Raul Vera Lopez, the Catholic bishop of Saltillo, Mexico, has criticized homophobes, calling them “sick.”
Mexican Bishop Raul Vera Lopez of Saltillo, Mexico, has a proud record of standing up against injustice of all kinds, whether inflicted by the state, the Mexican druglords – or the Church. Instead of criticizing gay Pride or Pride Mass celebrations, he has in the past celebrated Mass for the diocesan “Communidad San Elredo” (Community of Saint Aelred), complete with prominent rainbow flag.
Recently he was in the news for baptizing the child of a lesbian couple, which prompted a direct question about his thoughts on homosexuality, in a wide-ranging interview in El Pais:
Q. Not long ago you baptized the daughter of a lesbian couple. What do you think about homosexuality?
A. That is a topic that we have refused to address. The people who say homosexuals are sick are sick themselves. The Church needs to come to them not with condemnation, but with dialogue. We cannot cancel out a person’s richness just because of his or her sexual preference. That is sick, that is heartless, that is lacking common sense.
El Pais (emphasis added)
That much has been picked up in the gay press, at On Top magazine (where I first saw the report). Similarly, when he described homophobia a year ago as “mental illness”, Bilerico carried a report. For LGBT Catholics though, the fuller context in the El Pais story reveals much more for us to think about, on three counts.