Tag Archives: papal visit

Pope Francis, Kim Davis – and the Primacy of Conscience

Strong feelings have been expressed in several quarters about Pope Francis’ meeting with Kim Davis.  I agree wholeheartedly that meeting was distinctly ill – advised, especially (as Francis DeBenardo points out, considering that he did not meet personally with any of the LGBT Catholics and Catholic groups that had hoped to meet with him).

It’s important though, to keep this in perspective.  At America magazine, James Martin SJ, who has a strong record of support for LGBT Catholics, directs us to some  points for reflection:, which I summarise here  (read the full post at America): 

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Continue reading Pope Francis, Kim Davis – and the Primacy of Conscience

If an Openly Gay Man Can Read at a Papal Mass….

….why not also in any Catholic parish? Or play the organ? or teach in schools?

In most parishes in the West of course, they can (as I do in my own parish) – but there are far too many instances where they are penalized if they are honest enough about themselves and their relationships, to commit to their spouses in marriage.

An Openly Gay Man Read In Spanish at the Pope’s New York Mass

Former Daily Show correspondent Mo Rocca, who came out in 2011, eclipsed many of the other big-name celebrities and politicians in attendance when he delivered the first Bible reading at Pope Francis’ Madison Square Garden Mass — in Spanish. Though he spoke for less than two minutes, Rocca’s presence reverberated throughout social media.

Source: An Openly Gay Man Read In Spanish at the Pope’s New York Mass

Particularly notable, is the content of the text he read, read from Isaiah 9:2:

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”


LGBT Catholics know what it is to be “walking in darkness” in the Church. Now at last, we can begin (but only just begin) to see a light dawning, for a new day of full pastoral inclusion in the life of our church.

Pope Francis: US Catholics Committed to Tolerance, Inclusion

Pope Francis has told President Obama that US Catholics support tolerance and inclusion, and oppose unjust discrimination.

Francis at White House

He was clearly referring primarily to inclusion and protection from discrimination for immigrant and minority ethnic groups – but the observation is equally applicable within the Catholic Church.

Dare we hope that he will take the same message to the US bishops – and in particular, those who have been excluding LGBT groups, and discriminating against lesbian, gay and trans church employees and volunteers?

Together with their fellow citizens, American Catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive, to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to rejecting every form of unjust discrimination,” the pontiff told the president.

“With countless other people of good will, they are likewise concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and their right to religious liberty,” he continued.

“That freedom remains one of America’s most precious possessions,” said Francis. “And, as my brothers, the United States Bishops, have reminded us, all are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it.”

Sr Jeannine Gramick, LGBT Ministry Pioneer, to Meet Pope Francis.

New Ways Ministry reports that Sr Jeannine Gramick, their founder and a pioneer in Catholic LGBT ministry, will be among the guests at the White House to meet Pope Francis.

I met St Gramick some years ago with the Soho Masses community, then at St Anne’s, after a screening of the documentary on her work, “In Good Conscience”. I’ve followed her progress attentively every since, and look forward to meeting up with her again at the founding conference of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics in Rome, at the start of the family synod in October.

The text following is from New Ways:

Sister Jeannine Gramick, a Catholic nun who pioneered ministry, advocacy, and outreach to the LGBT community over 40 years ago in Philadelphia, will be back in her hometown this week for the World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis’ visit to the City of Brotherly Love. A native of Philadelphia, and a tremendous fan of Pope Francis, she is excited to see how far the Catholic Church has progressed since she began her discussions with LGBT people back in 1971.

Jeannine Gramick

She will be attending the World Meeting of Families for most of next week, but will be taking a short side-trip to Washington, DC to greet Pope Francis at President Obama’s White House reception, and to take part in a Mass led by the pope at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Continue reading Sr Jeannine Gramick, LGBT Ministry Pioneer, to Meet Pope Francis.