“Make Amends Not Apologies” A Response to Pope Francis’ Apology Effort to Gays.

Apology?  Yes, thank you – but it’s time to make amends!

I’ve been taught that to make an amends is to “right” a “wrong.”  In the case of the Pope’s apology to LGBTQ individuals – what we really need is an effort on his part to ‘right’ a ‘wrong’ – and what’s wrong is the church’s teaching on homosexuality – period.   

The root cause of LGBT violence, hatred and discrimination is religion!  There is no other basis for it – not science, not psychology, not sociology – only religion! 

For years, many religions have been teaching that homosexuality is a disease like alcoholism, that gays are defective or disordered, that homosexuality is the result of original sin.  It is not true.  Being gay is not the result of Adam and Eve, but rather it is the result of God's abundant and infinite love and it represents one of the ways human beings can share God’s love with one another.  Love is love is love is love is love.

This past weekend I had the privilege of representing Rising Voices of Faith at the “Welcoming Catholic Communities” booth at the St. Louis Pride Fest where I had the chance to meet and talk with Catholics and others who feel abandoned and rejected by their church and church leaders because they are gay.  Their hurt and pain is real.  An apology will help – it is the first step and long overdue.  But we need more than an apology. 

In the wake of the Orlando massacre, the time has come to end hatred and discrimination where it begins – by changing the religious teachings that have given so many individuals permission to hate, discriminate, hurt and harm those who are gay.   

Call to Action, whose mission it is to “inspire and activate Catholics to act for justice,” recently began a “No More Hate” campaign “challenging the Catholic Church to open up communications with the LGBTQ communities in order to end the hate that so many LGBTQ Catholics experience when they go to church.”  They write:

“Until we come together and expunge the hateful rhetoric and discriminatory teachings coming from and in the name of our Church, we contribute to the strife and violence directed towards LGBTQ communities.”

Make amends not apologies!

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