Homosexuals can attend a Catholic family congress in Philadelphia during Pope Francis’ U.S. visit this year but won’t be allowed to use it to attack Church teachings, the city’s archbishop said on Thursday.
“We don’t want to provide a platform at the meeting for people to lobby for positions contrary to the life of our Church,” said Archbishop Charles Chaput. The Catholic Church teaches homosexuality is not sinful but homosexual acts are.
“We are not providing that kind of lobbying opportunity,” he told a news conference presenting the September 22-27 congress known as the World Meeting of Families.
Gay Catholic groups and families headed by gay Catholics had asked for an official presence at the gathering to present their view that homosexuals should be fully welcomed in the Church.
The pope will attend the last two days of the Philadelphia meeting at the end of a trip that will take him to Cuba as well as New York and Washington.
About 15,000 people from around the world are expected to attend the family congress to hear lectures and take part in workshops on family issues before the pope arrives to close the gathering.