LGBT Catholics Seek Meeting With Pope

“I want him to extend his hand openly”

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LGBT groups in America are seeking a meeting with Pope Francis during his trip to America in September.

“In a formal letter sent to Pope Francis at the Vatican, groups representing gay and transgender people, Catholics, and Hispanics said the church in America was in the midst of a ‘pastoral crisis over gay issues and asked to meet with him while he was in the United States,” the New York Times reports.

“Gay Catholics want him to acknowledge their rejection by the church, and to welcome them as full members with equal access to sacraments like baptism and marriage.”

“I want him to extend his hand openly, especially to the transgender community,” said Lui Akira Francesco Matsuo, a transgender man and a Catholic.

While Pope Francis has sounded a more welcoming tone towards LGBT Catholics and met with some, it’s also true that he hasn’t changed official church teaching, which calls homosexuality “intrinsically disordered.”

The Times reports that 14 families with gay or transgendered members have registered to attend the World Meeting of Families, the Philadelphia event where the pope will appear.

Deb Word, president of Fortunate Families, a support group for Catholic parents seeking full inclusion of their gay children in the church, said her group applied to have a table in the exhibit hall, but was rejected. She was also interviewed by a World Meeting organizer as a possible speaker for the only panel on homosexuality, but was ultimately not included,” the paper reports.

“We wanted to go and share resources on how you can safeguard your child’s long-term health by using loving acceptance in your home,” she said. “It doesn’t sound like a scary message, does it?”

No word on whether Pope Francis will grant the meeting.