Pope Francis Embraces LGBT Activist Stan “JR” Zerkowski for His Outreach

Pope Francis (Midjourney)

Pope Francis has reportedly penned a personal letter to Stan “JR” Zerkowski, a notable LGBT activist, acknowledging his efforts in reaching out to the gay community.

Stan “JR” Zerkowski heads the LGBTQ Outreach Commission for the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky.

The Catholic News Agency reported that the Pope responded to Zerkowski’s October 10 email detailing his LGBT outreach.

The handwritten note, translated from Spanish, read: “Thank you very much for your ministry. I pray for you, please continue to do so for me. May the Lord bless you and the Madonna watch over you. Fraternally, Francis.”

In a Facebook posting, Zerkowski explained he wrote to Pope Francis: “I told him about Fortunate Families. I told him what I do locally and nationally with parishes, hierarchy, educational institutions, and building intentional LGBTQ+ ministries. I thanked him for opening the door to LGBTQ+ ministry and explained that it has been and still is a difficult ministry. I told him that his openness has saved lives, I know this firsthand.”

Zerkowski, known for his 2022 book Coming Out and Coming Home: A Gay Catholic Man’s Journey from Marginalization to Ministry, with a Few Miracles Along the Way, raised eyebrows among many faithful when his ministry showcased an image of the Virgin Mary draped in a Gay Pride flag.

The accompanying caption read, “Mother of Pride.”

Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League, highlighted Zerkowski’s leadership roles in both the “LGBTQ Outreach Community” for the Diocese of Lexington and “Fortunate Families,” terming the latter as a “queer dissident outlet.”

Dr. Donohue also pointed out Zerkowski’s active support for the Equality Act, which he described as “the most anti-Catholic piece of legislation ever written.”

The U.S. Bishops’ Conference (USCCB) previously cautioned that the Equality Act might potentially “discriminate against people of faith” and impose a multitude of legal and social consequences on Americans.

In a letter to Congress, they emphasized that the act might undermine the “precious rights to life and conscience,” while presenting gender merely as a social construct.

Additionally, Zerkowski’s ministry, “Fortunate Families,” has been promoting a publication asserting that parents have a moral duty to embrace their children’s chosen gender, irrespective of biological sex.

In a separate event a week prior, Pope Francis also had a private meeting with Sister Jeannine Gramick, the co-founder of the pro-LGBT group New Ways Ministry. Notably, this group had previously been denied the title “Catholic” by Church officials.

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