Priest urges Vatican family conference to welcome gays

August 23, 2018 - 10:58 am

DUBLIN (AP) — One of the Catholic Church's leading advocates for gays has told a Vatican-sponsored conference that LGBT Catholics deserve to be loved, listened to and welcomed by the church and not ostracized and condemned.

The Rev. James Martin gave a presentation Thursday at the church's World Meeting of Families in Dublin, which Pope Francis will be closing out this weekend with a vigil and final Mass.

Martin told the packed conference hall that LGBT Catholics "have often been treated like lepers by the church" despite Christ's example of welcoming and loving all those on the margins of society.

That Martin was even invited to speak in Dublin was significant given he has had several talks canceled in the United States because of pressure from conservative groups who oppose his ministry.

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This story has been corrected to show the presentation was Thursday, not Wednesday.

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