US Catholic bishops air support for LGBTQ people in a statement
A group of US Catholic bishops came out with a statement supporting LGBTQ people against bullying and saying, “God is on your side.”
The group comprising of nine bishops– and includes a cardinal and an archbishop– worked with the Tyler Clementi Foundation, which fights LGBTQ bullying in school and work, in releasing the statement.
However, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops had also recently aired “concerns” about the decision of President Joe Biden to extend existing federal protections against sex discrimination to include LGBTQ people.
US Catholic bishops’ support for LGBTQ people
The group that released the statement was composed of the following: Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey; Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Retired Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit.
Also part of the group were: Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego; Bishop Edward Weisenburger of Tucson, Arizona; Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky; and Retired Auxiliary Bishop Denis Madden of Baltimore.
Also signing the statement were Bishop Steven Biegler of Cheyenne, Wyoming and Auxiliary Bishop John Dolan of San Diego.
In their statement, they declared: “All people of goodwill should help, support, and defend LGBT youth.”
They further said that “we take this opportunity to say to our LGBT friends, especially young people, that we stand with you and oppose any form of violence, bullying or harassment directed at you.”
Reverend James Martin, a Jesuit priest who authored a book on advocating for greater LGBTQ inclusion in the Catholic Church, said the statement was “an historic step forward.”
The stance of the Roman Catholic Church
This statement reflects oddly on the problematic relationship of the US Catholic Church with the LGBTQ people, and how they teach that same-sex relations are to be condemned and that gender is immutable.
Likewise, Catholic teaching considers homosexual activity as “intrinsically disordered.”
In relation to this, the US bishops said the Catechism of the Catholic Church “teaches that LGBT people are to be treated with ‘respect, compassion, and sensitivity’.”
Speaking to America magazine, Archbishop Wester said: “We have our teachings, which we prize and cherish, but those teachings need to be understood in the proper context of love and mercy.”
US Catholic bishops’ group oppose Biden order
But the US Conference of Catholic Bishops also expressed the disagreement with the recent move of Biden to extend existing federal protections to the LGBTQ people following the 2020 Bostock v. Clayton County decision.
The statement was signed by chairmen of several major committees: Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York;
Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City; and Bishop Michael Barber of Oakland, California.
Also signing the statement were: Bishop Shelton Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana and Bishop David Konderla of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The bishops argued that Biden’s order based on the Bostock decision “needlessly ignored the integrity of God’s creation of the two complementary sexes, male and female, with reasoning that treated them as devoid of meaning.”
They also said the order goes beyond the intent of the Bostock decision as the latter was focused on cases related to employment. This, they said, threatens the religious liberty of others.
The bishops said the order “threatens to infringe the rights of people who recognize the truth of sexual difference or who uphold the institution of lifelong marriage between one man and one woman.”