Following on the news of a Catholic LGBT+ lobby group being excluded from an event organised to coincide with the Pope’s visit, a second LGBT+ group have now come forward to describe feeling “ignored and discriminated against” by the organisers.
The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, which represents 32 LGBT+ Catholic groups worldwide, described how their application for an exhibit booth at the World Meeting of Families has been ignored. The original application was made on April 17, yet despite repeated calls for a decision, alongside the fact the event are still advertising that booths are available, no response has been forthcoming.
The group’s co-chair, Ruby Almeida, said, “It was our hope that we could provide support to our fellow Catholics about how to best support gay and transgender family members, what the Church really teaches about us, and how and why we choose to remain Catholics.” Almeida continued, “Due to the delay and the repeated refusal of those in charge to give us an approval, it is no longer practical for us to do this outreach. We feel completely ignored.”
Allowances might have been made for the organisers if the exact same situation had not been reported by LGBT+ Catholic lobby group We Are Church. The lay Catholic group which campaigns for gender equality, women’s ordination and LGBT+ rights said that despite submitting an application back in February along with a €1,000 deposit, no written response has been forthcoming. Repeated calls to organisers have led to them being told their application was “on hold”.
In a further action which can only be described as exclusionary, all references to same-sex relationships and families led by same-sex parents have been dropped from promotional materials publicising both the World Meeting of Families and the Pope’s visit.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin responded that while not having made the decision personally, he accepted responsibility for the move. He went on to insist that everyone is welcome. Recent events suggest otherwise.
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