The Pope has been urged to intervene, after the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced plans to bus people to the National Organisation for Marriage’s anti-gay rally.

The Philadelphia Archdiocese is laying on buses to take people to the anti-gay group’s ‘March for Marriage’ event in DC on Thursday, despite an apparent funding crisis.

NOM President Brian Brown had previously expressed disappointment at the lack of publicity for the event, and ‘begged’ NOM members to turn up.

Pennsylvania activist Mark Segal has expressed concern that the Archdiocese is bussing people to the rally, despite marriage equality already being a reality in the state.

His open letter to the Pope reads: “Dear Your Holiness,

“Your archdiocese here in Philadelphia stands alone as the only archdiocese in the nation to charter buses to The March for Marriage, an anti-LGBT rally in Washington, D.C.

“This effort has a price tag of $5,000 for the chartered buses, and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC), in lockstep with the archdiocese, is also providing promotional efforts for the event.

“This occurs at a time when the archdiocese is closing churches and schools. It seems that the PCC is taking time away from their previous high priority tasks.

“The law in Pennsylvania has been changed, and the legal battle over marriage equality is over.

“Why must the Archbishop continue to enrage the community? The Archbishop has yet to even meet with members of the LGBT community, and he continues along with PCC to stand in the doorway of enacting non-discrimination in Pennsylvania.

“It’s time for talk, not hate.”