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Another Catholic LGBT group complains requests to be part of Pope's visit ignored

The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics says it feels “completely ignored” by the World Meeting of Families.

Image: Shutterstock/giulio napolitano

THE GLOBAL NETWORK of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC) says it is “deeply dismayed and disappointed” after receiving no response in its requests to be part of the World Meeting of Families.

Pope Francis is travelling to Ireland for two days next month to be part of the event.

Earlier this week We Are Church Ireland, a group which campaigns for the equal inclusion of women and LGBT people in the Catholic church, also described how it was being ‘ignored and discriminated against’ in its application to be part of the event.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin have previously said that same-sex issues would be discussed during a pastoral congress in Dublin’s RDS held as part of the event but two LGBT groups have now complained about a lack of response.

The GNRC, which represents 32 LGBTI Catholic groups from around the world, says it applied for an exhibit booth on 17 April and that despite repeated requests for a decision, and information that booth spaces are still available, it has still received no response.

We Are Church Ireland said it applied back in February to have a stand in the RDS, and even paid a deposit, but did not receive a written response.

Responding to the criticism from We Are Church, a spokesperson for the World Meeting of Families told TheJournal.ie, “We Are Church are one of a number of organisations who are on a holding list in respect of exhibition space …. many of these groups are on hold because they do not meet our stated criteria which was provided to them at the time of their application.

Priority was given in allocating exhibition spaces to those who immediately met the criteria. Had there been more space available we may have been able to allocate spaces to those on hold on the list. At this point it seems very unlikely that there will be any spaces left to allocate to those who fell outside the criteria.

‘Feel ignored’ 

Co chair of GNRC who submitted the application for a booth for the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC) Ruby Almeida said:

Attempts to get a response about our exhibit booth from World Meeting of Families officials have been very frustrating. We feel completely ignored.

“It was our hope that we could provide support to our fellow Catholics who have LGBTI family members. Many families have questions about how to best support gay and transgender family members, what the Church really teaches about us, and how and why we choose to remain Catholics.”

Almeida added that, “Due to the delay and the repeated refusal of those in charge to give us an approval, it is no longer practical for us to do this outreach.

People needed to schedule time off from work and to arrange travel. The foot-dragging means that we will not be able to provide support to our fellow Catholics through an outreach booth at World Meeting of Families.

TheJournal.ie has asked the organisers of the World Meeting of Families for a response to the allegations made by the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics.

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