Catholic Bishop Holds Mass for LGBT Community, Stresses Need for Civil Disagreement

Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego
The California headquarters for the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, California. |

A Roman Catholic Church bishop recently oversaw a mass for the LGBT community and their family members, with an emphasis on both being welcoming and having respectful disagreement.

Auxiliary Bishop John Dolan of the Diocese of San Diego oversaw the mass on Saturday at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.

The worship service was held in honor of the 20th anniversary of the release of the Catholic Church pastoral document "Always Our Children," which focused on how to minister to parents with homosexual children.

The San Diego Diocese directed The Christian Post to a copy of Bishop Dolan's homily, in which he noted that "Always Our Children" received criticism from both liberals and conservatives.

A man is shown here holding on to a flag representing the LGBT community during the South Asia Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Sports Fest in Kathmandu, Nepal. |

"It was too left-leaning for some; even though the bishops then made it clear that the letter was not breaking any new ground on sexual morality, chastity, and mature sexual development according to Sacred Scripture and Tradition," said Dolan.

"The document was also too right-leaning for others; especially as the language used in the document regarding homosexuality seemed stilted and even offensive to many in the gay community."

Dolan went on to note that since the release of the pastoral message, dialogue between the Church and the LGBT community has not always been "fruitful or civil."

"Ad hominem attacks and lies about those with whom we disagree must always be avoided," continued Dolan.

"Civil discourse and fruitful dialogue cannot be forfeited by those who uphold the teachings of the Church and/or by those who struggle to incorporate our teachings within their personal lives."

The Saturday mass was not without its critics, as a small number of Catholics protested outside of the church, with one telling the San Diego Union Tribune that she considered the "Always Our Children" document "flawed."

"The Church is bending with the cultural zeitgeist. The Church is bending with the times and with the pervasiveness of homosexual activism throughout the country and indeed the globe," said the protester, as quoted by the Tribune.

"And we feel the Church should stand strong as a bulwark against cultural trends. ... Our concern today is the Church is becoming too accommodating to homosexuality."

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