Pope Benedict XVI
A gay Christian group is upset over a campaign by some LGBT activists against the Pope’s upcoming visit to the UK.
The Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement (LGCM), in a statement, acknowledged that it does “not agree with the Catholic Church’s teaching on sexual orientation” and that it has “spoken out regarding these issues”.
“The Vatican has also been vociferous in its opposition to LGBT rights and equality legislation in the UK, all of which is particularly offensive to LGCM including our Catholic members.”
It said that despite this, “we also recognise that many LGBT Catholics are loyal to the Pope as their leader and having him in the UK is an occasion for celebration”.
It added: “Therefore whilst we wish for the Pope to recognise the effect of his statements on the lives of real people… we hope and pray that our members will be blessed by his visit.”
Activists, led by Peter Tatchell, have been protesting the Pontiff’s visit because of the Catholic Church’s continued anti-gay stance.
“As democrats, we believe the Pope has every right to visit Britain and express his opinions. But we also have a right to protest against his often harsh, extreme views. We have a right to say that he is not welcome,” said Tatchell.
He insisted that the British government must “disassociate itself from the Pope’s intolerant teachings on issues such as women’s rights, contraception, gay equality and the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV”.
Pope Benedict XVI will visit England and Scotland from 16-19 September, in part funded by British taxpayers.
“It is hypocritical for him to attack Britain’s equality laws, while happily accepting hospitality and funding from the British people and government,” said Tatchell.
Tatchell is hosting a documentary that will be screened on 13 September which will examine the impact that Benedict XVI’s pronouncements have had on both the developing and western world.