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Portugal: Gay Catholics to ask Pope Francis for ‘urgent change’ in attitude

Aaron Day October 3, 2014

Gay members of the Catholic Church in Portugal are to ask the Vatican for an “urgent” change in attitude which will involve the integration of gay people in the parish communities.

According to Portugal News Online, members of Rumos Novos (New Directions) spoke to the Lusa News Agency ahead of the first World Congress of Homosexual Catholics’ Associations,

Rumos Novos’ José Leote said: “[There is an] urgent need for a change in attitude on behalf of the Catholic hierarchy for there to be real acceptance … which will involve the integration [of gay people] in the parish communities.”

This point will be one of the main focuses in a document to be arranged for the meeting, which is set to run in Portimão, Algarve from 6 – 8 October.

The meeting of 28 associations fro 16 different countries will afterwards put together a letter to be sent to Pope Francis for “more inclusion and closeness.”

José Leote accused the Catholic Church of contributing “towards pushing people further away” from inclusion, saying that many Portuguese parishes still refuse to give communion to gay members.

“Even though they are in a stable relationship and comply with all requisites that the Church says are valid for a heterosexual couple, the Church says they cannot take communion.”

He added that integration can only happen “with complete acceptance.”

“And that is what we ask of the Church,” he concluded

The congress will take part in two phases, the first being a public phase, and a second part reserved for representatives of participating associations.

Last year the Portuguese Parliament passed a bill to offer some adoption and fostering rights to same-sex couples.

This was hailed as the biggest move forward for LGBT rights in Portugal since the country became the eighth in the world to allow equal marriage, back in 2010. 

More: Catholic, Church, Pope Francis, Portugal, Vatican

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