A church in Kentucky has marked the final night of Pride month with a "Service of Atonement and Apology to the LGBTQ+ Community.”
Saint Paul Catholic Church said the service was an apology for "the Church's lack of respect, compassion, and sensitivity and for unjust discrimination."
Previously, the congregation had been told to “disrupt the status quo” surrounding sexuality and the church.
Led by the director of LGBT ministry, the service included a “Call to Prayer,” during which the director said: "We gather to celebrate our unique diversity that has not always been celebrated, not always held sacred.
"We gather to seek reconciliation for the hurtful words and actions of the Church toward LGBTQ+ siblings and their families and friends."
Outside the church, a sign reads: “LGBT and Catholics. Family, friends and allies. All are welcome.”
In their mission statement, the church affirms their stance, referencing Pope Francis’ call to “create a culture of encounter.”
In a letter, the director said: “"The words the Church uses to describe me still sting, but I believe we are witnessing the evolution of doctrine, so I have hope. I know many LGBTQ+ persons – far too many – have been hurt by the Church and many have left.
"So have their families and friends.
"LGBTQ+ persons left with good reason: to survive.
"Apologies aren't coveralls for the past wounds, but they are a beginning."