Malta: op-ed Mother Church and her LGBT children

The ‘coming out’ of LGBT persons is a complex process that is often consideredlong, bumpy, challenging but liberating. More often than not, the process is a positive experience for LGBT persons. Yet, depending on the circumstances and the persons involved in the story, it can also get tricky and pose some risks..

On the other hand, the coming out of LGBT sons or daughters is often a challenging experience for the parents themselves. The news may trigger within them a varied range of reactions and emotions that send them onto a journey comprising different stages: shock, grief, denial, guilt, blame, disappointment, pain, shame, decision-taking and acceptance. In some cases, parents might even react in opposite ways to the same news, resulting in big arguments between them. Some parents also speak of a loss, as they realise they have to let go of their fairy tale image of their child’s future and bury their deep-set plan for him or her.

The Church is one big family, the People of God. She is also a mother and her pastors are called ‘father’. Over the past few decades, the Church has experienced the ‘coming out’ of a number of her children as LGBT persons. Like most cases of ‘coming out’, this experience is complex and challenging. We see members of the faithful struggling with the shocking news of this ‘new’ reality; we witness those who react in opposite ways, while others move onwards along this process; we also encounter those who successfully arrive to the point of complete acceptance. It is normal for the Church – as one big family and mother – to go through these movements and stages. This is a natural process.

Nonetheless, it is imperative that the Church does not get stuck at one stage, but keeps moving forward while engaging in the story of her LGBT children. In this way, the ‘coming out’ of her children will reveal itself as a liberating experience even for her. Read more via Times of Malta