% For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.




4th April, 2019


Pope Francis issued his new teaching document on young people on Tuesday this week, 2 April 2019, entitled ‘Christus vivit’. The document is his response to the Catholic bishops’ Synod on Young People.

Tiernan Brady, Campaign Director for Equal Future, said “Given the highly problematic nature of the Catholic Church’s teaching on LGBT, and the previous awareness that the Pope has demonstrated of the damage done to children and young people when given the sense that to be LGBT is in any way a misfortune or a disappointment, the document represents a failure of nerve to follow through on previous positive statements by Pope Francis.

“The Pope does not say anything about shielding children from the damage that any sense that being LGBT would be a misfortune or a disappointment. The document fails to even consider this damage.”

“In a section entitled ‘Love and family’, the Pope eloquently describes, in a way that would apply to the experience of young people of any sexual orientation, that “Young people intensely feel the call to love; they dream of meeting the right person with whom they can form a family and build a life together,” (259), but then goes on to speak only of “love between a man and a woman,” (261). The airbrushing of the lives and aspirations of millions of young LGBT people from the document compounds the damage being done to young people.”

“There are some positive elements to the document that could provide pathways to progress. These include a call for an “inclusive” approach to young people. Statements against “being too concerned with communicating a great deal of doctrine” (212), and that young people do not “have to accept fully all the teachings of the Church to take part in certain of our activities” (234), could be interpreted as a tacit acknowledgement that children and young people should not be exposed to the Church’s teaching on LGBT. The statement, “You have to discover who you are… whatever others may say or think” (162), is also of value,” Brady continued.

“But these are only potential pathways to progress and the document is ultimately a missed opportunity. The Synod on Young People failed to acknowledge and tackle the problem. Pope Francis has made little headway.”

Tiernan Brady concluded: “As our global polling shows, the majority of Catholics understand the damage that is being done to children and young people by current Catholic teaching on LGBT and want it to change. The upper management of the Church need to listen to the voices of the people, but sadly are still not getting it.”



Numerical references in brackets are to paragraphs of the Christus vivit document.

Global Polling

In October 2018, the Equal Future 2018 Campaign released polling commissioned from international polling agency YouGov on attitudes in the Catholic word towards damage to children and young people from LGBT stigma. The poll was conducted in Brazil, Mexico, USA, France, Philippines, Spain and Italy, comprising 50% of the global Catholic population. The data showed that 63% 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 on Young People to assist its deliberations. The details can be found at  www.equalfuture2018.com/poll/.

Equal Future Campaign

The Equal Future 2018 Campaign was set up to raise awareness of the damage done to children and young people when they are made to feel that being LGBT would be a misfortune or a disappointment. The Campaign responded to the call of the Catholic Church for feedback ahead of its Synod on Young People by providing a platform for people to tell their stories to their regional bishop attending the Synod, and commissioned polling agency YouGov to conduct international polling on awareness of the damage done to children and young people by LGBT stigma and their opinion on the role of Catholic Church teaching.

The Campaign is supported by a coalition of LGBT, progressive religious, children and young people’s, and other groups from over 60 countries worldwide. Its website is www.equalfuture2018.com.

Four days after it launched in Dublin on 22 August 2018, the Pope, on his way back to Rome from there, gave the first ever positive papal teaching to parents of kids who may be gay.

Previous papal statement on LGBT children

On 26 August 2018, four days following the launch of the Equal Future 2018 Campaign in Dublin last August ahead of the Pope’s visit to Ireland, the Pope, asked by a journalist what he would say to the father of a son who says he is gay, said:

“Don’t condemn. Dialogue, understand, make space for your son or daughter. Make space so they can express themselves.”

“You are my son, you are my daughter, just as you are!”

“That son and that daughter have the right to a family and of not being chased out of the family.”

Post-Synodal Exhortation

The Vatican released Christus vivit on April 2, 2019.

Christus vivit is a Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation. The status of a Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, a particular type of papal document, is held to be part of the “Magisterium” of the Catholic Church. The Magisterium of the Catholic Church is the teaching of the Catholic Church which all Catholics are called to adhere to.
Please address any media enquiries to:

Tiernan Brady, Campaign Director 
 –  +353878505972