A group of Catholic MPs is calling on Pope Francis to ensure the Youth Synod works towards undoing the damage Church teaching has done to young LGBT people.
In a letter to Pope Francis the four cross-party MPs say the Synod of Bishops, which concludes this week, offers the Church a “unique moment” to consider the impact that negative attitudes towards LGBT people – including some espoused by the Church – have had on children.
“We have a real chance to lead on tackling the damage that is done to children and young people when they are caused to believe that to be LGBT would be a misfortune to them or a disappointment to their parents,” say the signatories, the Labour MPs Mary Creagh, Conor McGinn and Mike Kane, and Conservative MP Sir David Amess.
They also back a campaign called Equal Future 2018, which aims to raise awareness of the damage done to young people by social and religious stigma.
Citing again the problems that arise when children are caused to believe their sexuality will disappoint their parents, the MPs warn of “the role of the Church’s current teaching in their being given that sense”.
The Church, they say, ought to be at the fore of efforts to protect young LGBT people from “negative or ambivalent attitudes”.
Mike Kane MP said: "The Catholic Church’s Youth Synod in Rome is a once-in-a-generation moment where we can all create positive change to young peoples’ lives. Whether you are Catholic or not, an LGBT person or not, the decisions that may be taken at this Synod will be felt for years to come across the world."
The letter to Pope Francis will be passed to the Papal Household by Sally Axworthy, British Ambassador to the Holy See, on behalf of the MPs.