Marianne Duddy-Burke, the leader of Dignity USA, said Sunday she is “disappointed” in the synod’s decision to pull back from its earlier welcoming and respectful language toward LGBT Catholics and return to the same sort of disheartening language her community has heard for decades.

“On an intellectual level, it’s not surprising. The bishops in leadership around the world are the result of appointments by John Paul II and Benedict,” she said. “That’s the reality. Emotionally, it’s always hard to have a welcome mat put out and then yanked away.”

Dignity is the nation’s foremost organization of LGBT Catholics offering liturgy and support to those who do not feel included and equal in Catholic parishes. Duddy-Burke, a married lesbian raising two daughters in Boston, was featured with her family in Crux last week.

She said conservative bishops have been “very vocal and relentless in their pushback” and that to make changes before the synod next year – and before Pope Francis makes his decision on the status of LGBT Catholics – the left in the Church must make an equally strong commitment to change.

“Remember, this is our Church,” she said. “If we see things happening, people being turned away from Communion or being fired for who they are or for getting married or whatever, we need to say, ‘You cannot do this in my name.’ We need to speak up to the bishops and tell them what we expect of them.”