The Spanish Jesuits have shown their support for LGBT Pride, publishing an article on their website encouraging homosexual people by saying “each person must be proud to be as God created them”.

Ahead of Madrid Pride Week July 1-5 – which this year will take place online, due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Jesuit José María Rodríguez Olaizola penned an article in which he condemned the fact that LGBT people are still subject to “contempt, rejection or persecution” more than fifty years after the Stonewall riots that marked the beginning of the Pride movement.

Rodríguez Olaizola also called the Church to overcome its “incomprehension” still of the realities of LGBT people and to commit to a “greater and better integration, welcome and acceptance… of their need and their right to love”.

One day no Pride will be necessary

(Source: José María Rodríguez Olaizola, SJ, PastoralSJ; translation: Novena)

This year there will be no floats, no parades, no crowds… There are those who will miss it, and those who will breathe a sigh of relief instead. Also within the LGTBQ world, there are those who will regret the lack of this explosion of publicity and visibility, and those who, at the opposite extreme, will be happy that other paths must be sought to separate the demand for the dignity of homosexual people from the parades with all their mixture of publicity, visibility, marketing, frivolity and defiance.

One day there will be no need for Gay Pride or any other Pride. The day when everyone recognises the dignity of people, of each person, without sexual orientation being something that undermines it or calls it into question for some mindsets. The day when someone’s coming out of the closet is not news, because it is pure normality.

The day when they pass into history the contempt, rejection or persecution that in a distant 1969 led a group of homosexuals to stand up to the police who were raiding the Stonewall Inn because the mere fact of being homosexual in public was a scandal.

And the day when, also as a Church, we will have advanced towards a greater and better integration, welcome and acceptance of the reality of homosexual people, of their need and their right to love, and will have overcome the doses of incomprehension that still exist in some people of the Church towards the reality of LGTBQ people.

But that day has not yet come. There are still many homosexual people who live in torment because they feel judged. Many teenagers are looking for their place but hearing only mockery and derogatory comments, sometimes in family surroundings and from their loved ones – who cannot imagine that “that” could happen in one of their own.

There are still many mindsets for which “having a gay child” is a tragedy, a shame, something to hide, and that is why the son, the daughter, has no other way to go but to find their own pride without letting themselves be beaten down.

And yet, in the Church, there is too much silence in the face of some declarations and wordings that do not respond to the pastoral reality of our communities, parishes, groups and spaces of accompaniment.

There are too many people who reduce sexual orientation to gender ideology, and turn that identification into an alibi for not listening to the testimonies of so many homosexual Christians who only ask to feel a little more at home when it comes to being in community. Too much slander and too little blessing.

Each person must be proud to be as God created them. Because, in the end, homosexuality or heterosexuality is not someone’s whimsical decision. It is part (and only part) of who a person is.

More stories on Novena on LGBT+ rights:

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Maltese rainbow Catholics come out in support of LGBTQ groups expelled from Archdiocese of Detroit

Catholic Irish armed forces head chaplain tells LGBTQI+ soldiers “we have much to learn from your courage”

Madrid LGBTI+H Christians respond to ultra-Catholic queerphobic attacks with even more “love”, “forgiveness”

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PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. University ethics lecturer with 4 years' experience in religion journalism.