19th November, 2018

Pope Francis must make up for the gaps left by Synod on damage to young people from LGBT stigma

The Equal Future 2018 Campaign today described the failure of the Catholic Church to consider the damage done to young people from LGBT stigma during its Synod on Young People as “an extraordinary omission” and called on Pope Francis to exercise his option to address the problem as quickly as possible.

Tiernan Brady, Campaign Director for Equal Future 2018, said “The Catholic Church’s Synod on Young People sadly decided to ignore the reality of LGBT people’s lives and the impact that stigma towards LGBT people has on young people across the world. Instead, the Synod simply swept it under the carpet to avoid difficult conversations about what that damage done by LGBT stigma may say about the Church’s own teaching on LGBT.” 

“The Synod on Young People said in its final resolutions that the Church “renewed its commitment to stand against any sexual discrimination and violence”, but it provided no elaboration or example, and utterly failed to acknowledge both the Church’s own role in the problem, and the very specific damage to the most innocent and defenseless in our societies, children and young people,” Brady continued.

The Synod’s conclusions are “offered” to Pope Francis, who then decides whether to produce a formal teaching document on the subject known as a post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation.

“Pope Francis now has the opportunity to consider young people’s lives and the damage that is done to them across society by LGBT stigma, in a way that the Synod simply has not done. The Pope’s own advice in August to parents of children who may be gay recognised that damage is being done to young people. While the Synod did not follow the Pope’s lead in focusing on this problem, it did resolve that questions of sexuality require “deeper anthropological, theological and pastoral elaboration”.  The Pope must not fail now to decisively address this urgent issue,” Brady continued.

The Equal Future 2018 Campaign was set up to raise awareness of the damage done when a child or young person feels that being LGBT would be a misfortune or a disappointment.  Four days after it launched in Dublin on August 22nd, the Pope gave the first ever positive papal teaching to parents of kids who may be gay.

In early October the Campaign released new poll figures showing that 64% of practicing Catholics in the world’s eight biggest Catholic countries want the Church to change their teaching on LGBT in order to support the health and wellbeing of children and young people.  The Campaign submitted the polling to the Synod to assist its deliberations.

Tiernan Brady concluded: “The choice is between recognizing the truth discerned by the people of the Catholic Church, who realise the Church needs to become more supportive of LGBT young people, or letting the Church’s upper management continue to close their eyes to the reality of people’s lives in the face of ever growing understanding and knowledge about LGBT people and their experiences.”


Please address any media enquiries to:

Tiernan Brady, Campaign Director
 –  +353878505972