Pope Francis to visit Colombia

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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CARTAGENA, Colombia — The Vatican on March 10 announced that Pope Francis will travel to Colombia in September.

Francis is scheduled to arrive in the Colombian capital of Bogotá on Sept. 6. He is expected to visit the cities of Villavincencio, Medellín and Cartagena before returning to Rome on Sept. 11.

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Pope taps new cardinal for Newark as he remakes US church

By : Wire Report
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VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pressing his campaign to remake the U.S. Catholic church, Pope Francis Nov. 8 tapped one of his new cardinals, Joseph Tobin, to replace the Newark, New Jersey, archbishop who has been criticized for allegedly mishandling sex-abuse cases and spending lavishly on his retirement home.

The Vatican announced that Tobin would succeed Archbishop John Myers, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 in July. Tobin, currently the archbishop of Indianapolis, is one of three American prelates whom Francis will formally elevate as cardinals on Nov. 19 at the Vatican.

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Pope draws line between trans ministry and ‘indoctrination’

By : Wire Reports
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ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) – Pope Francis says Jesus would never turn away transgender faithful and that priests today should accompany them spiritually, even if they undergo sex change operations, sin and repent.

“These people must be accompanied as Jesus accompanied them,” he said.

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Pope backs opposition to Mexico’s same-sex marriage proposal

By : Wire Report
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VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Francis has voiced support for Mexican bishops and citizens opposing the government’s push to legalize same-sex marriage.

At his weekly Sunday blessing Sept. 25, Francis said he willingly joined their protest “in favor of family and life, which in these times require special pastoral and cultural attention around the world.”

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Pope says gays deserve apology

By : Wire Report
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Aboard the Papal Plane (AP) – Pope Francis says gays – and all the other people the church has marginalized, such as the poor and the exploited – deserve an apology.

Francis was asked June 26 en route home from Armenia if he agreed with one of his top advisers, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who told a conference in Dublin in the days after the deadly Orlando gay club attack that the church owes an apology to gays for having marginalized them.

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Gay Catholics want Pope to address LGBT issues when visiting US

By : Wire Report
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The World Meeting of Families, the central religious event of Pope Francis’ first visit to the United States, is intended to convey a message of love and joy as it seeks to promote church teaching on marriage. Yet four weeks away from its opening in Philadelphia, friction is mounting as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Roman Catholics lobby for a broader role in the event and organizers move to limit them.

The tensions surrounding the gathering will pose a real-world test of the pope’s approach that emphasizes compassion and welcome while upholding Catholic doctrine that marriage is only between a man and a woman.

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Pope Frances to eat with gay and transgender inmates

By : Staff Report
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Pope Francis will visit the Giuseppe Salvia Detention Center in Poggioreale, located near Naples, on March 21 and eat lunch with around 90 inmates at a local prison.

10 of the inmates will reportedly be gay and transgendered prisoners as well as inmates infected with HIV.

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Gay Catholics get Vatican welcome, but no papal shout-out

By : Wire Report
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Vatican City (AP) – The Vatican did something it has never done before by giving a group of U.S. gay and lesbian Catholics VIP seats at Pope Francis’ weekly general audience Feb. 18.

But in a sign that the welcome wasn’t all it could have been, the New Ways Ministry pilgrims were only identified on the Vatican’s list of attendees as a “group of lay people accompanied by a Sister of Loreto.”

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Vatican says bishops should be led by pope on family

By : Wire Report
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VATICAN CITY (AP) – The Vatican urged bishops on Dec. 9 to be guided by Pope Francis and the “turning point” of a recent meeting on family issues that sought to provide better pastoral care for gay and divorced Catholics and those living in civil unions.

The Vatican just sent a new questionnaire to bishops’ conferences around the world seeking input on a host of family issues. Their responses will help form the basis of debate for the next stage of Francis’ agenda: A big October meeting of top churchmen who will make final recommendations to Francis about how the Catholic Church can better tend to its families.

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Bishops scrap welcome to gays

By : Wire Report
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Vatican City (AP) – Catholic bishops scrapped their landmark welcome to gays Saturday, showing deep divisions at the end of a two-week meeting sought by Pope Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families.

The bishops approved a final report covering a host of issues related to Catholic family life, acknowledging there were “positive elements” in civil heterosexual unions outside the church and even in cases when men and women were living together outside marriage.

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Bishops say gays have gifts to offer church

By : Wire Report
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VATICAN CITY (AP) – Catholic bishops showed unprecedented openness Oct. 13 to accepting the real lives of many Catholics today, saying gays had gifts to offer the church and should be accepted and that there were “positive” aspects to a couple living together without being married.

A two-week meeting of bishops on family issues arrived at its halfway point with a document summarizing the closed-door debate so far. No decisions were announced, but the tone of the report was one of almost-revolutionary acceptance, rather than condemnation, with the aim of guiding Catholics toward the ideal of a lasting marriage.

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Pope seeks frank, fearless debate on family issues

By : Wire Report
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VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Francis urged bishops Oct. 6 to speak their minds without fear about contentious issues like contraception, gays, marriage and divorce at the start of a two-week meeting aimed at making the church’s teaching on family matters relevant to today’s Catholics.

Francis told bishops they shouldn’t even be afraid of showing him disrespect, saying he wants a frank debate that shouldn’t be tempered by fears that some issues are too taboo to even be discussed.

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