Mumbai's LGBT community reacts online to Goregaon priest's anti-gay sermon

Published: August 5, 2013

 Following a sermon at St Thomas Church, Goregaon, where the priest allegedly defined homosexuality as ‘ a great sin’ and opposed gay marriage, some members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community have taken to discussing the issue on social media, and also plan to write a complaint letter to the Archbishop.

A parishioner, who is also a member of Queer Azaadi Mumbai (QAM) and among those who heard the sermon last week, said the priest brought up the issue in light of gay marriage being legalised in England recently, and went on to condemn homosexuality and gay marriage.
“He referred to homosexuality as a ‘great sin’ and launched an attack on gay marriage. I heard from my friends that such sermons were also given in a Dahisar church recently,” said the parishioner, requesting anonymity. 
“QAM members have decided to write to the Archbishop about the issue. We are drafting the letter and will send it over the weekend.”
LGBT activist Harish Iyer, who recently figured among the 100 most influential LGBT people in the world, put up a post on Facebook where he discussed the sermon.
The sermon took place just a day before the Pope said that homosexual people should not be judged or discriminated against. 
Pope Francis had said to the international media: “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
Father Nigel Barett, spokesperson of the Archdiocese of Bombay, said that issues related to morality are often discussed in churches and priests always represent the stand of the church. 
“I will verify if the statement was made at the church, and if need be, we will ask the priests to deal with the issue in a more sensitive manner. But whatever the priest may have said is the stand of the Catholic Church which is that homosexuality is against natural law,” 
he said. “Pope Francis had said that we should not be judgmental of homosexuals. But he never said homosexuality was not a sin.”
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