The meeting clearly reassured this transgender man. Since there is no public teaching on transgender people Francis sends a powerful message to good catholics to treat all people with dignity.
It is likely not coincidental that Fancis’ first reported call to a transgender person comes exactly 6 years to the day after Benedic’s alleged “Christmas Condemnation of Transexuals”. I can only imagine how powerful that meeting must have been for Diego. I was myself very validating it was for me to hear very affirming words from a Bishop when I disclosed my Transexual status to him. Although I have been affirmed by every priest I have shared my story with it was still very powerful to hear this Bishops kind words about my journey and to share dinner with him.
According to a Spanish newspaper report, Pope Francis recently held a private meeting at the Vatican with a transgender man and his fiancee.
Diego Neria Lejárraga had written to the pope about being rejected by his faith community after undergoing gender confirming surgery. Neria explained: “After hearing him on many occasions, I felt that he would listen to me.”
Neria told the newspaper Hoy, from the Extremadura region of Spain, that Pope Francis had initially responded to his letter with a phone call, and the pontiff told Neria that the letter “touched his soul.”
According to The Huffington Post, the private meeting last week was a result of this December exchange on the phone. A spokesperson from the Vatican, Fr. Manuel Dorantes, would not confirm the meeting, however.
In the Huffington Post article, Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, questioned the Vatican’s silence but said he would not be surprised if the meeting had…
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