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Catholic LGBTI group officially excluded from World Meeting of Families

Written by gaytourism

Pope Francis will attend the Meeting of Families on 25-26 August. | Photo: Wiki

This year’s World Meeting of Families (WMOF), the gathering promoted by the Catholic church, has caused a controversy excluding a Catholic LGBTI group.

The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC), launched in Rome in 2015, has been formally excluded from the event taking place in Dublin from 22 to 26 August. Pope Francis will attend the meeting in Phoenix Park on 25 and 26 August.

GNRC applied to attend in April and has finally heard from Paul McCann, Exhibition Co-Ordinator for WMOF.

McCann has confirmed that GNRC has not been successful with the application. The decision is due to ‘uncertainties over the amount of space we will have available for exhibitions because of other logistical considerations’.

Co-chairs Ruby Almeida and Chris Vella replied, stating they hoped that it ‘had nothing to do with our work for LGBT equality’.

GNRC’s members are also issuing a formal protest over the exclusion.

Frozen out of the Meeting of Families

The Catholic LGBTI group had already made the headlines in July when they raised concerns over not being contacted by WMOF.

GNRC, representing 32 LGBTI Catholic groups from around the world, applied for a booth at the event on 17 April. They claimed to have been frozen out of the meeting, despite having applied far in advance. They hadn’t received a response until today (13 August).

The LGBTI community will be there

New Ways Ministry secretary Frank De Bernardo, however, managed to get press credentials for the event. De Bernardo, an advocate for marriage equality, will be representing the LGBT Community at the WMOF.

Moreover, pro-LGBTI priest James Martin will be attending. He will deliver a presentation on ‘Showing welcome and respect in our Parishes for LGBTQI+ People and their Families’.

Nonetheless, on 8 August, nearly 10,000 people have signed an open letter to remove Martin from speaking at the event.

GSN har reached out to WMOF for comments.

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