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Pamphlet Censored Picture of Same-Sex Couple Ahead of Pope Visit

Pope Francis, Catholicism, Catholic Church
Andrew Medichini/AP

Catholics were outraged by a picture of two women embracing. 

This year's World Meeting of Families is slated to take place in Ireland this August. The event, a major annual occasion for the world's Catholics, is frequented by the Pope and serves as a meeting place for preachers and parishioners alike. Though the event is supposed to foster familial and welcoming feelings, an early copy of a booklet that would be handed out at the meeting featured a same-sex couple embracing, putting conservative outraging conservative Catholics.

"While the church upholds the ideal of marriage as a permanent commitment between a man and a woman, other unions exist which provide support to the couple," a line in the booklet reads. "Pope Francis encourages us never to exclude but to accompany these couples also, with love, care and support."

After considerable uproar from groups and sites like LifeSiteNews, which condemned the passage and imagery as an "explicit promotion of homosexual relationships as a form of family," the booklet has been edited.

Related | Pope Francis Calls Gender Theory a 'Great Enemy of Marriage'

Dr. Mary McAleese, the former President of Ireland, criticized the censorship. "LGBTQI Catholics and their families who in good faith attended the 2015 meeting held in Philadelphia have reported that they experienced traumatizing hostility," she said. "Ireland can and hopefully will do better than that."

McAleese advocated for acceptance further, saying the event should be "a fully inclusive and welcoming event for all God's children and in particular those whom the Church has in the past contributed to marginalizing and excluding."

When speaking with The Tablet, a spokesperson for the event did not share any details about the censorship. "The principal aim of the 2018 Dublin World Meeting of Families is to highlight the message and spirit of Pope Francis' Exhortation Amoris Laetitia," they said. "The meeting has always been understood as a meeting open to all. This remains the position of the World Meeting of Families in Dublin."

Though the meeting and even Pope Francie to some extend preach for inclusion within the church and its faithful members, little has changed in the views of the global Catholic population on the LGBTQ community and same-sex marriage.

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Dennis Hinzmann