Statements by Pope Francis have prompted changing religious attitudes in Catholic Italy, especially regarding gay and lesbian Catholics. “The new pope’s words and deeds have emboldened liberal Italian priests to push boundaries they never would have under Benedict XVI,” according to a report in the Washington Post.
The Washington Post indicates that “in Florence, a local parish council this month permitted a group of gay Catholics to hold their first public prayer session inside a Roman Catholic church. In Rome, a parish run by Jesuit priests announced a special service scheduled for April that, also for the first time in recent memory, is openly reaching out to gay as well as divorced Catholics. A leaflet for the service depicts Francis on the cover and reads: ‘The Church wants to be home. For everybody.'”
As some gay and lesbian Catholics push for recognition and acceptance in Italy, conservative clergy and lay people continue to oppose changes in the Catholic Church and Italian society. It is too early to tell how significant the religious changes in Catholic Italy will be.
The Washington Post reports on the religious situation in Italy.