Pope Francis Praises Nun Who Ran LGBT Ministry

Decades after she was barred from pastoral work by the Vatican, Pope Francis has sent a letter of thanks to an American nun who held services for LGBT people, in which she questioned some teachings of the Church.

Since the late 1970s, Sister Jeannine Gramick ran workshops for LGBT Catholics, in which she taught both the Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality and more liberal Christian doctrines. These workshops caught the attention of the Vatican, and in 1999 the Church’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith barred her from ministry, as she was promoting, in their words, “ambiguous positions on homosexuality and explicitly criticised documents of the Church’s Magisterium on this issue.”

The Congregation’s statement was written by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and described homosexuality as an “intrinsic evil.”

Gramick ceased her LGBT ministry and joined another religious order. Ratzinger went on to become Pontiff – Pope Benedict XVI – and was regarded as a staunch conservative. His successor, Pope Francis, has a more liberal reputation.

In a letter to Gramick sent last month and published by the Jesuit magazine ‘America’ on Friday, Francis thanked the nun for her “closeness, compassion, and tenderness.” The pontiff acknowledged that Gramick had experienced “suffering” during her 50 years of ministry, but did not elaborate further on the topic. (Read more from “Pope Francis Praises Nun Who Ran LGBT Ministry” HERE)

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