The Pope has reportedly granted a private audience to a transgender man.
According to Spanish newspaper Hoy, Diego Neria Lejárraga and his fiancée were granted a meeting with the Pontiff in the Vatican, after writing to tell him about discrimination he has experienced within his parish.
Mr Neria – who was labelled “the devil’s daughter” by a priest – said: “After hearing him on many occasions, I felt that he would listen to me.”
Despite the meeting, it is not thought the Pope actually plans to implement any changes to tackle discrimination.
Marianne Duddy-Burke of LGBT Catholic group Dignity USA told the Washington Blade: “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.
“I hope the pope listened carefully to this man’s experience and will speak about what he heard.”
Despite the outreach, the Catholic Church under Pope Frances continues to maintain its overtly homophobic and transphobic poliices.
The Pope recently lashed out at same-sex marriage, claiming: “The family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage.
“These realities are increasingly under attack from powerful forces which threaten to disfigure God’s plan for creation.”
Catholic bishops scrapped much-discussed plans to ‘welcome’ gay people to the Catholic church in October, after fierce division and protests from conservative bishops.