Dignity Toronto Dignité

Dignity Toronto Dignité meets on the second Saturday of each month at 2 pm at the 519 Church Street Community Centre located on Church Street (one block north of Wellesley Street).

For more information contact toronto@dignitycanada.org, and be sure to visit our webpage at dignitycanada.org and on Facebook.

Dignity Toronto Dignité Activities 2017-18

We continue our quest to accompany our members on their journeys, as varied as they are, as well as to challenge the injustices both within and outside the Roman Catholic establishment, especially as they relate to our loves and lives as LGBT Christians. We continue to meet on the second Saturday of each month at the 519 Church Street Community Centre since April 2012.  The space is provided free of charge. Our current executive consists of: Michael Armstrong, Steve Taylor and Frank Testin, and we have eight paid members.

Monthly Email Announcement

About a week before our monthly meetings, an email is sent to those on our list (about 60 persons) giving information on the upcoming meeting.  In addition, it lists other upcoming events, and presents a “Food for Thought” section with a 300-500 word quote from the writings of an author, such as Daniel Helminiak, John J. McNeill, Diarmuid O’Murchu, Geoffrey Robinson and John Shelby Spong.

Meetings at the 519 Centre:

At our monthly meetings, we have developed a particular format which starts with a check-in (adopted from the Winnipeg chapter), a reflection presented on a rotation basis by members, and usually a discussion based on a live presentation, DVD or printed materials.  We’ve also adopted the practice of closing the meeting with a shared prayer of petitions/thanks and the Lord’s prayer. Generally, we have 7-10 persons in attendance.

We viewed and discussed a number of video recordings from YouTube or other sources or DVDs at our monthly meetings. This included:

·        A video documentary about the lives of gay men living in New York in the decade of freedom from police oppression brought about by the Stonewall riots of 1969

·        The CBC TV adaptation of Alberta Ballet's acclaimed tribute to the music and life of Elton John “Love Lies Bleeding” that premiered several years ago. It presents insights into his personal life using the artistic medium of dance.

·        The apology of November 28th from the federal government to LGBTQ federal employees and armed forces personnel who were treated unjustly. (The recent documentary “The Fruit Machine” covers this oppression of LGBT federal workers.)

·        An excerpt from the DVD "Saving Jesus Redux" on the distorted notion of the redemptive value of suffering

·        A DVD on the Vatican Museums

·        Video of the presentation given by James Martin “How Parishes Can Welcome LGBT Catholics” at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin on August 26th

At our meetings at the 519 Centre, we also discussed:

  • Tribute to, and reflection on the life of, our member Robert Thomson who died suddenly on Nov. 23rd
  • Audio recordings of John Shelby Spong, who gave two presentations at the Call to Action Conference in Milwaukee in November 2008. The topics were:
  • What has the god of religion done to this planet earth?”
  • What has the god of religion done to our understanding of what it means to be human?
  • A recent discussion led by one of our members on the topic "Always a bad idea: Submissive, homophobic celibacy" based on an article in the Jesuit publication “America” on the interdenominational Revoice Conference held at the end of July in St. Louis which could be described as a Courage lite approach. The August 7th article was entitled “Hundreds gather to support L.G.B.T. Christians and affirm church teaching.” Our member also presented the recent article “Homosexuality among the clergy: Caught in a trap of dishonesty” by James Allison in The Tablet.

Potluck Suppers: We have been holding monthly potluck suppers at members’ homes, usually on the fourth Tuesday of the month. (4-7 persons).

Ecumenical Good Friday Walk: We helped to plan for the event, and at least three members participated in the group of about 200. It started and ended at the Church of the Holy Trinity, an Anglican parish with a strong outreach to the homeless, located next to the Eaton Centre. The overall theme in 2017 was dimensions of poverty.

Dignity Toronto Dignité Mission Statement

  1. To provide a safe place for LGBT/Q Catholics and allies to bear witness to the integrity and holiness of our lives and relationships, including opportunities for members to share our experiences as LGBT/Q and allied persons. This requires us to foster diversity and inclusion.  In response to Jesus’ invitation to become more fully human and alive, we aim to integrate our sexuality with our spirituality, and to     nurture self-acceptance.
  1. To work in collaboration with other Catholic organizations seeking reform in our church’s governance and official teachings, especially in the area of sexual ethics.  Acknowledging the large gap between what is officially taught and the actual beliefs, values and lives of most church members, we develop proposals for sexual theology, taking into account scripture, reason, scientific knowledge, tradition and the real-life experiences of our members.
  1. To bring about an increase in justice, transparency and accountability within the institutional church, we support the increased involvement of laity in governance structure, including decision-making roles.
  1. We advocate the acceptance of qualified persons in all church ministries, regardless of sexual orientation, gender or marital status, and commend Catholic parishes which offer LGBT/Q-affirming ministries.
  1. To work with others within and outside our church to live out the Gospel values of charity,  justice, compassion and community in helping those living in poverty, suffering illness or despair, or others living at the margins of society.
  1. We are all the people of God who endeavour to practice Jesus’ messages of non-violence, love and goodwill in dealing with any oppressors while working toward the non-violent elimination of conflicts among nations, injustices in our society and elsewhere in our global village and reversing the degradation of our sacred environment.

Dignity Canada Dignité is Canada's organization of Roman Catholics who are concerned about our church's sexual theology, particularly as it pertains to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons. We work in collaboration with other Catholic organizations seeking reform in our church's leadership and teachings.