lead to resources that provide additional support for pastoral ministry and outreach to Catholic persons with a homosexual orientation and to their families. These resources include suggestions for developing parish ministries and responding to challenges ministries might encounter.
Setting the Table: Preparing Catholic Parishes to Welcome Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People and Their Families
This wonderful book by Father Jim Schexnayder, one of our key founders and for many years our resource director, is a clear and practical guide for developing parish ministries. The book came out in 2011. Order it on-line through this website: www.createspace.com/3606590
This is a compilation of articles put together in September 2001 by the Ontario Catholic Family Life Education Network in Canada.
Statements supporting ministry to GLBT persons: pastoral statements by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the U.S. Catholic Conference, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Catholic Catechism, and other Catholic Church leaders on ministry to GLBT persons. These are helpful when promoting or initiating local church ministries.
Ministerial Response to Children of Same-Sex Couples: What insights does Canon Law provide in the current debates about responding to the spiritual needs of the baptized children of same-sex couples?
Pastoral resources for parents of persons who are gay or lesbian:
Contact Casey and Mary Ellen Lopata at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Fortunate Families Website: www.fortunatefamilies.org. For a brochure with information about the Listening Parents Network, click here.
Pastoral Resources for Ministry in the Latino/a Community:
Click here for the Latino/a Roundtable website of the CLGS (Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion). Go to the bottom of the page for some resources in Spanish.
Aquí tienen la conexión para la página web de la Mesa Resonda Latina (del CLGS). Hacia el final de la página están las conexiones para nuestros primeros “recursos” en español. Por favor, usen los recursos y dennos sus comentarios y evaluación de los mismos.
Pastoral resources for parish ministries
Contact Ann McDonald at email@example.com
Pastoral resources for Transsexual persons
Contact Sr. Luisa DeRouen, O.P. at SrLuisaOP@aol.com
This series, originally created as an adult education program and carried for 14 weeks on the website of a Midwest Catholic parish, is intended for anyone interested in learning more about homosexuality and the pastoral challenges it raises for Catholics.
This CARA Report, "In Search of Best Practices in Ministry with Gay and Lesbian Catholics," presents a portrait of experiences and best practices among successful ministries to gay and lesbian Catholics that other parishes and dioceses may use as a guide.
NACDLGM's Guidelines for Implementing Always Our Children in parishes. - June 2003 Follow this link for practical guidelines developed by this organization under its old name (the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries) for putting Always Our Children into practice at the local level.
"What Does Gay Mean?" - National Mental Health Association
Additional resources may be available by contacting the CALGM Resource Director (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please email us with information on how we can better support your ministry. We may also be available to travel for 1-on-1 consultation on how to start or improve your ministry at your church or in your diocese.