Belfast Telegraph

Taoiseach to tell Pope LGBT Catholics ‘excluded from church’

Leo Varadkar is expected to meet Francis at Dublin Castle on Saturday.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said many LGBT Catholics feel excluded from the church. Brian Lawless/PA.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said many LGBT Catholics feel excluded from the church. Brian Lawless/PA.

Ireland’s Taoiseach wants to tell Pope Francis that many Catholics from an LGBT background feel “excluded” from the church.

Leo Varadkar is expected to meet the pontiff at Dublin Castle on Saturday.

He is Ireland’s first openly-gay leader.

He told Irish national broadcaster RTE: “There are a lot of people who are devout Catholics who very much believe in their Catholic faith but feel excluded from the church because of the treatment of women and the rules around how women can participate in the church, because they are from an LGBT background or because they are divorced, for example.

I know that really hurts for them because there is a conflict between who they are and the rules of the faith which they follow and certainly if I have the opportunity to speak to Pope Francis I will want to relay that message Leo Varadkar

“I know that really hurts for them because there is a conflict between who they are and the rules of the faith which they follow and certainly if I have the opportunity to speak to Pope Francis I will want to relay that message.”

Mr Varadkar said he wanted to do so in a fashion that respects freedom of religion in Ireland.

He added: “It is not the role of the head of Government to ask any church or any religious group, Catholic, Christian or non-Christian, to change its faith.”

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