The United States Embassy to the Holy See is flying the rainbow flag to mark LGBT Pride Month, a move critics say shows disregard for the historic teachings of the Church.
“The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See celebrates #PrideMonth with the Pride flag on display during the month of June," the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See tweeted Tuesday. "The United States respects the dignity and equality of LGBTQI+ people. LGBTQI+ rights are human rights."
The move comes as Pride Month festivities launch worldwide this month.
The U.S. embassy is not located inside the borders of the Vatican City city-state but is in the same compound as the U.S. embassy to Italy.
“I am thoroughly disgusted. In my opinion, given the Catholic faith's stance on homosexual activity, such an action has less in common with attaining and promoting equal rights for people than it does a slap in the face to the Catholic faith for its stances,” said Catholic children’s author John McNichol in a social media post, as reported by LifeSiteNews.
“It is, regrettably, an action typical of the current American administration's hostility to authentic Catholicism,” he continued, adding that “[w]hat is most troubling is that the minions of the Democratic party now feel comfortable in giving the proverbial finger to the Vatican.”
Echoing McNichol, conservative commentator Erick Erickson also took to social media to voice his displeasure.
"Will the US also fly the rainbow flag at its Saudi and Pakistani embassies or do they only virtue signal where no one will respond to their PR stunt?" Erickson asked in a tweet.
In March, the Vatican reasserted its opposition to same-sex unions, stating that any priestly blessing of such union is not valid in the Church's eyes.
Tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy observed that though the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See flew the LGBT Pride flag, it curiously “did no such thing in Saudi Arabia where being gay is punishable by death.”
“Welcome the Woke new world,” he quipped.
Catechism 2357 of the Roman Catholic Church speaks of chastity and homosexuality. It states that "Sacred Scripture" presents homosexual acts as sinful and that tradition has consistently held they are “intrinsically disordered.”
“They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved,” Catechism 2357 states.
LGBT Pride Month occurs in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots over 50 years ago. The series of violent scuffles began in the early hours of June 28, 1969, between the police and gay rights activists outside of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in the Greenwich Village area of New York City.
In June 2015, the U.S. Supreme court legalized same-sex marriage, overruling the states that either made laws or amended their state constitutions in previous years prohibiting gay marriage.
The embassy's flying of the LGBT flag comes on the heels of a legislative proposal from Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., that would bar flying of any “political” flags from atop any U.S. embassies.
Called the Stars and Stripes Act of 2021, the measure came as a response to the State Department’s decision to fly the Black Lives Matter flag on the anniversary of the police killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day 2020.
"It is inappropriate for President Biden and Secretary Blinken to authorize and encourage the display of inherently political flags that are in no way affiliated with the U.S. Government over American embassies overseas," Malliotakis said in a statement.
Given BLM’s goal of defunding police departments, flying the organization’s symbol is an “insult to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our flag and our nation,” she said.
In April, it was reported that the Biden administration would allow U.S. embassies to fly LGBT rainbow flags from May 17 through the end of June, reversing a Trump-era policy in which only the U.S. flag was allowed to fly at embassies.
A cable from Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges embassies to decide if it is appropriate for them to fly the LGBT flags “in light of local conditions.”
State Department officials were told to follow the “do no harm” policy to prevent a backlash against the local LGBT population.
Andrew T. Walker, an associate professor of Christian Ethics and Apologetics at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky, took to Twitter to voice his thoughts on the LGBT flag flying at the U.S. Embassy.
"Are we going to get any anguished think pieces on the compromised moral witness of Biden-voting evangelicals now that LGBT flags are flying at the US Embassy to the Vatican and proposed tax-payer funded abortion is a thing?" he asked. "Or does that Narrative only flow in one direction?"
"Or, maybe what we’re learning is that voting rationales are complex, layered, and all the shame heaped on Trump-voting Christians by their Cultural Betters was either simplistic or in bad faith?" he added.