Pope Francis Wrote To Gay Catholics, Offered ‘Benedictory Greeting’

6a00d8341c730253ef019aff7cea6f970b-300wiPope Francis has earned high marks as of late for what many view to be conciliatory remarks made towards the gay community. While in Brazil earlier this year the Pontiff proclaimed, "Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord? You can't marginalize these people." In an interview with America Magazine he also added that the Church cannot "spiritually interfere in the life of a person." Now a report has emerged that the Pope received a letter in June from a group of gay and lesbian Catholics who call themselves the Kairos of Florence, requesting a dialogue with His Holiness. According to The Huffington Post, in their letter, the Kairos "[noted] that the absence of
open lines of communication 'always feeds homophobia.'" The Pope's response proved somewhat shocking at the time to the members of the Kairos, though given the Pontiff's more recent comments, it does not seem out of character:

While in the past, the group's letters to various Catholic officials
had been received with silence, the group was shocked when Francis and
the Vatican Secretary of State responded.

Kairos member Innocenzo Pontillo told the paper Francis said “he
appreciated very much what we had written to him" and "also assured us
of his benedictory greeting.” In contrast, Pontillo said the Archbishop
of Florence, Giuseppe Betori, had responded to similar letters by
refusing to meet with the group so that he would not be seen as
legitimizing homosexuals.

It should be noted that the contents of the letters remain a secret,
and La Repubblica was quick to point out the paper was dependent on
Kairos for information about the exchange.


  1. mikep says

    As someone who was raised Catholic but left the church a long time ago out of sheer frustration this new Pope has me speechless. It’s like opposite world. So weird and unbelievable.

  2. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    @ Mitch, I have wondered exactly the same thing. Often. Every week it seems that he does something else likely to provoke those with a vested interest in the status quo.

  3. Rafael says

    Reconciliation is a beautiful thing. Not so long ago I reconciled my faith with my sexuality. The Pope’s actions are a validation of God’s work. I’m a fan and hope his words resonate with not just with the faithful but with all of us.

  4. jomicur says

    What on earth is a “benedictory greeting”? If Francis genuinely wants to try and erase the Catholic church’s entrenched homophobia, I’d advise him to avoid terms that include his predecessor’s name.

  5. Bill says

    @jomicur: it has nothing to do with his predecesssor’s name. “Benedictory” is an adjective referring to giving or expressing a benediction, which is “an invocation of define blessing” and is derived from a Latin verb meaning “to bless”. Benedict is simply a name. Characters with that name are not necessarily “saintly”. Like Beatrice and Benedict in Shakespeare’s play “Much ado about nothing.”

    Basically, it is supposed to invoke warm, fuzzy feelings.

  6. simon says

    Don’t be fooled. His recent encyclical reiterated the Church’s position. Nothing has changed except may be the tone.
    It said:
    “Marriage should be a stable union of man and woman. This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love, and of the acknowledgement and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation.”

  7. woody says

    that recent encyclical was in process before francis was elected pope and was almost all written by benedict. francis wrote very little of it, and the part he wrote has none of the meanness of benedict’s.
    francis signed it out of deference to benedict, something which bishops are pretty much expected to do.
    hopefully, that encyclical was benedict’s last jab.

  8. Paul B. says

    I spent all of my early childhood years a catholic…and come from a family of “devouts”.
    Don’t make any assumptions…this is a wolf in sheeps clothing and nothing more. They can no more change their dogma than I can change my sexuality. Lest we forget…they get their instructions straight from the sky fairy…and he’s never wrong!

  9. simon says

    In a Democratic presidential debate in 2008, a candidate said: “A good politician will tell you to go to hell and make you look forward to a good trip.”

  10. miami says

    One never knows, is he waiting to return to John XXIII” agenda, so long waiting in the wings and with the winds of progressive change? Really, you never know. But yes, there are extreme dangers and dark forces that would wish him departed sooner rather than later.

  11. Robert says

    Simon – I will NEVER expect the Catholics (and the whole nightmare of the Vatican) to accept gay marriage. But you can’t deny what this guy’s been doing. I mean, compared to the past pope, my god. And people actually listen to the pope. They ADORE the pope. If he can incite some change to the hundred million Catholics in this country, wow.

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