Sunday, 22 March 2015

Pope Francis Eats Lunch with Gay, Transgender and HIV-positive Inmates at Italian Prison

While on a visit to Naples, Italy, Pope Francis visited the Giuseppe Salvia Detention Center in Poggiorale, outside of Naples. And even though it was not on his original schedule, insisted on the visit including lunch with inmates.

Pope Francis in the demostration of love yesterday Saturday enjoyed lunch with inmates of an Italian prison and along the line, gay and transgender inmates were invited to join.

The Associated Press reports that; around 90 inmates randomly chosen by lottery, attended the lunch, and that group included 10 inmates from a section of the prison reserved for gay and 
transgender inmates, and inmates who are HIV-positive. In addition to the prison visit, the pope spoke to residents in Scampia, a neighborhood in Naples, and encouraged the citizens to resist the “easy earnings or dishonest income” of the Mafia and the drug trafficking trade.

Since he assumed the pontificate in 2013, Francis has worked to shift the tone of the Catholic Church’s message toward gays and lesbians to be more progressive. In 2013, the pope as famously heard said in his words: “Who am I to judge?” when discussing LGBT members of the Catholic community. Recently, gay Catholics were given seats at Pope Francis’ weekly general audience. 

However, while the pope seems to be taking small steps toward welcoming the church’s LGBT members, he re-affirmed his support for “traditional” marriage. In January, on a visit to the Phillipines, he remarked that “powerful forces” threaten to “disfigure God’s plan for creation.” Many people interpreted these remarks to be a reference to same-sex marriage.

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