18 April 2015


Drachma (Drachma LGBTI and Drachma Parents Group) looks with interest at the discussion that has ensued over the issue of the blessing of the engagement of a same sex couple by Fr Mark Montebello OP and on the Archbishop’s reactions to the matter. Drachma welcomes the positive and constructive approaches to this discussion and feels that this can be a beautiful opportunity to foster dialogue and deeper explorations into a more genuine Christian understanding of LGBTIQ relationships and their value for the Church and society.

Drachma understands and respects the Archbishop’s role as the head of the local Church and his duty in ensuring that church rules are followed. On the other hand, we appreciate the gesture made by Fr Mark, who has invited us to delve into the possibility of more pastoral initiatives with LGBTIQ persons.
We believe that this situation offers an opportunity to further the dialogue on LGBTIQ couples and their place in the Church in the light of the latter’s own ongoing reflection and study on sexuality, marriage and morality. Drachma recognises that such an internal dialogue is already underway in the Synod on the Family and in wider academic circles. Theologians such as James Alison, Jeanine Gramick, Richard Woods and Margaret Farley are contributing to this important discussion that can help the Christian faithful and the Church respond to these realities.
Drachma believes that the Church’s theology and moral ethics also need to be rooted in the lived experience of LGBTIQ people who provide the Church with the tangible experiences of committed Christian LGBTIQ persons who strive to integrate sexuality with spiritual experience. In this respect, the issue of the blessing of same sex couples also requires more consideration. While the current ritual and liturgy is restricted to blessing man-woman couples, this should not impede priests from encouraging genuine Christian LGBTIQ couples who wish God to be part of their lived experience of committed self-giving love. One must also take into account the initiative that this couple undertook to voluntarily seek a Catholic blessing for their love. This is extremely interesting and provides us with a beautiful opportunity to reflect on the genuine yearning of several LGBTIQ committed Christians who want to include Christ in their lives and in their relationships, which is very positive in itself and needs to be encouraged.

This sense of sensitivity and respect should mark any pastoral action with LGBTIQ people, keeping in mind Pope Francis’ invitation to all pastors to be close to their flock and sensitive to their realities. This should be at the heart of the Church’s pastoral work with LGBTIQ persons. In this respect, we welcome Mgr. Scicluna’s encouragement to Fr Mark and to other priests who have courageously reached out to the LGBTIQ faithful.   

Drachma fosters this spirit of genuine dialogue and understanding and invites the Christian faithful, the LGBTIQ community and the shepherds of the Church to continue this ongoing discernment. 

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