The fallout continued this week following the pope’s suggestion that the church should apologize to gay and lesbian people during his flight home from Armenia on June 26. (In fairness, Pope Francis also said an apology was due from the church “to the poor, to exploited women, to children exploited for labor…for having blessed many weapons.”)
The pope’s call for Christians to offer an apology to gay and lesbian people was also carefully welcomed this week by Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego. “I think it opens up a very helpful pathway to dialogue and hopefully healing,” he said. Pope Francis, Bishop McElroy said, brings to this dialogue with L.G.B.T. Catholics who feel marginalized by or alienated from the church a “renewed and deepened focus on the questions of accompaniment and the mercy of God for all of us.”
“We all walk together in a life of virtue and discipleship,” Bishop McElroy said, “and all of us fail at times.”
He adds: “We have to begin to incorporate that mercy into the depths of our hearts and souls in ways that are going to be uncomfortable for us…. We all need to be shown mercy; it is something that binds us together, not differentiates us.”
“What we need to project in the life of the church is ‘You are part of us and we are part of you.’ [L.G.B.T. Catholics] are part of our families.”
Source: America Magazine
Several days ago, Bondings 2.0 reported on Munich’s Cardinal Reinhard Marx’s call for an apology by the Church to lesbian and gay people. His call for apology preceded that of Pope Francis by several days. The cardinal made his remarks at a press conference in Ireland last week, after he had given a speech at a meeting on church and state relations.
Our blog post was based on information from an IrishTimes news story. Since that time, The National Catholic Reporter (NCR) filed a story on Marx’s speech, bringing to light some other, stronger comments he made while meeting with journalists.
“Marx, who is president of the German bishops’ conference and a member of the pope’s advisory council of nine cardinals, called on not just the church to apologize to gays and lesbians, but society as a whole, which he said was implicated in this ‘terrible scandal.’
” ‘The history of homosexuals in our society is a very bad history because we have done a lot to marginalize them. It is not so long ago and so as church and as society we have to say sorry.’ “
Source: Bondings 2.0