Archbishop strikes high note with youth, LGBT Catholics

LGBT Catholics are reacting positively to a Facebook Live video showing Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington’s words of support for the transgender community.

“Hi, my name is Rory and I worship with Dignity Washington,” Rory told Gregory at one of the recent archdiocesan-hosted Theology on Tap events.

“My question is what place do I have as a confirmed transgender Catholic and what place do my queer friends have here in this archdiocese?” Rory asked.

LGBT Catholics consider Gregory’s response to a question was “highly supportive and understanding”.

“You belong to the heart of this church,” Gregory replied. “There is nothing that you may do, may say, that will ever rip you from the heart of this church.”

Gregory then went on to say:

“There is a lot that has been said to you, about you, behind your back that is painful and is sinful.

“We have to find a way to talk to one another and to talk to one another not just from one perspective, but to talk and to listen to one another.

“I think that’s the way that Jesus ministered. He engaged people, he took them to where they were at, and he invited them to go deeper, closer to God.

“So if you’re asking me where do you fit, you fit in the family.”

Gregory, who is the first African-American Archbishop of Washington, is being tipped by some to become the first US African-American cardinal.

LGBT Catholics consider that prospect remarkable given his reputation of support for the LGBT community and LGBT Catholics.

As an example, while he was Archbishop of Atlanta, Gregory established a cordial relationship with Fortunate Families group members, whose are Catholic parents of LGBT people.

He mentioned how grateful he is to the Fortunate Families group during the Theology on Tap meeting.

He said he was grateful to have been able to tell the parents “first of all that they had to love their children and that the church had to love their children,”.

“The Dignity Washington community is very pleased and excited to hear the dialogue that occurred between one of our young, transgender Catholics and Archbishop Gregory,” Dignity Washington President Daniel Barutta said when he heard of the conversation at the Theology on Tap meeting.

“The fact that he is reaching out to the next generation of Catholic young adults who very well may become future church leaders is very encouraging.

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese says the archdiocese regularly hosts Theology on Tap events in D.C. bars and restaurants as a means of reaching out to and engaging young professionals “around topics of faith and life.”

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