Two ranking church leaders have blamed LGBTQ people for the coronavirus pandemic currently spreading globally and imperiling billions of lives.
Cardinal Raymond Burke issued a letter last week advocating that, despite public health officials’ guidelines against doing so, Catholics should be able to worship at churches. Decrying the alleged ills of modern society that necessitate such worship, Burke wrote, per The Advocate:
“Worship is particularly needed now because of ‘how distant our popular culture is from God,’ he wrote, noting abortion and euthanasia, then attacking the LGBTQ equality movement, particularly activism for recognition of transgender identity.
“‘We need only to think of the pervasive attack upon the integrity of human sexuality, of our identity as man or woman, with the pretense of defining for ourselves, often employing violent means, a sexual identity other than that given to us by God,’ he said. ‘With ever greater concern, we witness the devastating effect on individuals and families of the so-called “gender theory.”‘ Burke went on to say, ‘There is no question that great evils like pestilence are an effect of original sin and of our actual sins.'”
Burke was once a high-ranking U.S. archbishop and head of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican court, but has been repeatedly demoted under Pope Francis. He has an incredibly anti-LGBTQ record. Burke once compared lesbian, gay, and bisexual people to murderers. He advocated for the denial of Communion to supporters of LGBTQ equality, suggesting Irish voters were “worse than pagans” when they overwhelmingly approved equal marriage by referendum. And he attacked gay priests as a problem in the church. These outbursts are in addition to his role leading the resistance to Francis, including fierce opposition to Amoris Laetitia and the Synod on the Amazon.
In Mexico, Bishop Ramón Castro Castro of Cuernavaca said the pandemic was God “beating us to reflect” on our sins, including affirming transgender children. Proceso reported that after attacking abortion and assisted dying:
“[Castro] immediately pointed out that there is also the issue of gender choice that boys and girls want to have.
“‘Let the children wait to see what gender they want to be. That a boy decides to be a girl or a girl who wants to be a boy. Ah geez! Surely God says: “Hey children, where are you going? Wait a moment, wait a moment, they are my children and I love them, and I want them and I love them, and I am merciful. They are going into an abyss.'”
Castro later warned that the virus tells humanity not to “play God,” but rather to recognize human beings’ fragility.
Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, issued a statement about the remarks by Burke and Castro, condemning them as displaying “displaying rash irresponsibility in a time when the world is already suffering from danger, fear, and instability.” DeBernardo continued:
“With no scientific evidence—because none exists—these churchmen have exploited the world’s most dangerous modern public health crisis to promote their own biased and prejudiced views of LGBTQ people. The lack of scientific knowledge about the virus mirrors their lack of scientific knowledge about LGBTQ people. The combination of these anti-intellectual perspectives is a volatile mixture.
“Pope Francis should remove both men from public ministry for dangerous and irresponsible language about LGBTQ people, and also for promoting ignorant disinformation in the midst of a global health crisis. The Catholic Church, a worldwide religion already widely discredited, cannot ignore such recklessness.”
For DeBernardo’s full statement, click here.
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, March 25, 2020