Equally Blessed World Meeting of Families pilgrims Lui Francesco, Nicole Santamaria and Marianne Duddy-Burke were featured in today’s New York Times article, “Gay and Transgender Catholics Urge Pope Francis to Take a Stand”:
Lui Akira Francesco Matsuo said he was standing in line for communion one Sunday at his Roman Catholic church in Detroit when a fellow parishioner pulled him aside: Didn’t he know that the archbishop had just urged supporters of same-sex marriage not to take communion?
Mr. Matsuo, who is transgender, left and never returned to his parish. Now, two years later, he is among a large group of gay and transgender Catholics who are seeking a meeting with the pope during his first visit to the United States, in September, pushing him to take a stand on the issues of sexuality and gender that are increasingly dividing Catholics and causing rancor in the church.
“I want him to extend his hand openly, especially to the transgender community,” said Mr. Matsuo, who is 28 and said he has identified as male ever since he was a toddler. “I am a practicing Catholic. I just don’t have a parish I can call home.”
Read the full article here.