Francis Happy To Talk To Gay Catholics?

At least that’s what I think this report from the Italian media says. Could a reader translate and I’ll post the whole thing? Update:

Gay Catholics amazed at the Pope: “He answered our letter”

The Kairos group: “We wrote to him, and he blessed us.” Even Don Santoro will write to Bergoglio: “I want to ask him what he thinks of our condemnation”

by Maria Cristina Carratu

Pen and paper. Among the many revolutions of Pope Bergoglio – in addition to phone calls to the homes of everyday people (recently there was news of a family in Galluzzo telephoned by Francis, who, after inviting them to Assisi, asked if he could bless them and invited them to bring “the greetings and blessings of the Pope” to the parish) – there is also the “mail effect”. He receives a mountain of letters every day at his residence in Santa Marta, sent to him directly by those hoping to reach him by bypassing the “obstacles” of the Curia. And now there are those who think it may have been one of those “messages in a bottle” to inspire Bergoglio’s transformation on the subject of gays. A letter was sent last June to the Pope from several Italian Catholic homosexuals, many of whose signatures were collected by the Kairos group in Florence, which is very active in this area. In the letter, gays and lesbians asked Francis to be recognized as people and not as a “category”, asking for openness and dialogue from the Church, and reminding him that closure “always feeds homophobia”.

This was not the first of its kind to be sent to a pontiff, but one which “no one had ever given even a hint of an answer”, said one of the Kairos leaders, Innocenzo Pontillo. This time, instead, the answer arrived. Along with another letter from the Vatican Secretary of State (the contents of both letters are private, and it was only decided recently to make the exchange public), in which, Pontillo explained, Pope Francis wrote that “he appreciated very much what we had written to him, calling it a gesture of “spontaneous confidence”, as well as “the way in which we had written it.”

But not just that. “The Pope also assured us of his benedictory greeting.” “None of us could have imagined anything like this,” stated the Kairos representative, highlighting how, by contrast, the Archbishop of Florence, Giuseppe Betori, “always refused to even meet with us, claiming that if he did we would be legitimized as homosexuals.” Now Pope Francis actually sends us his benediction, and who knows whether his subsequent remarks about homosexuals (“Who am I to judge gays?” uttered on a plane coming back from Rio de Janeiro, and then the explosive words to Civiltà Cattolica [Catholic Civilization, a Roman Jesuit periodical]: “When God looks at a homosexual person, does he approve of his existence with affection, or does he reject him and condemn him? The person must always be considered”) might not actually be due to this exchange of letters.

In the meantime, the prisoners at Sollicciano [a Florentine prison] wrote a letter to Bergoglio (delivered directly to him in the final days of the prison chaplain don Vincenzo Russo), in which they described the ordeals of prison life and invited him to visit them, possibly on the occasion of the National Church Convention of the CEI [Italian Episcopal Conference], to be held in Florence in 2015 and where the pontiff’s presence is expected.

Now, even the Community of Piagge is addressing the Pope: “The climate has changed, and now those who want something different for the Church must stay with the Pope,” recognizes don Alessandro Santoro. “As a Community,” he explains, “we feel liberated from the many doctrinal snares of the past, and Pope Francis demonstrates how it is possible to go from mere doctrinal obedience to faith in the life of people.” Which “doesn’t mean that the Church can’t have its doctrine, provided that man with his suffering is at the center, as the Gospel says.” From this came the idea (on the occasion of the fourth anniversary, on October 27, of the celebration of the religious marriage of a man to a woman who had been born a man, which cost Santoro his job in Piagge), to write to the Pope “to talk to him about our Community, about what we are doing and why we are doing it, and to ask him what he thinks of the disapproval and blame we have suffered” (in addition to marriage, communion is also offered to gays and remarried divorcees).