GLAAD op-ed to Pope: It's time to put 'Who am I to judge' into action

Ross Murray, GLAAD's Director of Programs, wrote an op-ed on Pope Francis's visit to Philadelphia. The piece was published exclusively by The Advocate. Murray's op-ed reflects on the state of the Catholic church's acceptance of LGBT people and what he hopes that the pope's visit to the U.S. could accomplish.

Murray states,

Contrary to popular belief, the heart of the Catholic Church is not just the bishops, cardinals, or even the pope. The heart of the church is the people of God, living out their everyday lives. They act in faith, following God's call to love their neighbor as themselves. Whether the neighbor is a loved one, an LGBT advocate, or even a stranger, loving involves listening and caring. It is through sharing personal stories that acceptance is fostered. The change is slow, but acceptance on an interpersonal level can lead to big changes — even in an institution like the Roman Catholic Church.

On July 28, GLAAD and several other LGBT, Catholic, and Hispanic groups wrote an open letter to Pope Francis requesting a meeting with him, saying that LGBT Catholics are hopeful of - and will continue to advocate for - full acceptance in the church. Murray's op-ed is a follow-up to the recent New York Times coverage of LGBT advocates urging Pop Francis to stand for LGBT recognition and equality within the Catholic church.

GLAAD continues to be engaged with issues regarding Pope Francis's voyage to U.S. Currently, GLAAD is helping reporters examine Pope Francis's stance on LGBT people in the church and the history of LGBT people in the Catholic church beyond the pope's ubiquitous "Who am I to judge?" comment made in 2013. Next month GLAAD will attend the World Meeting of Families to provide resources for LGBT families and loved ones present on the ground. GLAAD will provide support for these LGBT families and loved ones who make their pilgrimage to Philadelphia to ensure that they are visible in the midst of the Catholic dialogue surrounding marriage and family.