John M. Becker

Mexican Catholic Bishop: Homophobia is 'Mental Illness'

Filed By John M. Becker | August 22, 2013 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: bishops, Catholic bishops, Catholic Church, Catholicism, homophobia, José Raúl Vera López, mental illness, Mexico, pro-equality priests, pro-LGBT clergy, Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholicism

bishop_lopez.jpgNo, you're not reading that headline wrong; no, it does not contain any typos; and no, it's not from The Onion.

In an interview with Terra Mexico posted yesterday, José Raúl Vera López -- the Roman Catholic bishop of Saltillo, Mexico -- spoke out forcefully against homophobia. Bp. Vera said that people must stop using the words of the Bible to bash LGBTs, and that when one reads the Bible within its proper historical context, it becomes crystal clear that it does not condemn homosexuality as we understand it today.

The bishop reserved his harshest criticism for homophobes:

"Why would I immediately think a gay or lesbian person is perverse or depraved the moment they approach me? That's how people who are homophobic react. It's a mental illness in which you see gays as depraved and promiscuous. You have to be sick in the head for that."

Watch Bishop Vera's remarks, with English subtitles, after the jump.

Blogger Andrés Duque notes:

Yesterday's interview is not the first time Bishop has supported LGBT issues. The AP says that he backed a same-sex civil unions law in the region and was called to the Vatican two years ago to explain an outreach program he organized for gay youth.

He has also received death threats for his outspokenness.

Kudos to Bishop Vera for being brave enough to speak out against homophobia. Here's hoping that his example will embolden more pro-LGBT members of the Roman Catholic clergy to do the same.

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