In Italy the bishop’s prayer for overcoming homophobia
Article by Paolo Rodari published on the newspaper “La Repubblica” on May 16, 2018, page 14
A prayer for overcoming the homophobia has been written by a bishop, Monsignor Corrado Lorefice, in the same time that a report by ILGA-Europe highlights the enormous delay of Italy in the fight against homophobia (32nd place in Europe). The Metropolitan Archbishop of Palermo suggests to read this prayer in the parishes and to recite it tomorrow during the twelfth edition of the ecumenical vigil “No to discrimination“.
While in Italy and beyond the borders there is no a lack of extreme right-wing groups – including associations wich define themselves Catholic- promoting reparatory processions against the spread of the homosexuality, the gesture of the Bishop (elevated at the Palermo by Pope Francis) remains a courageous sign in a Church, sometime too silent about these topics.
Lorefice, who built his theological education on the writings of Cardinal Lercaro and Dossetti and who has been a collaborator of Don Pino Puglisi, strongly believes that the Church’s attention to the poors and the outcasts shall be mainly theological rather than social and cultural. He writes: “While we firmly deplore that homosexual persons have been and are still subjected to malicious expressions and violent actions, we pray that Christians, living on the grace of the Gospel, bear witness and proclaim, with prophetic audacity, the unconditional respect due to each person and denounce all forms of discrimination and marginalization“.
Lorefice’s position is widely supported by his peers. «We have to stop to do preventive screenings of the people we want toapproach”, said Monsignor Domenico Battaglia, Bishop of Cerreto Sannita, Telese and Sant’Agata de ‘Goti, during a meeting in Rome dedicated to fragility with the support of Don Luigi Civili from the Associazione Cavalieri di San Martino del Monte delle Beatitudini. And he continues: “We do not have to look for who our neighbor is, we have to make ourselves eachother neighbors“.
Also in Reggio Emilia the vigil of pray for “overcoming homophobia, transphobia and any discrimination” will be led by Bishop Massimo Camisasca, an other important event. After the opening in a parish in Bologna, the vigils will be hosted in other dioceses, such as n Lucca at the local Caritas and in Cremona. “It is important – wrote Don Gianluca Carrega, in charge of the pastoral care for the homosexual persons of the diocese of Turin – 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“.
Original Text: La preghiera del vescovo contro l’omofobia