Pope Francis spoke at the White House on Wednesday (Pic: GLAAD)
LGBT Catholics in America have been hurt by Pope Francis’ condemnation of gay and lesbian unions and his refusal to meet LGBT individuals during his visit to the country.
While the Pontiff has angered conservatives in the US by calling for action against climate change and urging Americans to welcome immigrants, they remain firmly united on the issues of same-sex marriage and abortion.
Keeping his anti-gay comments relatively subtle, the Pope has thus far on this trip at least twice reaffirmed his disturbing view that married gay and lesbian couples are a threat to families and humanity in general.
Addressing the US Congress on Thursday, Francis stated:”I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family.”
The comments have been seen as a reference to the June 26 US Supreme Court ruling legalising same-sex marriage across the nation.
Speaking at the White House a day earlier, Francis also revealed his gay marriage phobia, explaining that he would take part in the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia on the weekend, “To celebrate and support the institutions of marriage and the family at this critical moment in the history of our civilization.”
Wednesday’s function was attended by a group of LGBT activists and Catholics invited by the White House, who were sorely disappointed by the lack of support and interest shown by the Pope in his speech towards the LGBT community.
He has also seemingly ignored a petition and heartfelt letter from a number of LGBT groups and individuals to “meet with representatives of the LGBT Catholic community and our family members to hear our stories of perseverance, hope, and struggle.”
While Francis has hinted at a willingness to be more accepting of gay people and asserted that he will not judge them, the Catholic Church remains officially opposed to same-sex relationships and especially gay marriage.
Gay sexuality is described by Catholicism as “acts of grave depravity” and as “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to the natural law”.