The Catholic and evangelical churches where they will watch for the victims of homophobia (12 to 29 May 2011)
Jonathan Project, May 12, 2011, translated by Kathryn
The period of prayer vigils for the victims of homophobia is now taking place from the 12th to the 29th of May in 18 Italian cities and in 8 cities worldwide, including Spain, Peru and Kirghizistan, for the fifth consecutive year.
The vigils take place in a variety of churches, Valedsi (an Italian Protestant Church), Catholic and Baptist, in collaboration with local associations of LGBT Christians.
This year a number of prayer vigils will, in some cases for the first time, take place in Catholic churches. This is the case in Milan where the Diocese of Cremona has for the third consecutive year granted permission to use one of their churches (last year the Bishop Lanfranconi presided over the vigil), but also in cities such as Padova, Genova, Florence or Bologna.
Unfortunately, this openness is not the case nationwide. In Palermo, the Archbishop has prevented the parish priest from the parish of S. Lucia from carrying out the prayer vigil that was planned for the 12th of May.
This prayer vigil was organised by the LGBT Christian group “Ali d´Aquila”, in collaboration with the Christian community Kairos, the Catholic Community of San Franceso Saverio, the local Valdese Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Palermo.
The action of the Diocese of Palermo comes exactly one month after the group “Ali d´aquila” sent a letter to the Archbishop and his deputy, asking for their support for the vigil: “We would like that this moment of prayer be the first step towards the start of a dialogue with you, pastors of this Diocese and brothers in Christ, that we feel is urgent and essential for our life as Christians. In response, the parish priest who had wanted to support the prayer vigil was ordered to suspend it.
The organisers of the Palermo vigil, in response to the decision of the local church authorities, have decided to hold the prayer vigil nonetheless on the 12th of May, in the square in front of the Church of Santa Lucia.
They desire to “continue to pray even before a closed door”, in communion with the many moments of prayer that this year will take place in Christian communities in 26 cities united in prayer, to remember the victims of homophobia, for “God has taught us not to label profane or impure any human being” (Atti 10, 28).