When Pope Francis says the Catholic Church welcomes everyone — “todos, todos, todos” — he is pointing to a basic teaching of the Christian faith, which is that Christ came to save all people.
While many commentators on social media seemed to prefer focusing first on the need for others to convert, the pope insists conversion must begin with those already “inside,” who must open the doors of the church and of their hearts to everyone.
But welcoming a newcomer and helping that person grow in faith and Christian virtue has challenging implications for pastoral workers, Jesuit Father Nuno Tovar de Lemos, director of the Centro Comunitário São Cirilo in Porto, Portugal, wrote in the journal La Civiltà Cattolica, which is reviewed by the Vatican Secretariat of State before publication.
The Jesuit’s article about welcoming all and calling them to mature in faith was published Nov. 4, just four days before the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith posted on its website a document affirming the possibility of baptizing a transgender person, baptizing the child of a gay couple and allowing transgender and LGBTQ+ people to serve as godparents or witnesses at a marriage. […]