“God is on your side”

Homosexual couple © Jose Luis Carrascosa (shutterstock)

Several US bishops, including Cardinal Joseph Tobin, have signed a statement of support for homosexual and bisexual youth young transgender persons. "God created you, God loves you, and God is on your side."

So says the statement released by the Tyler Clementi Foundation, which works to combat LGBT bullying in society. In addition to Tobin, the signatories include Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester and five other bishops.

Christianity teaches love and mercy for all people, "especially those who have felt persecuted or marginalized in some way," it says. Catechism states that LGBT people are to be treated with respect, compassion and sensitivity.

God-given dignity of all human life

Catholic Church values "the God-given dignity" of all human life. "We take this opportunity to tell our LGBT friends, especially young people, that we stand with you and reject any form of violence, bullying or harassment directed against you".

Archbishop Wester told the U.S. magazine "America" that he signed the declaration because he knew from his time as a high school teacher that bullying can be particularly harmful to young people who are in a sexual orientation phase.

While the teaching of the Catholic Church considers sexual acts between people of the same sex to be sinful, the archbishop said, at the same time it emphasizes that homosexual people must be accepted "with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. "We have our doctrines, which we value and cherish, but those doctrines must be understood in the proper context of love and mercy."

Criticism of President Biden

On Saturday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had criticized a decree "to prevent and combat discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation" signed by U.S. President Joe Biden. This has potentially negative implications for religious freedom, it said in a statement.

The decree violated the rights of those who believed in differences between the sexes "or uphold the institution of lifelong marriage between a man and a woman".

Already since Biden's election, the bishops have been wrestling over their stance on the new president. Biden is after John F. Kennedy the second Catholic politician to head the United States.

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