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April’s edition of “Confrontator” meetings and Confrontations Cinema

The second meeting in the Confrontator series, entitled Church & LGBTQ will be devoted to the  conflict of sexual identity and Catholicism. We will speadk about the of the community excluded from the public discourse, “minority in the minority”, marginalized and neglected by both parties of the debate

Guests invited to speak about the situation of non-heteronormative people in the Catholic Church are:

Remco F.M. Babijn – a Dutch theologian, in the past worked for ten years serving the Bishop of Breda (the Netherlands) as a lay person, a deacon and a priest. During his years in Breda diocese his special responsibility was pastoral care for the Catholic youth. Currently, he is a religion teacher in Antwerp (Belgium).

Artur Barbara Kapturkiewicz, MD, co-founder and member of group of Polish LGBTQ Christians – „Faith and Rainbow” (Wiara i Tęcza – WiT). He lives and works in Krakow (Poland).

Rev. prof. dr Alfred Wierzbicki – theologian, philosopher, and poet. Director of John Paul II Institute in Lublin. Professor of ethics at John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (Poland).

Discussion will be led by dr Jan P. Galkowski – sociologist and ethicist from the Institute of Sociology, University of Rzeszow (Poland).

Non-heteronormative people are marginalized and almost invisible in the Catholic Church in Poland. They often face aversion equally from the church hierarchy, priests, and even their own families. One of the influential Polish bishops has said publicly that he „gets nauseous” when he hears the discussion about same-sex civil unions. Another priest and a professor at a Catholic university has remarked in the Polish Parliament that “a homosexual act can be compared to a piston moving in an exhaust pipe instead of an engine’s cylinder”. At present, a small number of Polish priests take care of the LGBTQ community, attending to their needs on a regular basis. However, even though they act with their superiors’ knowledge and recognition, they must perform their duties covertly. At the same time the Church officially ensures the public that it cares for the dignity of non-heteronormative people, formally proclaiming the policy of separation of the sin from the sinner, and rejection of “unjust” discrimination. In the light of the above, the identity of LGBTQ Catholics seems to be unsurprisingly marked by inner contradiction. They try to live in accordance with their faith and evangelic values, but simultaneously they don’t wish to deny their own identity. They face a lack of understanding from both the Catholic Church and the secularly oriented LGBTQ mainstream. Is it possible to be gay, lesbian, transsexual and a good Catholic at the same time? Does contemporary theology indicate any positive vocation of the LGBTQ people? Can hundreds of thousands of Polish non-heteronormative Catholics expect kindness and responsible pastoral care?

The meeting will take place on April 12th (Saturday) at 12.00 pm in the Cinema Room of the Centre for Culture in Lublin. The entire meeting will be translated into English.

The meeting is co-organized by Rzeszów’s department of the Polish Culture Studies Society.

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On the same day we would also like to invite to the screening of the film by Małgorzata Szumowska – “In the Name of”. The presentation which brings back the Confrontations Cinema cycle will take place at 7.30 pm in the Cinema Room. The film will be screened with English subtitles.

Admission to the meeting is free, tickets for the cinema costs 2 zl and will be available at the Centre for Culture’s box office – open from Monday till Friday, 10.00 am – 7.00 pm and an hour prior to every event.