Vatican sources deny gay-rights group had VIP treatment

Vatican sources are denying that an American gay-rights activist group received special treatment at a papal general audience last week.

The Associated Press and Reuters reported that New Ways Ministry received VIP treatment and were given tickets to be in the front row of the audience.

The group said this contrasted with previous occasions when they were ignored by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

But according to a report in the Catholic News Agency, a pontifical household source said no requests are rejected for the free tickets for the “reparto speciale” in St Peter’s Square.

Seats are available on a “first come, first served basis,” and no chairs are specially reserved for any group of pilgrims, the source explained.

Another Vatican source said the group was treated the same as any other group of faithful in St Peter’s Square.

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