The Pope Affirms LGBTQ Kids to Parents in Rome

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Saturday September 19, 2020

On Wednesday in Rome, Pope Francis met with approximately 40 parents of LGBTQ children, Queerty reports. The parents belong to a group called Tenda di Gionata, which translate to "Jonathan's Tent" — an organization Queerty describes as being similar to PFLAG.

In the meeting, parents discussed the challenges of parenting LGBTQ children, condemnation by members of the Catholic Church, and when their kids decide to leave the church because of backlash for their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Mara Grassi, vice president of Tenda di Gionata, said of the meeting:

"Our association wants to start a dialogue between the Church and families with LGBT children.

"Taking a cue from the title of the book we presented to him, I explained that we consider ourselves lucky because we have been forced to change the way in which we have always looked at our children. We now look at them in a way that allows us to see the beauty and love of God in them.

"We want to create a bridge with the Church, so that the Church too can change the way it looks upon our children, no longer excluding them but welcoming them fully."

Apparently, the Pope smiled when he received a rainbow-colored T-shirt with a quote from 1 John 4:18 in the Bible: "In love there is no fear." Grassi characterized this as "a moment of deep harmony that we will not forget." The Pope ended the meeting affirmatively: "The Church loves your children as they are, because they are children of God."

As Queerty notes, the Pope refused to condemn gay priests in 2016. However, the church's position on marriage equality and homosexual acts remains unchanged. So remains the question of whether the Pope's words to Tenda di Gionata this week will lead to any shift on LGBTQ-related positions.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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