“Who am I to judge?” Those five words, spoken in 2013 by Pope Francis, in reference to gay Catholics were a watershed moment for the church. His comment is one influential moment in a story of wider acceptance of LBGT people throughout society and within the church where 70 percent of Catholics agree homosexuality should be accepted by society.
Despite the pope’s compassionate tone, many people both gay and straight find it hard to reconcile a welcoming attitude with official church teaching, and a more contentious attitude toward the LBGT community by some people within the church. And while many steps have been taken to bridge the gap between LBGT Catholics and their church, most agree: There’s still plenty of work ahead. Pope Francis’ compassionate tone mimics the pastoral tone that has infused his entire papacy creating an environment that is more open to conversation.
Here at St. Catherine Laboure Catholic Church we are committed to following in the footsteps of our Lord and Pope Francis by reaching out to those on the margins of the church community. We seek to carry on the conversation with LBGT Catholics and their families with respect, compassion and sensitivity.
Deacon Jim Keeley, LBGT Ministry, St. Catherine Labouré