Gay Catholics to claim back idea of 'family'

By staff writers
August 22, 2007

In a move that will reclaim some of the ground that is typically occupied by conservative Christians, Gay Catholics are to focus on the idea of 'family'.

The Roman Catholic Caucus of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) will be in strong voice to proclaim 'We Are Family!' when it holds its 2007 Conference on Saturday, 20 October 2007 at St. Anne's Church, Soho, London.

Speakers will explore the theme from legal, psychological, sociological, and theological perspectives.

Sandhya Drew, the barrister from Tooks Chambers who recently represented John Reney in his employment tribunal appeal against the Anglican Diocese of Hereford, will look at pluses and minuses in recent equality laws.

Deborah Woodman, a clinical psychologist from the South London & Maudesley NHS Trust, will look at issues both for LGBT parents and parents of LGBT people.

Andrew Yip, Reader in Sociology at Nottingham University, will explore some background to the rise of religious fundamentalism.

Gerard Loughlin, Professor of Theoilogy at Durham University will offer a closing theological reflection on how the 'domestic Church' tradition of Catholic experience offers alternative models as the 'family by adoption' relativising 'blood families'.

A Catholic Caucus spokesperson said: "This is a timely event for all Catholics, not just our members. We hope parents of LGBT people, priests, and pastoral or welfare agency workers will also find this useful.

"On one hand, we've seen Catholic bishops in disarray over the Sexual Orientation Regulations, Adoption, and Catholic agencies. On the other hand, we've had a highly positive leaflet from the Bishops' Marriage & Family Department, on welcoming LGBT people in parish communities. There's also been the important initiative in Westminster Diocese, mainstreaming in a Catholic parish setting regular Masses, welcoming LGBT Catholics, their parents and families.

"This conference will show that the LGBT community is not anti-family, but committed to inclusive models of family for the 21st century."

The 2007 AGM of the Roman Catholic Caucus will also take place during the course of the day.

There will be a bookstall featuring works by speakers and other Catholic authors on issues of LGBT interest, and other information resources.

The Conference opens at 11.00 am and finishes at 5.00 pm
Conference fee (before 15 October): £15.00 - £20.00 at the door. Concessions: £10.00
Light refreshments will be provided with participants invited to bring lunch to share.

Further details:
Celia Gardiner - RC Caucus Convenor: 020 7772 5933
Martin Pendergast - Secretary: 020 8986 0807


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