Not a big deal.
They think it was, some in the media think it was, but it was simply an ordinary audience and their 'identity' was not acknowledged. It was not a coup de grace for the GLBTQ movement or New Ways Ministry. All may be welcome, but all do not get papal endorsements - although I think they can get a blessing on parchment for a small offering.
I've been getting emails alerting me to this 'expected' development. (It had been announced beforehand by the 'pilgrims'.) I will repeat here what I wrote to one friend:
As you probably know, Cordileone recently received them as well and they talked - I think I mentioned it in a post. [Here] I suspect he may have gotten them on the invite list as well. They weren't personally received by the Pope - yet - at least not today. Being listed at the audience as a group of laity accompanied by a sister doesn't mean he accepted them or acknowledged their 'cause'. They are the ones promoting their agenda with this latest publicity. It adds to the confusion of course.
Don't worry about Francis though - he won't be fooled. He knows the score.
That was my 'off the cuff' email response. Another friend sent me a link to Joanna Bogle's take on the deal:
Snub for homosexual lobbying group...
...in Rome today. They had wanted to be welcomed publicly and give themselves a cheer - standard procedure for any group visiting St Peter's and crowding in to one of the big Papal audiences in the vast Paul VI Hall. Instead, the nearest the group got was a mention of their geographical area - which may have meant them and may not - while at the gathering in St Peter's Square where the Pope greets pilgrims, they got no mention at all.
Anyone can go to the gatherings in the Paul VI Hall and it's not hard to get seats near the front if you persevere. An official reads out the names of groups, and it's traditional to stand and get some applause - maybe even sing a song or call out a rousing greeting.
Failure to get a mention is a snub - not a particularly cruel one, just evidence of a prudent concern by the papal bureaucracy to ensure that loopy groups are, as far as possible, gently avoided.
Embarrassed, the organisers of the group contacted the media, and posed in St Peter's Square, announcing that they were greeted at the Vatican - untrue - and claiming that the Church's teaching on the wrongfulness of homosexual activity will change, which it won't.
All are welcome in the Church, lobby groups and all. But they need to be truthful: if they get invited in for tea it won't mean that Church teaching can change. As it happens, they weren't. And it won't because it can't. - Joanna Bogle - H/T Jackie
Story links: They were identified on the list of attendees only as a “group of lay people accompanied by a Sister of Loreto.”
From CNN: New Ways Ministry was recognized simply as a lay group of Catholics, not one that speaks for the LGBT community. The Vatican didn't grant members' request for a special private audience with Francis, nor did anyone acknowledge their calling out to him that "we are gay and lesbian Catholics," DeBernardo said.
So my friends - don't be upset. Clear up misunderstandings as they arise, but 'be not afraid'. Catholic teaching can't change. All are welcome - all are not endorsed. Maybe Fr. Z could have a mug struck with that? He doesn't have to pay any royalties for it either - it's copyright free.
UPDATE: As might be expected, Deacon Kandra has the scoop here.
Archbishop Georg Ganswein, head of the papal household and the top aide to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, responded to New Ways’ request for a papal meet-and-greet by reserving tickets for the group at Francis’ weekly public audience in St. Peter’s Square. It’s not a private meeting — which is tough for anyone to get — but it’s not nothing. - DK