Statement by Bishop Murry on Pope Francis Comments on Homosexual Persons
Statement By Most Reverend George V. Murry – On Pope Francis’ Comments on Homosexual Persons
July 30, 2013
While speaking to reporters on his way back to Rome from the World Youth Day celebration in Brazil, Pope Francis stated:
“If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge that person? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this point beautifully but says, wait a moment, how does it say, it says, these persons must never be marginalized and ‘they must be integrated into society’.”
Through his comments, Pope Francis reaffirmed our Church’s long held teaching that the Church welcomes and is open to all people, homosexual or heterosexual. At the same time, the Pope went on to remind the faithful that all genital sexual activity belongs within the context of a marriage between one man and one woman.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) states that homosexual persons:
“… must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.” (CCC, paragraph 2358)
As a consequence, the Church remains concerned about any form of violence against homosexual persons and holds that such violence is never acceptable.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church simultaneously reminds us to remain steadfast in our commitment to an authentic vision of sexuality rooted in the Gospel message and the Teachings of the Church. All of us are called to live chaste lives, prior to marriage, during marriage itself, and as one who lives out his/her vocation as a single person.
Pope Francis’s remarks assure us of the abundant love that God has for each person, made in His own image and likeness. Within the Diocese of Youngstown, we will continue to minister to our Gay and Lesbian brothers and sisters with respect and compassion while assisting them on their life journey to the Lord.