Rainbow Catholics India (RCI) came into being in October 2018, initially under the name of ‘LGBTQ+ Catholic Space’ after an initiative by Indian designer Wendell Rodricks and UK-based then-chairperson of Quest, Ruby Almeida. Encouraged by Pope Francis’ statement, “Who am I to judge?”, Wendell and Ruby met with Cardinal Oswald Gracias at his office and received his blessings for their initiative to provide support to LGBTQ+ Catholics in India.
Following this meeting, Ruby met with a number of individuals who displayed enthusiasm towards this idea. We set up pages on Facebook (a public Page and a secret Group), Twitter, and a website to help create awareness and be available to those who want to reach out.
The Vision of Rainbow Catholics India is:
Unconditional, visible inclusion of our LGBT+ Catholic faithful in the Catholic Church
We aim to be:
- To be an inclusive pastoral support group for LGBT+ Catholics, families and friends.
- To work with other LGBT+ faith groups, allies and stake holders who share our vision statement.
- To dialogue with, inform, and educate the Church hierarchy on the lived experiences of the LGBT+ faithful.
In order to succeed in this venture, we developed the following objectives:
- To create dialogue and awareness about the needs of LGBT+ Catholics with Church hierarchy.
- To grow in number and reach out by having regional Rainbow Catholic groups in India.
- Publish articles and documents that promote justice and inclusion for LGBTQ+ Catholics through Catholic media outlets as well as our own social media platforms.
- Promote inclusive-theology by challenging erroneous theologies. Focus on Love and Compassion for all of God’s children.
- Create forums for LGBT+ Catholics voices to be heard.
- Form alliances with other LGBT+ Catholics, and other LGBT+ faith groups.
- Work with families and friends of LGBT+ Catholics.
- Work with gay-friendly priests and religious.
RCI now has representation at Mumbai, Goa, and Bangalore, and looks forward to expanding further and creating spaces where there is acceptance, solidarity, and guidance.
“After meeting and getting Cardinal Gracias’ blessings for our initiative, starting RCI has been a seamlessly easy and simple process. Our work is to reach out to our marginalised LGBT+ faith communities as well as their families, especially those parents who struggle to understand and reconcile the love of their faith with the love for their children. God loves all children and we wish to help parents understand that very simple fact.”
– Ruby Almeida, member of Quest UK, and co-founder of RCI
“Amid all our prejudices and false beliefs, we fail to recognise that LGBT+ persons are humans…created in the image and likeness of the same God we believe in, deserving the same love and acceptance in our communities as we expect for ourselves. It is simply un-Christian to deny this.”
– Rachael Alphonso, member and ally, RCI.
Your LGBTI child is struggling to be who God created them to be. You need to support them. If you need help, contact us.”
– Virginia Saldanha, co-founder, RCI