Julio Lancellotti shared photos of himself with trans women on Instagram. (Instagram)
A priest has won praise from his followers after he delivered a powerful message of love and solidarity with trans people.
Father Julio Lancellotti, a Catholic priest from Sao Paulo, Brazil, shared photos of himself with transgender women on Thursday (7 January) and spoke out in favour of equality.
Lancellotti, who has more than 340,000 followers on Instagram, captioned one post: “Fighting discrimination and prejudice is an endless fight.”
On a second photo, he said: “We are all children of God,” and urged his followers to “always accept, never discriminate”.
Lancellotti’s support for Brazil’s trans community may come as a surprise to some, given the Catholic church’s regressive stance on trans rights.
However, the priest is well-known in the country as a well-spoken advocate for equality. He has made a name for himself as a strong ally to the LGBT+ community, and he has repeatedly spoken out in favour of queer people’s rights.
Lancellotti, 72, has also worked tirelessly with homeless people throughout his long career. In 2018, he won acclaim on social media when he shared a video of himself asking a homeless trans woman for forgiveness for the appalling treatment she had endured at the hands of Brazilian society.
Catholic priest Julio Lancellotti praised as ‘wonderful’ by followers.
The Catholic priest has won acclaim from his followers for promoting love and equality for trans people.
“You are wonderful,” one person commented.
“Thank you for spreading love,” another wrote.
Another commented: “This priest is a true follower of Christ.”
Julio Lancellotti has been recognised for his work in the past by the Brazilian bar Associations’s Human Rights Committee.
He has continued his advocacy work, where he meets with vulnerable people, throughout the coronavirus pandemic, despite the fact that he is higher risk due to his age.
Lancellotti’s advocacy for trans people is in stark contrast with the position of the Catholic church.
In 2019, the Vatican claimed in a document that “gender ideology” is a “move away from nature” – and Pope Francis has been staunch in his opposition to trans acceptance.
However, the pope turned heads in May 2020 when he donated much-needed funds to a group of trans sex workers in Italy who were struggling as a result of the pandemic.