Coincidentally, a gay and lesbian prayer vigil outside Springfield's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception came just hours after a letter from the Vatican suggesting a step toward tolerance of homosexuals. The event, from the Human Rights Campaign, was scheduled before the Vatican document came out. The national HRC and its foundation chose Springfield because of recent attention Bishop Thomas John Paprocki garnered with his conservative writings.
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Lisbeth Melendez Rivera, the foundation's Latino and Catholic initiatives director in its Washington offices, says Paprocki is well known to gay and lesbian Catholics. “I must continue to be an active participant … to raise our voices, knowing that we have seen change in the past, we'll see change in the future, and, hopefully, that change means the inclusion of our lives and recognition of our humanity,” she said.