Queer Catholic Group in Stands in Solidarity with Gay Priests, Those Seeking Ordination after Pope’s Hurtful Use of Slur

Queer Catholic Group in Stands in Solidarity with Gay Priests, Those Seeking Ordination after Pope’s Hurtful Use of Slur

May 28, 2024. DignityUSA, the world’s oldest organization of Catholics working for justice, equality, and full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people in our church and society, says Pope Francis’ use of an Italian slur when discussing the admission of gay men to seminaries was “shocking and hurtful.”

“We are glad that Pope Francis has apologized for using such a demeaning term,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA’s Executive Director. “We know that this was shocking and hurtful to many, especially to the innumerable gay priests who have served God’s people faithfully and well. We stand with them, and with the people who have benefited from their ministry. The truth is that the Church simply could not function without those countless gay priests, bishops and maybe even popes who currently serve and have served over the centuries. 

“Unfortunately, even if intended as a joke, the Pope’s comment reveals the depth of anti-gay bias and institutional discrimination that still exist in our church,” said Duddy-Burke. “It is wrong to demean any group of people, including those of us who are LGBTQIA+. And it is wrong to continue to act as if God calls only straight, cisgender men to service in the church and the world. DignityUSA and many Catholics understand that people of all genders, ages, races, abilities, and relational or marital statuses are called and should be recognized as ministers in our church. People should not be excluded from ordained ministry simply due to who they are.”

Duddy-Burke said that DignityUSA has been calling for openly LGBTQIA+ people and family members to be represented at the Synod Assemblies for over a year. “The lack of open representation in gatherings where policy decisions are made contributes to situations like this,” said Duddy-Burke. “We are seen as ‘other,’ and cannot speak for ourselves. Our church is being harmed by our exclusion. We must be seen as individuals, and not as theological or social issues.”