Mumbai Archbishop: Calling Gays Sinners Is 'Wrong'

9.9.2013

By Andrew Belonsky

Remarks came after Pope's "I don't judge" comment.

Earlier this summer, during a Catholic sermon at St. Thomas Church in the Indian town of Goregaon, a priest told his parishioners that homosexuality is a "great sin." Unsettled by what they heard, members of the LGBT group Queer Azaadi Mumbai (QAM) wrote a letter to Mumbai Archbishop Oswald Gracias to ask for clarification. Was the priest speaking for himself or the entire church? Based on the church's past, it could easily be assumed the priest in question was preaching Catholic dogma, but according to Gracias, that's not the case. Not completely, at least.

"…Some of what the priest said is alright and some part is inappropriate," Gracias wrote to the group in an August 31st letter obtained by the Hindustan Times. "The Church does not accept gay marriage because the Bible teaches us that God willed marriage to be between man and woman. On the other hand, to say that those with other sexual orientations are sinners is wrong. I do think we must be sensitive in our homilies [sermons] and how we speak in public and I will so advise our priests.”

It's worth noting that Gracias's response came a little over a month after Pope Francis said he does not judge gay people. Are we witnessing a sea change in the Catholic Church, or is this simply a PR campaign in sheep's clothing?

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