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LISBON, Portugal (ChurchMilitant.com) - Police were summoned to a church in Lisbon after a band of traditionalist Catholics picketed an LGBT Mass celebrated to welcome homosexual and transgender pilgrims at World Youth Day in Portugal.
Carrying crucifixes and rosaries, a dozen traditionalist Catholic youth entered the Church of Our Lady of the Incarnation in Ameixoeira on Thursday around 3 p.m., chanting a "prayer of reparation" for the "mortal sins" that result from "an LGBT ideology in the Catholic Church."
"The protestors began praying the Rosary in Latin before the Mass could begin," one of the priests concelebrating the Eucharist observed. The presiding priest immediately called the police, who arrived within minutes and ordered the traditionalists to leave.
Several protestors refused to leave and continued to raise their voices outside the church when they were forced out.
The LGBT Mass was scheduled to be celebrated at the Convent of São Domingo, but the location was changed, as threats had been circulating on the internet for several days, Ann Carvalho, the organizer of the service told Portuguese media.
"The police were in fact very quick from the moment they were warned. We stopped the Eucharist and waited for the group to leave," Carvalho said. "It was relatively quiet. There was some resistance from a couple of individuals, but the police did well."
In another incident, WYD participants confronted a pro-trans Catholic defiantly waving a transgender flag at the opening Mass at Edward VII Park while pilgrims from around the world were parading the flags of the countries they represent.
When asked to stop waving his flag, the pro-trans pilgrim protested, "I'm representing my people, just like everyone else, with my flag. God loves everyone, right?"
"This is for everyone. This is for the youth. I was let in by the police. I can be here, and I can do this," he insisted. "Are you [the] organizers?" he asked. When the youth told him they weren't representing the organizers, the protestor shouted, "Then go f*** yourself."
The incident was caught on video and went viral later that evening, raising criticisms of "transphobia" from pro-LGBT activists.
Meanwhile, Ann Carvalho's Arco Íris Center, a pro-LGBT campaign group, is hosting at the Casa da Cidadania do Lumiar in Lisbon multiple events for Catholic youth who claim to identify as homosexual, transgender or non-binary.
The Arco Íris Center has set up an operation base for WYD just a couple of hundred meters from the church where Maria José Vilaça, president of the Association of Catholic Psychologists, offered reparative therapy for Catholics with same-sex attraction.
On Wednesday, the pansexual activist organization hosted homosexualist Jesuit Fr. James Martin. Father James Alison, a homosexualist former Dominican who maintains he has not been laicized even though his "current canonical status is anomalous," spoke at the center on Thursday.
On Friday, the Arco Íris Center will screen a documentary film containing homosexual iconography of Jesus. The film Wonderfully Made features interviews with Fr. James Martin and the openly gay Fr. Bryan Massingale.
Film director Yuval David, a Jew "married" to his Catholic "husband," says he noticed the absence of LGBT portrayals of Jesus in Catholicism — a faith where icons play a significant part.
"I myself am Jewish but my husband is Catholic, and he expressed to me feelings of there not necessarily being a place for him in the same way as there was a place for straight people," David told AMNY news.
"When you look at the gospels," Fr. James Martin says in the film, "you see that Jesus reached out specifically to people who are on the margins."
"And so, I think if Jesus were here today, in the flesh, on earth, he would be going first to LGBT people. For Jesus, there is no us and them. There's just us," Martin stresses.
The film emphasizes that homosexual clergy are not responsible for the sex abuse crisis engulfing the Church, Church Militant reported.
Carvalho noted that Pope Francis had called for radical inclusion in his homily during the Eucharist at Edward VII Park.
"In the Church, there is room for everyone; no one is superfluous. Jesus says it clearly," Francis emphasized while preaching on a text from the Gospel of St. Luke. "God loves us. He loves us as we are, not as we would like to be or as society would like us to be."