Pope Francis’ Call for Compassion Towards LGBTQ Catholics Echoes Previous Support

Pope Francis responds to a request for clarity on whether transgender people can be baptized, serve as godparents, or act as wedding witnesses in the Catholic Church.

Church Leaders Request Clarity on Transgender Issues

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Bishop José Negri from Santo Amaro, Brazil, reached out to the Vatican to request further guidance on whether transgender people had the right to “participation in baptism and weddings.”

The Pope Calls for Trans Inclusion

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Pope Francis said that such participation by trans people should be allowed, acknowledging that “current universal canonical legislation” does not exclude transgender or queer people from being involved in these events.

Trans People Can Be Godparents, Says Pope

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He clarified that in addition to being invited to be baptized and serve as witnesses in a wedding, trans people could also be named as godparents during official christening ceremonies. 

Pope Still Warns of Decisions Causing Scandals

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The Pope warned church leaders to use “pastoral prudence” whenever possible to prevent the “danger of scandal” in their congregations.

Queer Groups Cheer Announcement

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Around the world, LGBTQ advocacy groups are celebrating the news out of the Vatican.

GLAAD Speaks Out in Support of the Pope

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GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis, released a statement praising the Pope’s announcement.

The Pope’s “Latest LGBTQ Affirmation Sends a Message”

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“Pope Francis’ latest LGBTQ affirmation sends an unequivocal message to political and cultural leaders around the world to end their persecution and exclusion of transgender people,” she wrote.

Pope Is “Calling on Global Leaders” to Include Trans People

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Ellis said that the Pope is “continuing to break down barriers that have kept LGBTQ Catholics away from full participation as members of the Roman Catholic Church and is instead calling on global leaders to create welcoming spaces for LGBTQ people.” 

Pope Francis’ Historical Support of LGBTQ Community

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This is not the first time that Pope Francis has called for inclusion of LGBTQ people in the church. In 2013, he acknowledged gay priests for the first time, saying that he had no intention of judging them.

“Who Am I to Judge?”

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“If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They’re our brothers,” he said.

“We Have to Find a Way” to Encourage Parental Support, Says Pope

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Referring to parents with queer children, the Pope gently called for acceptance. “We have to find a way to help that father or that mother to stand by their [LGBTQ] son or daughter,” he said to Argentine newspaper La Nacion. 

Vatican’s Recent Take on Gay Unions

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More recently, Pope Francis responded to several cardinals who asked him to weigh in on homosexual marriage and unions. While holding the church’s position that marriage is for one man and one woman, he made space for the acceptance of some gay unions.

Blessings OK for Gay Unions, Just Do Not “Transmit a Mistaken Conception of Marriage”

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“Pastoral prudence must adequately discern whether there are forms of benediction, requested by one or more persons, that do not transmit a mistaken conception of marriage,” the Pope wrote. 

“The Life of the Church Runs on Channels Beyond Norms”

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He suggested “pastoral charity” be extended on an individual basis. “The life of the church runs on channels beyond norms,” he said.

Conservatives Unhappy With Pope’s Positions

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Conservative Catholics have been critical of Pope Francis’s affirming positions on the LGBTQ community, as well as his takes on other social justice issues. 

Pope Warns Against Letting “Ideologies Replace Faith”

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The Pope responded to that by dismissing those conservatives as “backward,” suggesting that they were more focused on ideology than faith. “Doing this, you lose the true tradition and you turn to ideologies to have support…ideologies replace faith,” he said.

The post Pope Francis’ Call for Compassion Towards LGBTQ Catholics Echoes Previous Support first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / GIACOMO MORINI. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

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