A Vatican-backed Catholic rally is hosting a panel on welcoming LGBT people
A major Catholic rally taking place this summer will host workshops on welcoming LGBT+ people to the church.
The World Meeting of Families will be taking place in Dublin, Ireland from August 21 to August 26 – and will include a presentation on how to include and accept LGBT+ Catholics and their families to parishes.
Pope Francis will be in attendance at the major event, which will feature a talk by American Jesuit priest, Rev. James ‘Jim’ Martin on welcoming queer people into the church.
As a former press adviser to the Vatican, Martin was the man who echoed Pope Francis’ sentiments that God loved a gay man and had made him that way.
According to The Guardian, Pope Francis then told gay sexual abuse survivor Juan Carlos Cruz: “Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care.
“The pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are.”
“LGBT Catholics and their parents are an important part of our church,” the priest told Associated Press.
“The message from the Vatican to LGBT Catholics is this: you belong.”
More from PinkNews
“We warmly welcome Jim Martin’s speaking role at the World Meeting of Families even if for many of us his book, Building A Bridge, is quite moderate,” a spokesperson from an LGBT+ Catholic support group told GSN.
“He has become a strong advocate for LGBT+ people, parents and families. We are are running monthly sessions, using his book, at Farm Street Jesuit Church, London, literally building a bridge between LGBT+ Catholics and straight people from other Catholic parishes in and around London.”
However, the Catholic Church still has a long way to go when it comes to LGBT+ acceptance.
In 2016, the Vatican reaffirmed its ban on gay priests that has been in place since 2005, stating that if you “practice homosexuality” you will not be welcome as a priest.