Oceanside man listens to Pope Francis in DC

An Oceanside man was in Washington, D.C. Wednesday to listen to what Pope Francis had to say during his first full day in America.



Nicholas Coppola said that seeing the pope in person was an unforgettable experience. Coppola was invited to be in the audience as the pontiff made his historic visit to the White House.



"He means hope," Coppola said. "His words of encouragement are just words I've never heard."



Pope Francis spoke of the importance of tolerance for everyone, regardless of their beliefs, race or sexual orientation. His address on equality had special meaning for Coppola, who is openly gay.



Two years ago, Coppola was ousted from his parish duties because he married his boyfriend. He had been an active member of St. Anthony's Roman Catholic Church in Oceanside for 10 years. He served at the altar and taught children about the faith, but the pastor stripped Coppola of his duties, saying that same-sex marriage violated Catholic teachings.



Coppola said that his faith remains strong, despite the fact that the church's practice of removing parishioners who marry their same-sex partners is ongoing.



Coppola said he hopes the pope follows his message of inclusion with action. He said he would also like to see the pope meet with members of the LGBT community before he wraps up his U.S. trip.


sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."