Time’s Person of the Year is a pope who listens to lay Catholics

Pope’s pastoral attitude is “changing the prosecutorial tone” toward LGBT people in many corners of the church

BOSTON, December 11, 2013–The Equally Blessed coalition released the following statement on Time magazine’s naming of Pope Francis as its Person of the Year:

Time Magazine’s selection of Pope Francis as its Person of the Year recognizes the significant new energy and focus the Pope has brought to Catholicism over the past nine months. His pastoral attitude toward marginalized people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, is changing the prosecutorial tone that has prevailed in many corners of the church, although there are still many places where the Pope’s message seems to fall on deaf ears.

The Pope is clearly listening to the voices of lay Catholics around the world who have long understood that LGBT people are children of God, created in God’s likeness and entitled to be treated as full and equal members of the church and of the societies in which they live.

We yearn for the day when the Catholic hierarchy can simply acknowledge the holiness of our lives and our relationships. Until then, we pray that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and organizations like the Knights of Columbus will listen to Pope Francis, abandon their exorcisms, their firings of LGBT church workers and their multimillion dollar campaign to marginalize LGBT people, and commit themselves to gaining a deeper understanding of the lives, beliefs and ministries of LGBT people, their families and their friends.

Equally Blessed is a coalition of four Catholic organizations that have spent more than 125 years working on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families. Collectively and individually, Call To Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, and New Ways Ministry are devoted to informing, supporting and giving voice to the growing majority within the Catholic Church in the United States that favors equality under law for LGBT people.

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