London's LGBT Catholics respond to Orlando tragedy

The LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council has issued this statement in response to the Orlando massacre:

LGBT Catholics in London express their solidarity with their sisters and brothers in Orlando, following the homophobic and transphobic violence perpetrated in Orlando, Florida, on 12 June. Having ourselves been born, as a worshiping community, out of the 1999 Admiral Duncan Soho bombing when three people were killed and 83 people injured, we know only too well that such violent attacks on our communities are never far away.

LGBT targeted hate-crimes must be recognised for what they are: assaults on the precious dignity of each human being as 'wonderfully created as God's work of art' (Psalm 139). We call upon religious leaders of all faith traditions to recognise the reality of the Orlando outrage. We specifically call upon our Catholic leaders to acknowledge how the language of some official documents on sexual orientation can, in fact, incite and support those who commit such violence.

Official Church teaching should be reaffirmed, unequivocally: " It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church's pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law." (Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1986)

We therefore repeat our call to the 2015 Synod urging Pope Francis and Vatican Departments to support the global decriminalisation of homosexuality, with an end to the use of the death penalty and torture for LGBT people. In this way we can together, people of God and all those committed to the common good, rid Church and society of systemic, institutional homophobia and transphobia and its violent outcomes.

The statement has been sent in a message of solidarity to Orlando's LGBT Centre. A special prayer was read at the Farm Street Mass, 12 June 2016, welcoming LGBT Catholics, parents and families: We pray for the 50 people who lost their lives this morning in the terror attack on the gay night-club in Florida. for the injured, and for their families and loved ones. May the risen Christ be with all who have most need of him.

Note: The LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council, based at London's Farm Street Jesuit Church, is mandated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, to promote LGBT pastoral care in Westminster Diocese.

Tags: Admiral Duncan, LGBT, LGBT Catholics, Orlando

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