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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 1, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 27
Pope says: We should apologize to Gays

Catholic League boss says: Gays should apologize to me
Section One
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Pope says: We should apologize to Gays

Catholic League boss says: Gays should apologize to me

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

If Pope Francis really aims to change his church's approach to LGBT people, he has his work cut out for him.

The Pope said on Pride Day, June 26, that the Catholic Church should apologize to Gays, but less than 48 hours later the head of the US-based Catholic League demanded that Gays apologize to him.

Francis offered the off-the-cuff remarks on a plane as he was flying home from an official visit to Armenia. As he often does, the Pope called reporters traveling with him to an informal 'gaggle' in the plane's cabin.

One reporter asked the pontiff about a German cardinal who reportedly said that the Catholic Church owes Gay people an apology.

'I repeat what the catechism of the Catholic Church says: that [Gays] must not be discriminated against, that they must be respected and accompanied pastorally,' Francis replied.

'The Church must ask forgiveness for not behaving many times - when I say the Church, I mean Christians! The Church is holy; we are sinners!

'I believe that the church not only should apologize to the person who is gay whom it has offended, but has to apologize to the poor, to exploited women, to children exploited for labor; it has to ask forgiveness for having blessed many weapons.'

The Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor at large of America magazine, called the Pope's apology to Gays and Lesbians 'a groundbreaking moment.'

'While St. John Paul II apologized to several groups in 2000 - the Jewish people, indigenous peoples, immigrants and women, among them - no pope has ever come close to apologizing to the LGBT community,' Martin noted.

'And the Pope is correct, of course. First, because forgiveness is an essential part of the Christian life. And second, because no group feels more marginalized in the church today than LGBT people.'

Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, a Catholic Gay rights group, called the Pope's remarks 'an immense blessing of healing.'

'No pope has said more welcoming words to LGBT people than when Pope Francis today offered his recommendation that the Church - indeed all Christians - should apologize for the harm religious traditions have caused to LGBT people. The pope's statement was simple yet powerful, and it fell from his lips so easily.'

The Catholic League's Bill Donohue was not so easily convinced, however. In a June 28 interview with CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, Donohue bristled at the suggestion he would apologize to Gays.

'Do you feel like apologizing to the LGBT community?' Cuomo asked.

'No,' said Donohue. 'As a matter of fact, I want an apology from gays! I've been assaulted by gays. I've never assaulted a gay person in my entire life!'

Donohue went on to recount a story about 'being assaulted by lesbians' and then rattled off a list of his contributions to disenfranchised communities.

'I don't want to have a lifestyle thrusted in my face, though!' he shouted.

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Pope says: We should apologize to Gays

Catholic League boss says: Gays should apologize to me

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