Vigil in Bergamo: “No to homophobia”. The bishop: “The community must be welcoming”
Article by Carmelo Epis published in L’Eco di Bergamo (Italy), 17 May 2019, translated by Francesco Gagliardi (Tenda di Gionata)
“There are many different conditions, not just homosexuality. Mutual acceptance is necessary to walk together along the path of faith, mediated by culture: the Gospel is eternal, but it must be incarnated in history”. This ia a phrase from the reflections of Bishop Francesco Beschi, last night in the church of San Fermo (in Bergamo), in the prayer vigil for the overcoming of homophobia and intolerance with the theme “A faith that frees, a community that welcomes“.
The prayer vigil – proposed by the community of San Fermo, the group “La creta” and the Waldensian Church of Bergamo – is the first to take place in a Catholic church in our city. Numerous people were present, with the priests of San Fermo; Brother Paolo Giavarini, who spiritually follows the homosexuals of the group «La creta»; Winfrid Pfannkucke, pastor of the Waldensian Church of Bergamo.
The vigil had music, readings of biblical passages and prayers. “We are grateful to the bishop for being among us – said a young man -. This vigil is a sign of welcoming towards people with different ways of life. We must free ourselves from arrogant prejudices, from homophobia and transphobia. Faith requires us to accept everyone, because all people are bearers of history ».
The testimony of the San Fermo adolescent group followed. “This vigil calls us above all as young people. No one must be labeled“. “I am a believer and a homosexual – said another young man -. Our affectivity must not distance us from the Church. We are also a resource for our parishes”.
The speech of the bishop followed on the phrase from the prophet Isaiah “Because you are precious in my eyes“, said by God to the Jewish people in exile. «They are strong words. The Christian community must reflect this gaze towards every person“. This gaze must avoid any kind of contempt.
“Contempt – the bishop continued – is widespread and nourished on many occasions, together with humiliation and rejection. May the gaze of Christians never be like this, but rather may it arouse fraternal citizenship, because every person is the bearer of rights and duties “.