Pope Francis has been criticised for his “failure” to address the damage done to LGBT+ youth by the Catholic Church.
LGBT+ humanitarian campaign group Equal Future hit out at the pope after the Vatican released a new teaching document for young people, titled Christus vivit, on Tuesday (April 2).
The pope released the nine-chapter publication in response to an event held by Catholic bishops, called the “Synod on Young People,” in October.
But Equal Future criticised the pope for “airbrushing of the lives and aspirations of millions of young LGBT people from the document,” which it said “compounds the damage being done to young people.”
Campaign group calls out Pope Francis over document for youth ministry
In a statement, Tiernan Brady, campaign director for Equal Future, said: “Given the highly problematic nature of the Catholic Church’s teaching on LGBT…the document represents a failure of nerve to follow through on previous positive statements by Pope Francis.
“The pope does not say anything about shielding children from the damage that any sense that being LGBT would be a misfortune or a disappointment. The document fails to even consider this damage.”
The pope’s document does not include any mention of the “LGBT” acronym. However, it does briefly mention “homosexuality.”
Brady noted that the the publication contained some “positive elements,” including calling for an “inclusive” approach towards the development of its youth ministry.
Pope Francis’ guidance for youth is a “missed opportunity,” says LGBT+ group
Still, Brady added: “But these are only potential pathways to progress and the document is ultimately a missed opportunity.
“The Synod on Young People failed to acknowledge and tackle the problem. Pope Francis has made little headway.”
“The pope does not say anything about shielding children from the damage that any sense that being LGBT would be a misfortune or a disappointment.”
—Tiernan Brady, campaign director for Equal Future
Following the synod in October, the Catholic Church was criticised for dropping the “LGBT” acronym from an official document discussing recommendations on how to welcome young people into the church.
The Synod on Youth—a global summit for Catholic bishops—took place over the month of October, with a final 60-page document approved by the end of the month.
The working draft of the document had included the LGBT acronym, making it the first time it had been used by the Vatican in an official capacity.