International News

LGBT Voices Say They Won’t Be Ignored

An LGBT choir sings outside the Pastoral Congress at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin Aug. 23. (Photo: Catholic News Service/Clodagh Kilcoyne, Reuters)

By Claire Giangrave

DUBLIN (CRUX) – Although recent revelations about clerical sexual abuse have dominated much of the buzz around the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, including Pope Francis’s visit this weekend, LGBT advocates and activists are insisting they won’t be ignored.

Ireland, once known for its fervent Catholicism, legalized same-sex marriage in 2015 and continues to generate a slew of high-profile promoters of the LGBT cause, including former Irish President Mary McAlesee, whose son is gay. Also, the country’s values on the family have shifted significantly. Many LGBT activists are demanding that the Church become more inclusive and open to people with same-sex attractions.

According to new Irish Government research, one-third of families in the country are comprised of single parents, same-sex parents and cohabitating couples as opposed to the traditional family model.

Since the summit of families in Dublin, originally designed to promote Pope Francis’s document on the family “Amoris Laetitia”, has been overtaken by the shadow of serious charges of sexual abuse and cover-up, it would appear that it’s not the time to shine for the LGBT constituency.

Yet both inside and outside the global gathering of families, the topic is still very present.

Jesuit Father James Martin, editor of America Magazine and long-time advocate for greater inclusivity in the Church of the LGBT Catholic community, spoke at the meeting Aug. 23 invoking a spirit of openness and listening.

Uninvited and yet just outside the walls, rainbow flags protested the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, which is “hurtful and damaging” toward the LGBT community, and called on Pope Francis to address the issue during his visit this weekend and promising “to not be silenced.”

Meanwhile, just blocks away, a conservative counter-event featured several speakers concerned about a creeping “homosexual agenda” within Catholicism.

Related: Father Martin Will Speak at World Families’ Meeting