For Immediate Release
Contact: Jim Naughton, 202-288-5125
Equally Blessed laments Pope’s disparagement of LGBT people, families
Coalition of four Catholic groups offers “healthier, godly” vision of human family
WASHINGTON, D. C., December 21–Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican bureaucracy have released a number of troubling statements in recent days disparaging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and speaking against their right to be treated fairly in civil society.
In L’Osservatore Romano, historian Lucetta Scaraffia compared proponents of marriage equality to 20th-century communists who wooed millions with their promise of perfect social and economical equality.
In an address released earlier this week, the pope labeled same-sex marriage as a threat to world peace. Yesterday, in a speech to Vatican bureaucrats he denounced what he described as people who manipulate their God-given gender to suit their sexual choices — and destroying the very “essence of the human creature” in the process.
These harsh statements are particularly dispiriting at this sacred time of year when families that include LGBT children, parents and grandparents gather to celebrate the birth of the Christ child. We could find fault with Ms. Scaraffia’s historical comparison, or the pope’s rigid and outmoded understanding of what it means to be a man or a woman. Instead we remember that Jesus, when asked by messengers from John the Baptist whether He was the Messiah, told them to go back and tell John about what they saw happening all around them: the sick were being healed, the lame made to walk and good news was being proclaimed to the poor.
What we see when we look around us are heterosexual parents loving their LGBT children and advocating for their dignity and equality; same-gender couples creating safe and happy homes for their children; and transgender people like those whom the pope criticizes living healthy, mature, and generous lives.
Increasingly Catholics in the United States and around the world see what we see. Catholics, following their own well-formed consciences, are voting to support equal rights for LGBT people because in their churches and communities they see a far healthier, godly and realistic vision of the human family than the one offered by the pope. We commend it to him for his consideration.
Equally Blessed is a coalition of four Catholic organizations that have spent more than 120 years working on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families. Collectively and individually, Call To Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, and New Ways Ministry are devoted to informing, supporting and giving voice to the growing majority within the Catholic Church in the United States that favors equality under law for LGBT people.