Prayer in Solidarity:

Quoted from Equally Blessed’s prayer statement on the Extraordinary Synod. Equally Blessed is a United States coalition of Catholic organisations committed to justice and equality for LGBT people in the church and society.

We offer prayers for all who will participate in the Extraordinary Synod, and for all who minister tirelessly to families throughout the world. We join with all who believe that caring for families is a vital ministry of the Catholic Church. We believe that the Church has the obligation to care for all families, no matter how they are formed, and to do so in a way that is marked by compassion and respect.

We stands with those who hope that the Synod offers new possibilities to individuals and families who have experienced alienation and pain due to the teachings and actions of Church officials. We pray for those whose marriages have ended in divorce, for those who are in interfaith marriages,for those whose relationships are not affirmed by the Church. We pray for those who have asked for assistance in dealing with violence and did not receive appropriate support, for single parents and families struggling with illness, poverty, or loss in isolation. We pray for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons and their families. We pray for families who are burdened with the pain of condemnatory words and actions from Church leaders and otherCatholics, the impact of Church officials’ support for the imposition or continuation of discriminatory laws. We pray for those who fear for the lives and safety of themselves or loved ones in nations where homosexuality is criminalised or LGBT people are frequent targets of violence. All of these have the right to hope for consolation and justice from our Church.

We pray that those bishops who will participate in the Synod’s deliberations will be worthy of the great privilege and responsibility given them. This Synod has awakened profound hope in souls all around the Earth. May the bishops who come from thesemany nations be humbled by their call to be both representatives and shepherds. We call on them to be mindful of the power that their work can have in affecting the lives of billions of individuals and families. May they enter into the Synod with humility and a deep sense of accountability to the people whose hopes they carry.

We pray that those who bring to the Synod a history of anti-LGBT beliefs and statements will be open to voices of moderation and the experience of those who have been involved in ministry with LGBT people. We hope all see can see grace in the new realities in many parts of the world, where official recognition of LGBT people, same-sex relationships, and families headed by same-sex couples has brought an increase of social stability, and allowed more families to access the dignity and supports provided by legal protection. We hope that those present who have LGBT family members or who are themselves gay, bisexual or transgender might find welcome and space to be honest about the holiness of their identity.

No matter the outcome of the Extraordinary Synod, we will continue to work for full inclusion and justice for LGBT Catholics in our Church and in the broader society. As members of the Body of Christ, we renew our commitment to ministering to people who are wounded by Catholic teachings or harsh statements, who are denied access to the full sacramental life of our Church or who encounter misunderstanding and discrimination in their community. We will continue to celebrate the sacred in the lives and relationships of LGBT people and families and work for a just and equal Catholic Church.

We continue to pray Jesus’ prayer that all will be one in Him. Amen