The pope and Mychal Judge – Religion – Franciscan priest who died in terrorist attack on World Trade Center – Brief Article
When New Yorkers on November 10 presented Pope John Paul II with the helmet of fire department chaplain Mychal Judge, who died in the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center, it is unlikely the pope knew the late Franciscan priest was gay. But even if he had known, it is unlikely he would have publicly mentioned it, said Marianne Duddy, executive director of the gay Catholic group Dignity/USA.
“That’s how officials in the church deal with gay priests in general,” Duddy said. “They just want that side of people to go away.”
The helmet was given to the pope as a symbol of the 343 firefighters who died in the attack. But it also serves as a tribute to the gay and lesbian heroes of the tragedy, Duddy said “The difference is that we would never be received by the pope to openly present symbols of our heroes,” she said.
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