Members of New Ways Ministry -- an advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Catholics -- have made three pilgrimages to the Vatican, under three different popes.
But only once have they been treated like VIPs.
That's the treatment the roughly 50 members of the Maryland-based group got -- much to their surprise -- for Pope Francis' weekly address Wednesday in St. Peter's Square, according to Francis DeBernardo, the group's executive director.
"It's really an incredible honor and an incredible step forward for the LGBT community to be recognized," he told CNN from Rome.
Sign up for our free e-mail list to see future vaticancatholic.com videos and articles.