A catholic group is facing discrimination and exclusion from events at the World Meeting of Families next month which will include a 2 day visit from the Pope.
Lobby group, We Are Church, submitted an application along with €1,000 deposit for a stand at the WMF event in the RDS back in February but never received a written response. The group claim they are being ignored because they are not welcome at the event.
We Are Church (WAC) is a lay catholic group which campaigns for gender equality, women’s ordination and LGBT+ rights in the church.
The group said that it made numerous calls and were repeatedly told their application was “on hold”.
“As no information was forthcoming, on the 25 May we sent a registered letter to Fr Tim Bartlett, Secretary General of the WMOF and copied it to Dr Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin and president of WMOF, asking for the courtesy of a decision on our application. Both these letters were also ignored,” We Are Church spokesperson Brendan Butler said.
“This refusal by the WMoF to engage with We Are Church Ireland and in effect to reject our application shows a closed and exclusive mentality which contradicts Pope Francis’s constant calls for dialogue in the Catholic Church”, added Mr Butler.
Journalist in residence at DCU and member of WAC, Ursula Halligan told RTÉ:
“We’re really disappointed because we were looking forward to taking part in the World Meeting of Families and to welcoming Pope Francis to Ireland. And we took Archbishop Diarmuid Martin at his word when he said all are welcome, he was even on Marian Finucane’s show yesterday saying the very same thing, but clearly this isn’t the case,” Halligan said.
This latest exclusion involving the LGBT+ community comes only days after Archbishop Diarmuid Martin took responsibility for the removal of LGBT positive images and text from a booklet distributed to parishes.
During the press event, he also emphasised that everybody will be welcome to attend the World Meeting of Families events.
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