Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pope Gives US Gay Rights Group VIP Treatment; Group Ignored in Past, Now Part of Francis Effect

A prominent American Catholic gay rights group was given VIP treatment for the first time today (February 18, 2015) at an audience with Pope Francis -- a move members saw as a sign of change in the Roman Catholic Church -- according to the Reuters website.

"This is a sign of movement that's due to the Francis effect," said Sister Jeannine Gramick, co-founder of New Ways Ministry, which ministers to homosexual Catholics and promotes gay rights in the 1.2 billion-member Church.

Gramick and executive director Francis DeBernardo led a pilgrimage of 50 homosexual Catholics to the audience in St. Peter's Square.

They told Reuters in an interview afterwards that when the group came to Rome on Catholic pilgrimages during the papacies of Francis's predecessors John Paul and Benedict, "they just ignored us."

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