Pope Francis Thanks Notorious LGBT Activist for His ‘Ministry’

Pope Francis waves to the crowd as he arrives for the weekly general audience at St Peter's Square in the Vatican, on October 25, 2023. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)

ROME, Italy — Pope Francis recently wrote to notorious LGBT activist Stan “JR” Zerkowski to thank him for his “ministry” with gays, Catholic News Agency reported Wednesday.

In his handwritten missive, the pontiff thanked Zerkowski for his October 10 email explaining his LGBT outreach, saying (in Spanish), “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.”

Zerkowski is author of the 2022 book Coming Out and Coming Home: A Gay Catholic Man’s Journey from Marginalization to Ministry, with a Few Miracles Along the Way, and caused consternation among the faithful when his ministry posted an image of the Virgin Mary cloaked in a Gay Pride flag, with the caption: “Mother of Pride.”

According to Catholic League president Bill Donohue, Zerkowski “is the head of the ‘LGBTQ Outreach Community’ for the Diocese of Lexington, and the leader of Fortunate Families, another queer dissident outlet.”

Dr. Donohue also noted that Zerkowski has been a vocal supporter of the Equality Act, “the most anti-Catholic piece of legislation ever written.”

The U.S. Bishops’ Conference (USCCB) warned that the misbegotten Equality Act would “discriminate against people of faith” and “inflict numerous legal and social harms on Americans.”

The Equality Act would impose “novel and divisive viewpoints regarding ‘gender’ on individuals and organizations” while “dismissing sexual difference and falsely presenting ‘gender’ as only a social construct,” the bishops said in a letter to the U.S. Congress.

The act tramples the “precious rights to life and conscience,” the bishops declared.

Zerkowski’s ministry “Fortunate Families” also advertises for a book insisting that parents are morally obliged to accept the chosen gender of their children regardless of their biological sex.

Just a week ago Pope Francis received in private audience Sister Jeannine Gramick, cofounder of the pro-LGBT group New Ways Ministry, which has been denied the title “Catholic” by Church authorities.

Roman Catholic religious sister and advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights as a cofounder of New Ways Ministry Jeannine Gramick visits European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk, on November 29, 2016. (Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

During their 50-minute meeting at the pope’s Vatican residence, Sister Gramick, who was accompanied by 3 New Ways Ministry staff members, thanked Francis “for his openness to blessing same-sex unions, as well as for his opposition to the criminalization of LGBT+ people in civil society.”

In 1999, the Vatican’s doctrinal office (CDF), overseen at the time by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, publicly chastised Sister Gramick and New Ways Ministry for failing to present “the authentic teaching of the Church.”

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “is obliged to declare for the good of the Catholic faithful that the positions advanced by Sister Jeannine Gramick and Father Robert Nugent regarding the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts and the objective disorder of the homosexual inclination are doctrinally unacceptable because they do not faithfully convey the clear and constant teaching of the Catholic Church in this area,” stated the text, which was personally approved by Pope John Paul II.


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