Last January, a group of high-ranking Catholic clergymen issued a statement of support for LGBTQ+ youths as an assurance that the church stands alongside them. The powerful message of their statement is that Catholicism teaches to not discriminate on whom to respect, and love even if they are lesbians and gays. The church does not condone any acts of bullying, harassment, or violence against these youths.
The clergymen who issued the missive include Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Archbishop of Newark, NJ, retired auxiliary Bishops Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit and Dennis Madden of Baltimore; Bishops John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky; Steven Biegler of Cheyenne, Wyoming; Edward Weisenberger of Tucson Arizona; and Robert McElroy of San Diego.
Apparently, they deemed it important to let the LGBTQ+ community know that God loves them because God created them, and that the Almighty is on their side. LGBTQ+ youths have been the victims of numerous violent acts, and in many cases, are unable to get the support they need from their own families. Some became homeless as a result of rejections, while a higher number have committed suicide.
Through the Tyler Clementi Foundation, the cardinals, archbishops and bishops took the opportunity to call on:
“All people of goodwill to support and stand in solidarity with them, as well as defend LGBT youths, as they are also God’s children who need help so they can live a life of virtue.”
After learning of the statement released by the group of church leaders, Auxiliary Bishop John Dolan of San Diego likewise expressed approval of the action they took.
American Jesuit Reverend James Martin and author of the book “Building a Bridge,” who endorses the inclusion of the members of the LGBT+ in churches, remarked that the group’s statement is a huge step and that he even considers it as historic.
Message of Support of LGBTQ Youths Still Does Not Advocate Same Sex Marriage
Although the message conveys acceptance of LGBTQ+ youths and of the Catholic church’s unwavering support for them, their faith still regards homosexual activities as acts of the “intrinsically disordered.”. Many church leaders in the country are still heavily opposed against the idea of allowing same-sex marriage. There are still no indications that acceptance of the practice will be endorsed even among transgenders.
Nonentheless, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, known for being an opponent of same-sex marriage, endorsed the statement calling for the protection of the LGBTQ+ community. The archbishop said he is appreciative of the Church’s awareness and care for individuals struggling with their sexual identities, especially those being rejected by the very people who are supposed to love them, as well as those being victimized by bullies.