In response to “Catholic conundrum,” March 14-20:
In your recent editorial, you noted the positive incremental steps voiced by Pope Francis regarding LGBT issues. Thank you for noticing that the pope recognizes everyone as a member of God’s family, a view also attributed to Jesus.
While there are many verbal Catholics who do not share the pope’s perspective (for example, Steve King, who was the “Creep of the Week” when your editorial was printed), there are many people and organizations who have been embracing a more inclusive church for many years. Sister Jeannine Grammick and the late Father Robert Nugent and several members of our LGBT community established Dignity Philadelphia, which has been supporting LGBT Catholics on their faith journey for over 40 years. We continue to offer weekly liturgical services that are welcome to anyone. Other organizations such as Dignity USA and New Ways Ministry are among the host of organizations that work tirelessly to increase the dialogue between LGBT Catholics and the greater Catholic Church.
I agree that any organization that continues to deny rights and protections to LGBT people may not be living up to what it means to be Catholic. To facilitate a change, to increase the volume on that dialogue, more Catholics need to let their local parishes know their views. Many LGBT people who are born or raised Catholic abandon their faith on their journey to embrace who they are as LGBT individuals. It is not necessary to do that. LGBT Catholics should come out of the religious “closet” and be who they really are — LGBT people of faith.
Mike Viola, President, Dignity Philadelphia