For Press Inquiries

Francis DeBernardo
Executive Director, New Ways Ministry
Office: (301) 277-5674
Cell: (240) 432-2489

Most Recent Press Statement

For previous statements, see below

March 24, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   For information, contact: Francis DeBernardo, mobile: (+1) 240-432-2489

Catholic LGBTQ Ministry Decries Church Leaders for Coronavirus Statements

Statement of Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry

 MOUNT RAINIER, Maryland–Two high-ranking Catholic leaders have blamed the coronavirus pandemic on LGBTQ people, displaying rash irresponsibility in a time when the world is already suffering from danger, fear, and instability.

Bishop Ramón Castro of Cuernavaca, Mexico, included transgender youth as one of the evils for which he claims God has caused the virus to infect the world.   Cardinal Raymond Burke, a U.S. prelate currently living in Rome, said that churches should be open for Masses and prayer services because he claims the world is in grave danger, in part because of sexual and gender identity equality.

These irresponsible messages from highly-placed church leaders will only incite desperate people seeking an “enemy” behind the virus to perpetrate acts of violence toward LGBTQ people.  Instead of saving lives, the bishop and cardinal are endangering them.

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.


New Ways Ministry is a 43-year old national Catholic ministry of justice and reconciliation for LGBT people and the church. For more information visit:


  • March 25, 2020: Group denounces clergy for blaming LGBTQ people for coronavirus


  • New Ways Ministry Praises Pope Francis For Condemning Persecution of Lesbian/Gay People