Cardinal Blase Cupich leads LGBTQ+ Mass


Near where Boystown’s Pride Fest was taking place in Chicago, Cardinal Blase Cupich, led an LGBTQ+ Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.

As the organ’s melodies filled the air, gay and lesbian congregants came together and raised their voices in hymns that resonated so strongly that they drowned out the approximately 20 anti-LGBTQ+ protesters outside the church doors.

The protesters prayed the rosary together and urged LGBTQ+ individuals to abandon their identities or convert to heterosexuality.

For over three decades, the Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach ministry has organised weekly LGBTQ+ masses.

This particular Sunday marked the 35th anniversary of their congregation, and Cardinal Cupich honoured them by presiding over the Mass.

During the service, Cupich emphasised the importance of community and unity among Christians and the LGBTQ+ community.

Although the cardinal did not explicitly use terms like “gay” or “LGBTQ” in his 10-minute homily, he conveyed a message of love and acceptance, drawing from the gospels’ narratives about individuals who, in moments of grace, recognise the depth of God’s love for them.

LGBTQ+ marginalised in the Church

The LGBTQ+ Mass organised by the Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach (AGLO) ministry has become a safe space for many, offering respite from years of repression experienced within the Church.

However, some individuals feel that these inclusive services and the cardinal’s homily fall short of addressing the systemic issues perpetuating the marginalisation of LGBTQ+ people within the Church.

Official Church teachings prohibit same-sex marriage and bar gay men from pursuing the priesthood, and LGBTQ+ individuals have faced discrimination, termination and exclusion from sacraments in Catholic institutions across the country.

While some praised Cupich’s presence at the Mass as a significant step towards inclusivity, others remained sceptical, expressing the need for total inclusion and an end to the Church’s differentiation of the LGBTQ+ population.

Cupich’s office released a statement before the Mass noting that AGLO Chicago had made considerable progress in spreading the Good News of Jesus among Catholics and creating a welcoming faith community for LGBTQ+ individuals.

The statement emphasised the Catholic belief that everyone is created in the image and likeness of God and should be treated with respect, kindness and gentleness.


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