Pope Francis welcomed a trans man to the Vatican for a meeting, upon receiving a letter from him.
Diego Neria Lejárraga, a Spanish transgender man, reached out to Pope Francis after being discriminated against by his congregation. Lejárraga said that they refused to accept him after his gender reassignment surgery.
Lejárraga wrote to Pope Francis following “rejection” from fellow parishioners, as well as a verbal attack from a priest who called him “the devil’s daughter.”
Last year, Neria sent Pope Francis a letter, in which he described how the church he attended in Plasencia, Spain had rejected him. The pope called Neria on Christmas Eve and invited him to the Holy See for a private audience in January.
Lejárraga and his fiancée met with Pope Francis, as the man felt that the Pontiff would listen to him.
“After hearing him on many occasions, I felt that he would listen to me,” he told Hoy on Sunday.
“For the pope to meet with a transgender man about to be married, and for that meeting to result in this man feeling more hopeful about his place in the Church, shows a concern for those at the very margins of our church,” Duddy-Burke, of Dignity USA, told the Washington Blade. “I hope the pope listened carefully to this man’s experience, and will speak about what he heard.”
The meeting took place in a time of what many LGBT Catholics have described as the Vatican’s more moderate tone on LGBT issues since Francis became pope nearly two years ago. However, there are still many issues to be addressed.
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