Wendell Rodricks' LGBTQ helpline has Church's blessing

Updated: Nov 02, 2018, 19:01 IST | A Correspondent

Cardinal Oswald Gracias greenlights fashion designer Wendell Rodricks' initiative, says he wants clergy to be more compassionate

Wendell Rodricks' LGBTQ helpline has Church's blessing
Fashion designer Wendell Rodricks, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, and Global Network of Rainbow Catholics co-chair Ruby Almeida

To support the LGBTQ community, veteran fashion designer Wendell Rodricks has decided to set up a helpline that will bring the community closer to the Church. He met Cardinal Oswald Gracias on Wednesday to seek his approval for the initiative.

Despite the Supreme Court's recent landmark judgment decriminalising homosexuality, Rodricks said that it bothered him to see the LGBTQ community distancing itself from the church. "The general attitude is to see members of the community as sinners and condemn them. But, the new pope is compassionate and we thus wanted to have a social media presence to help members of the community who want to be closer to the church," said Rodricks.

He came up with the idea along with Ruby Almeida, co-chair of Global Network of Rainbow Catholics. "We met with the cardinal and he was very receptive. He asked us to go ahead and start the helpline. He also agreed to advise his clergy to be more compassionate and less condemning of the LGBTQ community," said Rodricks.

The helpline will be open to members of the community across India. "Now that we have the cardinal's approval, we will start our efforts on a war footing. We will begin with social media platforms, and later set up a helpline as well," said Rodricks. While the cardinal could not be reached as he was travelling, the spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Bombay said, "A meeting was held with Mr Rodricks on Wednesday, but we don't know what was discussed."

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