The sign. Catholics and evangelicals will pray together for the victims of homophobia and transphobia
Article taken from Popoli (Italy), the international Jesuitical webmagazine, posted on May 11th 2011, translated by Claudio Abate
Also this year the Ecumenical Vigils of prayer for the victims of Homophobia and Transphobia will be celebrated from May 12th to 29th when Waldensians, Catholics, Old Catholics, Methodists, Baptists and Anglicans will pray together to end violent acts against GLBT people.
This fifth edition of the initiative will take place in 18 Italian cities and in 8 foreign cities (in Spain, Perù and Kirghizistan). It is organized by GLBT Christian groups with the support of Gionata, the Italian project on Faith and homosexuality promoted by the European Forum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christian groups.
The several moments of prayer before and after the International day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on May 17th will focus on the meditation about the verse of the New Testament: «But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean» (Acts 10,28).
The vigils will be celebrated in public also in Catholic parishes in Milan, Cremona (where last year the bishop Dante Lanfranconi attended the rite), Padua, Genoa, Florence and Bologna, but not in Palermo where the archbishop mons. Paolo Romeo ordered the parish priest of Santa Lucia not to celebrate the vigil scheduled for May 12th.
The organizers, the gays and lesbians Catholic group «Ali d’aquila», given the impossibility of gathering in the church, stated that they will pray anyway in the square before the sacred building.
Homophobia and Transphobia are serious phenomena that strike also Italy. According to a survey published by ArciGay, in Italy in the two-year period 2008-2009 homosexuals and lesbians were subjected to 125 episodes of violence and aggression, 15 extortions, 9 acts of hectoring, 18 acts of vandalism and 21 murders.
It is a phenomenon which is also present n the South of the world, especially in Africa where homosexuality causes not only discriminations but is also pursued by the law (in some African Countries homosexuality is punished with death penalty).