An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Welcoming and Accompanying

Title Recently, the Archdiocese of Detroit, the apostolate Courage, and Sacred Heart Major Seminary (particularly Dr. Janet Smith) organized a conference entitled, “Welcoming and Accompanying Our Brothers and Sisters with Same-Sex Attraction.”  There were close to thirty speakers and four hundred participants with the same goal of meeting the pastoral needs of persons who experience this attraction in their lives.

Archbishop Vigneron gave the closing homily for the conference, focusing on the various ministers present (ordained or lay) and their calling. He drew a parallel with Moses leading the people out of slavery in Egypt, saying that, “We have all, to some degree, depending on our state of life, received the baton from the new Moses, Jesus Christ” and reminded the participants that, “There’s a lot of tough stuff between Egypt and Jerusalem, not least leaving behind the old creation, the old self, and becoming a new creation.”  Archbishop Vigneron pointed out that the Israelites often chafed against Moses because of the hardships of the journey, but, “To have high aspirations for people — that’s love. To be willing to accompany them on the passage to paradise, to the New Jerusalem — that’s love.”

The archbishop noted that Christ, “made the victory available to us. He is the last word and the full word, about happiness, the way, the truth, and the life.”  Ministers are not perfect; it’s okay to stumble sometimes in the effort to help others. “Very likely as we accompany our brothers and sisters there will be stumbling. But stumbling is not a tragic failure when one is accompanying a brother or sister to the promised land. Stumbling becomes by the power of Christ a point for setting out anew with even greater confidence to lay hold of the victory that is inevitable.”

Finally, Archbishop Vigneron ended with a challenge and hope: “People think we’re old fashioned. We’re not. We’re subversive. We’re undermining an established order. Not for its own sake. Not just to be recalcitrant. But because of what God has asked us to do. We do it in love, we do it with patience, we do it in the power of the Holy Spirit. I praise and thank God that the Holy Spirit is abroad in our time and in our place.”

Read the full text at the diocesan website.

One response to “Welcoming and Accompanying”

  1. George W. Mouchette says:

    God Bless You – for you true and sound theological leadership.

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