Saturday, June 09, 2012

Sydney Acceptance Celebrates 40 Years

CONGRATULATIONS and best wishes to the Acceptance Community in Sydney as they celebrate their 40th anniversary this year.

A feature of the anniversary celebration is is an exhibition at the Surry Hills library in Sydney.

Acceptance Sydney, the world’s 2nd oldest gay Catholic group, is a welcoming ministry to gay Catholics, their families and friends. Founded in Sydney in 1972, the group first met in homes, halls and churches offered by other faiths; Acceptance was not able to have Mass in a Catholic Church in Sydney for nearly 20 years. In the late 1980s Acceptance spread nationwide, with chapters in Canberra and all mainland State capitals. In 2012, chapters remain in Sydney and Melbourne. 

Surry Hills Library is proud to host a collection of photos, stories and other archival material curated by Acceptance Sydney on the occasion of their 40th anniversary. The exhibtion tells the story of this gay Catholic group’s struggle to find its place in Sydney, the gay community and in the Catholic Church. Acceptance is a fascinating part of the City of Sydney’s gay history and the exhibition is a highlight of Pride Week 2012. (Quote and exhibition details here)

The exhibition was launched by Kristina Keneally with a wonderfully crafted reflection on" Feminists and gay Christians who accept the Church".

My links to Sydney Acceptance go back to my days as a young religious with the Capuchin Friars. One of my young colleagues had recently left the friars and invited me to come and help out with music at a home mass. It was sometime in the early 1970s when the group was still meeting in house groups. Over the years I have often returned to visit this amazing group of people and  have been inspired by their dedication and commitment. Most recently the community has been vilified in a vicious online attack indicative of the reality of homophobia that still exists in our Church.

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