Tony Giardina: Faith and inclusion

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Published: 05-09-2024 5:26 PM

I am writing in response to MarielAddis’ column “Under seige from all sides,” [Gazette, April 18] where the writer bemoans Pope Francis’ recent remarks questioning gender theory and “sex changes” as “grave threats” to humanity today. Like all progressive Catholics, I too regret the Pope’s words. But what I would want the writer to know is that while the Pope controls the doctrine of the Catholic Church, individual congregations, working with their local parish priests, still have a lot to say about how the faith is actually practiced.

There are numerous national groups working to push the church forward in terms of LGBTQ+ acceptance and welcome. There’s even one here in Northampton, called Catholics for Inclusion. Our work with William Byrne, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield, led most recently to a guest column published in the Gazette and the Springfield Republican in which the bishop “strongly encourages all parishes and schools to welcome everyone into your community, particularly those who feel excluded from the church, including the LGBTQ+ faithful.” There is still, of course, a lot of work to do. But if Addis, or anyone else who has felt rejected by the church because of who they are wants to know more about the work that’s being done locally, I encourage them to go to our website catholicsforinclusion.com or email us at catholicsforinclusionwesternmass@gmail.com.

Tony Giardina

Florence

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