Pope Francis, on stage, looks over the procession of flags from the all the countries represented by young people participating in World Youth Day during the event’s welcome ceremony at Eduardo VII Park in Lisbon, Portugal, Aug 3 (CNS/Vatican Media) 

By Christopher White

Aug 8 2023

The same day Pope Francis told half a million Catholics gathered in the Portuguese capital for a major youth festival that the church must be a home for everyone, ultra-traditionalist Catholics interrupted a Mass for LGBTQ pilgrims in protest of the organizer’s efforts to put the pope’s message into action. 

When some two dozen Catholics gathered for Mass on Aug. 3 at the Church of Our Lady of the Incarnation here in Lisbon, a group of protesters began to chant “a reparatory prayer” in an effort to disrupt the gathering. 

According to noted British theologian Fr. James Alison, an openly gay priest who was one of three concelebrants of the Mass, the group of a dozen protesters wore long mantillas and held crucifixes and increasingly raised their voices in an effort to drown out the priests and congregants during Mass. 

Police who had already been notified of a potential disturbance were soon on the scene to escort the protesters out of the church, and the Mass continued without further incident. Alison told NCR that the interruption highlights the challenges that LGBTQ Catholics face in trying to practice their faith. 


Read full news in NCR Online.