Tuesday , 18 December 2018

LGBT Catholics Welcome Pope’s Call For An Apology to Gays

Pope FrancisLGBT Catholics have welcomed Pope Francis’ call for Christians to apologise to gay people and others marginalised by the Church.

On his flight back to the Vatican from Armenia, he told journalists: “I repeat what the catechism says: that they (LGBT people) must not be discriminated against, that they must be respected and accompanied pastorally.” He also said the Church must ask forgiveness, adding: “I believe that the Church not only should apologise to the person who is gay whom it has offended, but has to apologise to the poor, to exploited women, to children exploited for labour. It has to ask forgiveness for having blessed so many weapons.”

He also repeated comments he made in 2013, asking: “Who are we to judge?”

London based Gay Catholic activist and blogger Terence Weldon wrote in article published on his blog site Queering the Church and on the home page of Quest, the UK’s LGBT Catholic group: “Let us offer profound thanks that Pope Francis has gone where none of his predecessors could – he’s asked of the whole Catholic community ‘who are we to judge?’. This alone will enrage his many detractors on the orthodox Catholic right to heights not previously seen.”

Jesuit priest and editor of “America: The National Catholic Review” Rev’d James Martin S. J. described the Pope’s statement as “a groundbreaking moment” adding: “While St John Paul II apologised to several groups in 2000 no Pope has ever come close to apologising to the LGBT community. And the Pope is correct. First, because forgiveness is an essential part of Christian life. And second, because no group feels more marginalised in the Church today than LGBT people.” On his twitter feed, he has written: “If you can’t understand how the church has marginalised the LGBT community, then you’ve not been listening to the LGBT community.”

Many LGBT Catholics acknowledge that Francis has yet to make any changes to Church doctrine. As Terence Weldon wrote: “…a simple apology for harm is not enough, on its own. There needs to be an admission of how the harm was done, and how it is inextricably linked to core sexual doctrine.”

The implications for the Catholic Church in Scotland are still unclear. Erin Byrne, Press and Research Officer at the Scottish Catholic Media Office, told Kaleidoscot: “Only Pope Francis can issue an apology on behalf of the whole Church. We pray for and await his guidance on how we should respond locally.” However, in the light of the Pope’s focus on mercy and inclusiveness and the increasingly liberal attitudes within the Church of Scotland and the Scottish Episcopal Church, LGBT Christians in Scotland are increasingly able to play a full part in the work of whichever denomination they belong to.

About Kevin Crowe

Kevin Crowe
Kevin and his husband Simon live in the Highlands where they ran, before retiring, a bookshop, art gallery and restaurant. Kevin previously worked with young homeless people and an HIV/Aids worker. He describes himself as a Socialist, is out within the Roman Catholic Church and has over the years been involved in various voluntary activities, including LGBTIQ groups. Until recently he was a committee member of Highland LGBT Forum and a tutor on the Inverness based Pink Castle Philosophy Club, and is currently convenor of the Highland LGBT Writers Group. Since the late 1960s his poetry, fiction and non-fiction have appeared in numerous magazines, web site and anthologies.

Check Also

Femme Brutal 1-2

SQIFF 2016 – Full Festival Programme Announced!

Scottish Queer International Film Festival 2016 Full programme announced for SQIFF 29th September – 2nd ...

One comment

  1. Look very carefully to see what he apologised *for*.

    It was for offence.

    Apologies for offence are a classic form of diversionary non-apology, like apologies for inconvenience. Apologising for offence or inconvenience relate to your response not to the faults of character or bad acts the apologiser committed. When people say, “We apologise for any offence caused,” they are NOT saying, “We apologise for our crassness/cruelty/dishonesty/intolerance, etc.” It’s like saying, “Oh, well, if you’re so constituted that you’re offended by what we say, OK, apologies for offence, but we’re not changing what we say and do and are.”

    Comparably, think of the way PR people ‘apologise for any inconvenience caused’, which locates at least half the problem in your pesky schemes and priorities. They don’t apologise for their ineptitude, lack of consideration, penny-pinching, etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>