In Italian Catholic Dioceses to overcome the homophobia: prayer vigils led by local bishops
Article by Luciano Moia, published in the Catholic newspaper Avvenire on May 16, 2018, page 18
«Jesus, who through his Crucifixion and Resurrection frees all of us from sin and death, has made the acceptance and recognition of the other the paradigm of the Kingdom of God in the world». It is a quote from a prayer proposed by the Archbishop of Palermo, Corrado Lorefice, on the occasion of the International Day Against Omophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).
This is an opportunity to be close to the human fragility, an opportunity that in many dioceses will open to reflections and ecumenical prayer vigils on the theme “The truth will make you free” (Jn 8:32), together with associations that often are marginal such as the LGBT Christian groups.
There are several meetings organized for tomorrow the 17th of May. In addition to Palermo, where this prayer composed by the Archbishop has been spread among the parishes of the diocesis and where a torchlight procession is scheduled to start from Square Ruggero Settimo at 7 pm, other meetings are scheduled in Parma, Sanremo, Lucca and Alessandria. In other communities such as instead Rome, Trieste and Bologna several meetings have been held the past few days. Tonight at 6pm the event will be in Syracuse. Tomorrow at 9 pm in Lucca at the diocesan Caritas, for an initiative organized by the diocesan group for homosexual Christians “Camminando s’apre cammino”.
In Florence, tomorrow at 9 pm, vigil and torchlight procession by the Kairos group with the participation of many religious movements and congregations. A letter from the Dominican Sisters Union Saint Thomas (of Florence) recalls their ten-year commitment alongside homo-sexual Christians, explaining how this apostolate allowed them to move away “from the temptation, always lurking, of reasoning through abstract categories without meeting the real people: on the “homosexual” label we have been able to replace faces and real stories that over the time we have learned to know and to love “. The letter ends with the hope that there will be a day “in which a” pastoral care for homosexual persons “will no longer be necessary so that they may find themselves at home in every ecclesial environment and feel welcome in the pastors’ hearts“.
In Turin, tomorrow at 8.45 pm, it is scheduled an evening of pray at the Waldensian Temple in via Principe Oddone. Father Gianluca Carrega, diocesan responsible for the pastoral care of homosexual people, has sent out a communication in which he recalls that “truth is an essential tool to be free“. A task of discernment that concerns all areas of life and that should not be limited to the social one.
“It is not possible to point out to the others and to the society the right path of liberation – emphasizes Carrega – if the truth about ourselves has not been found yet. This is why it is important that these days of vigil are not just a declaration of what is happening around us, but also an opportunity to better know ourselves and make us enlightened by the truth of the Gospel».
Between Saturday and Sunday many other events in other communities, including Cagliari, Naples and Reggio Emilia. In the Emilian city, the prayer vigil (8.45 pm, Regina Pacis parish) will be presided by Bishop Massimo Camisasca. Authoritative choice to end the controversies triggered by those who claimed to organize prayers of “reparation”. «Is such a proposal necessary for the unity of the Church?», asks Camisasca himself in a statement, explaining his decision to preside over the vigil.
Also in Genoa, on Monday 21, Catholics will pray for the overcoming of homophobia at the church of San Pietro in Banchi. While in Milan an ecumenical vigil and candlelight vigil are scheduled for Tuesday 29. The last appointment is on 22nd June, in Cremona, organized by the diocesan group “Alle querce di Mamre”. Bishop Antonio Napolioni will preside.