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A Guide to Improving Safety in Pastoral Care with LGBTQA+ People - Draft C single pages.pdf (1.08 MB)

A Guide to Improving Safety in Pastoral Care with LGBTQA+ people

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posted on 2023-08-10, 06:00 authored by Timothy JonesTimothy Jones, Nathan DespotNathan Despot, Tiffany Jones, Joel AndersonJoel Anderson, Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli, Jennifer PowerJennifer Power

Summary: Our research showed that significant religious and psychological trauma can result from pastoral practices that make a person’s sexuality and gender identity incompatible with belonging to their faith, family and community. Being told that unchangeable parts of yourself are incompatible with your faith can create a condition of existential crisis: the feeling that it is impossible to live at peace with the core parts of who you are. Such experiences can feel like a threat to someone’s very existence, and can lead to complex post-traumatic stress disorders, suicidality as well as a host of other symptoms of mental ill health. Best practice pastoral care with LGBTQA+ people will support them to accept who they are, and not try to change or suppress their identity. It will support an LGBTQA+ person of faith to explore the possibilities for safety, connection, belonging and self-expression within and consistent with the rules, traditions, and practices of their faith community. If their faith community has mixed views about LGBTQA+ people, it may also involve supporting them to find additional or alternative communities of belonging where their various parts can be valued and affirmed. It will also involve referral to appropriate mental health professionals when that is needed.


Funded by the Australian Research Council and the Victorian Government.


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© La Trobe University 2023. This is an open access article under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license:

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