First global Catholic LGBT network hopes to build bridges with Church

ROME, Italy - The first global Catholic LGBT network attempted Monday, October 5, to reach out to bishops meeting to debate the Church's approach to the family, as liberals hope for an opening up towards sexual minorities.

"Dear sisters and brothers at the synod...greetings from the new-born Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC)!" the network, boasting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex members from 30 countries, said in a statement.

"We write to you to wish you encouragement for these days of your synodal gathering, as well as for the months and years to come...discovering new ways of celebrating the family," it said.

The aim of the GNRC network was to "support each other, and others more vulnerable than ourselves...especially in countries which criminalize us, and even think they are honoring God by killing us."

The idea was for the network to "be useful to you, though we know from long experience how frightened many of you are of communicating with us discreetly, even less talking to us on the record!"

The synod, which kicked off Sunday, risked being overshadowed by the revelation that a Polish priest working in the Vatican was sacked when he came out as a practising homosexual - a bombshell which divided the GNRC members.

"It rekindled the theme of the place for LGBT people in the Church," spokesman Andrea Rubera told Agence France-Presse (AFP), "but it's a slap in the face for the Curia (the Church's administrative body), and risks antagonizing the most conservative part" of those taking part in the synod. -