Dutch Catholic Church ranks poorly in Europe for LGBTI inclusion

AMSTERDAM - The Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands ranked 30th for LGBTI inclusivity among 46 churches in Europe. The Protestant Church in the Netherlands ranked fifth on the Rainbow Index of Churches in Europe, a new annual survey examining policies of religious organizations regarding LGBTI issues. 

The Metropolitan Community Church in Finland, which was founded by LGBT members, landed on the first position of the research. The Lutheran Church in Sweden and the Protestant Church in Switzerland ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively. The Catholic Church in Belarus and Poland scored lowest in terms of LGBTI acceptance.

Catholic churches generally perform worse in this type of research, according to Rein Brouwer, assistant professor of the Protestant Theological University in Amsterdam. In his response to the results of the survey, he told newspaper Trouw that this is probably because followers of Protestantism generally experience more freedom in choosing their own path. In the Catholic Church, the doctrine is considered more restrictive.

Among Roman Catholic churches, the Catholic Church in Germany proved to be most open to LGBTI people. According to Heleen Zorgdrager and Rein Brouwer from Protestant Theological University in Amsterdam, that is mostly due to this church having an advisory council that is particularly open to women and LGBTI members.

Additionally, the Vatican saying in April that the Catholic Church would not bless same-sex unions and that they were a sin was heavily criticized by the representatives of the German Catholic Church. The statement was also considered a Vatican’s giant step backward on same-sex marriages evoked almost no reaction from the Dutch Catholic Church, two professors explained.

The research was carried out by The European Forum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christian Groups (EF) who invited researchers from the Protestant Theological University (PThU) in Amsterdam to research the inclusivity of churches in 33 European countries.

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