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Pope Francis sends another signal to US Catholic bishops to lay off the anti-LGBTQ attacks


Nov 20, 2015: Pope Francis during a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko Photo: Shutterstock Christmas time is when a lot of Catholics make their periodic visit to church but for LGBTQ Catholics, the welcome mat is seldom out. The US bishops , in particular, have made opposition to LGBTQ rights– and often LGBTQ employees –a hallmark of their muscular dogma.

But the Vatican keeps sending welcoming, if small, signs of encouragement. In the latest instance, Pope Francis sent two letters to New Ways Ministry, an organization that has faced decades-long persecution from the hierarchy for its outreach to LGBTQ Catholics.

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Acknowledging the “history has not been an easy one” for the group, Francis thanked the group for its “neighborly work,” in the sense of the commandment to love one’s neighbor. He also called Sister Jeannine Gramick, co-founder of New Ways with Fr. Robert Nugent, “a valiant woman.” ( Nugent died in 2014. )

Gramick and Nugent have endured years of attacks from conservatives in the Church, who consider their outreach to LGBTQ Catholics a repudiation of Church doctrine. In 1999, the Vatican banned the pair from ministry […]

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