New guidelines on ministry to LGBT people

ministry to LGBT people

Baltimore Archbishop William E Lori has issued new guidance on ministry to LGBT people and their families

Lori’s policy is emphasising the need for a compassionate and understanding approach based on Church teaching and revelation.

The archbishop released the 14-page document “Like Every Disciple” in the form of a personal letter.

The letter seeks to offer support and genuine accompaniment to individuals who identify as LGBT or gender nonconforming.

In the introduction to the guidance, Lori highlighted that every disciple is called to a lifelong journey of turning towards the Lord and deepening their relationship with Him.

Lori is stressing the significance of baptism, which marks individuals as beloved sons and daughters of God, forming their truest identity.

Increased LGBT awareness in the Church

The archbishop acknowledged the increased awareness within the Church regarding the experiences of individuals with same-sex attraction or gender discordance, commonly identified as LGBT.

Archbishop Lori emphasised that these individuals, like all human beings, are children of God and members of the Body of Christ, deserving of love and pastoral care.

Lori’s guidance emphasises that LGBT ministry should prioritise pastoral accompaniment rather than advocating for changes to Church teaching.

The focus is on fostering a relationship with Christ while upholding the liberating truth about the human person as revealed through Jesus Christ.

The archbishop recognised the polarised discourse surrounding Catholicism and LGBT identities and urged for a different approach.

The main questions he posed were how to offer pastoral accompaniment while remaining faithful to Church teaching on human sexuality and how such accompaniment can lead individuals to a deeper relationship with Christ and the Church.

Six essential characteristics

Lori’s guidance focuses on six different “essential characteristics of pastoral accompaniment.” These are:

  • recognising the reality of our need
  • showing compassion, respect and sensitivity
  • journeying together in light of our calling
  • having a different kind of conversation
  • living “rooted in the Church”
  • a willingness to “make the long journey”

LGBT Catholics and their allies have given the guidelines mixed reactions. Some have welcomed the guidelines as a step in the right direction while others have criticised them as being too restrictive.

Archbishop Lori writes that the guidelines are “not intended to be a comprehensive manual for LGBT ministry” but rather “a starting point for conversation and reflection.” He hopes the guidelines will help “form Christian disciples” among LGBT people and their families.


Catholic News Agency



Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , ,