ProGay welcomes Pope Francis I with renewed hope

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Argentina’s Jorge Bergoglio, elected Pope Francis I (center) appears at the window of St Peter’s Basilica’s balcony after being elected the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church on March 13, 2013 at the Vatican. AFP/VINCENZO PINTO

MANILA, Philippines — Despite his anti-same sex marriage stance and his silence on the persecution of fellow Jesuits during the 70s, members of the Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines (ProGay) welcomed the election as pope of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis I.

“We remain hopeful that Pope Francis continues to become more attuned to a world in conflict. He is known for his outreach to the poor, his simple lifestyle, his demonstrated compassion for persons hospitalized with AIDS complications, and his disdain for hypocrite church officials. He once reminded his fellow priests that Jesus went around with prostitutes and thieves,” Jomar Amores, ProGay spokesman said in a statement.

The group said they were also hopeful that Vatican would open new and frank discussions on the increasing inclusion of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) in the life of the church and proposals to increase their legal protection with less meddling from local church leaders in the Philippines.

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