Spanish Jesuit Issues Pride Week Letter in Support of LGBTQ Equality

Fr. José María Rodríguez Olaizola, SJ

A Jesuit sociologist in Spain has expressed support for the LGBTQ community by publishing a letter in favor of LGBTQ equality. The letter was posted on his order’s pastoral ministry website to celebrate Madrid’s Pride Week, which took place in the beginning of July.

Fr. José María Rodríguez Olaizola, SJ, composed the letter entitled, “One Day Pride Will Not Be Necessary,” reported Novena News.

The letter begins by reflecting on the lack of Pride parades this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Olaizola points out that some in the LGBTQ community will “regret the lack of this explosion of publicity and visibility,” while others will be happy for the opportunity to use other paths to pursue LGBTQ equality. Olaizola then gives an eschatological vision: a day when there will be “no need for Gay Pride or any other Pride.” In this utopic future, “everyone recognises the dignity of people, of each person, without sexual orientation being something that undermines it or calls it into question for some mindsets.” According to Olaizola, the day will come when:

“As a Church, we will have advanced towards a greater and better integration, welcome and acceptance of the reality of homosexual people, of their need and their right to love, and will have overcome the doses of incomprehension that still exist in some people of the Church towards the reality of LGTBQ people.”

Olaizola is very aware that such a day has not yet come:

“In the Church, there is too much silence in the face of some declarations and terminology that do not respond to the pastoral reality of our communities, parishes, groups and spaces of accompaniment.

“There are too many people who reduce sexual orientation to gender ideology, and turn that identification into an alibi for not listening to the testimonies of so many homosexual Christians who only ask to feel a little more at home when it comes to being in community. Too much slander and too little blessing.”

“Each person must be proud to be as God created them. Because, in the end, homosexuality or heterosexuality is not someone’s whimsical decision. It is part (and only part) of who a person is.”

Olaizola’s letter and the fact that it appeared on a website of the Jesuits of Spain are important signs of Catholic leadership showing public support for the LGBTQ community. This “out” and open support for LGBTQ equality is a step towards achieving the “one day” about which Olaizola dreams, when every person can be proud to be the person God created them to be.

Madeline Foley, New Ways Ministry, August 3, 2020

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