Who knew that covering LGBT topics at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin would be such a busy task? Despite efforts by organizers to erase any references to LGBT people from promotional materials, and denying space to pro-LGBT Catholic groups, keeping up on all the LGBT activities and references here has been a job-and-a-half. Every day there has been more than one activity or quotation to attend to. I promise we will get it all out to you!
On Saturday, Pope Francis arrived in Dublin, and the city has become transformed with street closures, excitement, and delays everywhere. The day began with one of the most colorful welcomes that Pope Francis has probably ever encountered. On the Ha’Penny pedestrian bridge across Dublin’s River Liffey, We Are Church Ireland and Women’s Ordination Worldwide staged a welcome for the pope with umbrellas and ribbons and flags. The groups message was “Welcome Pope Francis BUT Justice for [those] Abused, Women, and LGBTI.”
The bridge, which volunteers had decorated with blue ribbons, expressing support for abuse victims/survivors, and they lined the bridge with rainbow umbrellas, as a sign of LGBT equality, and purple umbrellas with the words “Women Priests” printed on them.
We Are Church Ireland has been doing incredible work both before and during the WMF to raise awareness about LGBT issues. They helped organize two other events, the launch of an LGBT youth website and an LGBTQ choir which sang outside the WMF, which have garnered much media attention. They will be the subject of two future posts.
Below are a sampling of photos of the Ha’Penny Bridge event.
—Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, August 25, 2018