LGBT Catholics from over 31 countries have launched a global network, as the Pope rallies against same-sex marriage.

As he opens the Church’s annual synod, Pope Francis this week suggested that same-sex marriage is a “passing fad”.

The Pontiff insisted the church cannot be “swayed by passing fads or popular opinion”, adding: “God’s dream for his beloved creation [is] to see it fulfilled in the loving union between a man and a woman, rejoicing in their shared journey, fruitful in their mutual gift of self.”

During the Synod, people from 31 countries gathered in Rome from 1-4 October to launch the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC).

The new network also elected a Steering Committee – with representatives from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, & Oceania.

The rainbow network wrote an open letter to the Bishops of the Synod.

It says: “We are a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Catholics, and along with our loving families and friends, we have spent the last few days not far from you, in Rome, consolidating two years of work, which have advanced alongside your double Synod preparations.

“We come from over thirty countries, both as individuals and as representatives of groups, who have been involved with the flourishing of people like ourselves in the lives of our local churches, (as well as with many other tasks).

“The last years have not been an easy ride! Many in our Church thought that they were serving God by hating us, and some still do, especially among the hierarchy; but we can tell you with joy, that we have kept alive our Confession of the Catholic faith!

“We have kept the faith under persecution, and are ready to join with you in the joyful announcement of the Gospel to which Pope Francis has called us.”

It adds: “We write to you to wish you encouragement for these days of your Synodal gathering, as well as for the months and years to come as we all begin to live the hints of the new that are coming to birth, discovering new ways of celebrating the family, rather than condemning wine that threatens to burst old wineskins.