Pope Francis will be visiting The White House, addressing a joint session of the US Congress and addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations during his upcoming trip to the United States.
Pope Francis’ visit comes just months after the United States Supreme Court voted to achieve marriage equality for its large LGBTI community.
In a letter explaining that there is ‘institutionalized discrimination against LGBT people and families,” the Pope is being urged to meet with LGBTI Catholics by many groups including GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and DignityUSA.
The letter also explains that the church’s teachings and pastoral practices have resulted in ‘a compelling pastoral need’ for ‘great healing and reconciliation.’
The letter is signed by Sarah Kate Ellis GLAAD’s President and CEO, and DignityUSA’s Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke. The letter is also endorsed by 28 additional organizations and people and has been mailed directly to Pope Francis earlier this month.
It highlights that in the US and around the world, these members of the church are experiencing alienation as well as much higher rates of violence, poverty, and discrimination in employment, housing, educational opportunities, and access to health care.
A special plea is made in the letter for younger members of the church who lack support at home, at school, or from faith communities.
‘They suffer bullying, experience depression, self-mutilate, attempt suicide, use drugs, become homeless or enter foster care at rates far higher than non-LGBT youth,’ the group states.
‘This is a crisis that the church can help to address through effective pastoral care and programs that provides love and support for these youth.’
Last Updated on Jul 30, 2015