Florida bishop on Orlando attack: Sadly, religion ‘often breeds contempt’ for LGBT people


In the wake of the terrorist attack on a gay Orlando nightclub, St. Petersburg, Fla., Bishop Robert Lynch lamented the role religion has played in breeding contempt for the LGBT community.
“Sadly it is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people,” Lynch wrote on his blog Monday. “Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence.”

The bishop’s comments came a day after a gunman, Omar Saddiqui Mateen, killed at least 49 people and injured another 53 early Sunday morning at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. While the federal investigation into Mateen’s motives is not complete, his father has told media outlets his son had recently expressed anti-gay sentiments.

“Those women and men who were mowed down early yesterday morning were all made in the image and likeness of God,” Lynch said. “We teach that. We should believe that. We must stand for that.”



I think blaming Christianity generally, and Catholicism in particular for murderous hatred of homosexuals is extremely misplaced. Nothing in Catholicism calls for that. What in Catholicism does he have a problem with when it comes to homosexuality, one wonders.


:clapping: I applaud Bishop Lynch for his words and may God bless him.


We do have a bad habit of rating the sins of others as worse than our own. I am reminded of a recent reading of the parable of the Pharisee who thanked God that he was not like a repentant sinner. We forget sometimes that we are only where we are by the grace of God, as well as just how horrible we fail God. It is hard to have contempt for another if you remember your own wretchedness.


:thumbsup: No consensus on many of the issues he discussed but his earlier statements for example speak more clearly.

The president and his secretary for Health and Human Services are willingly and willfully precipitating a constitutional crisis by causing this assault on the freedom of religion at the federal level. Their judgement cannot be allowed to stand. I am certain that our church will pursue both judicial and legislative relief in the days and months coming. I also believe that we will prevail in the end, most likely in the judicial approach. The latest action follows the denial of funding to a respected agency (Migration and Refugee Services) of the church to help female victims of sexual trafficking heal from the terrible wounds inflicted on them in this country. Why? Because the church agency refused to provide abortions and contraception as options for these women.

The lofty and hopeful words of the president at the time of his speech at Notre Dame three years ago about freedom of and respect for the religious conscience of all have been rendered questionable at best. What a tragedy and what a shame.

Those of you who have known and watched me over the 16 years it has been my privilege to be your bishop know that I have until now refrained from engaging in political discourse. But this is now a moral issue and the timing by the president leaves me no option but to inform you of what is happening which I believe to be an assault on the sacred. I and my brother bishops did not choose this moment, the president and Secretary Sebelius did.

I write to you in the hope that you might better understand the high stakes involved in this matter and that our efforts to overturn and reverse last week’s decision can be the beneficiary of your prayers and support. For additional information on this matter, I refer you to the diocesan website (dosp.org) and to my personal blog articles which can be accessed through the same address.

John Carroll, our nation’s first Catholic bishop, and the early Catholics of the 13 original colonies came to these shores to escape precisely this form of religious intolerance and tyranny. For well over two centuries we have enjoyed the pluralistic benefits of their vision for freedom for all religions in this land of plenty. We just wish to be left alone to follow the dictates of our conscience. This is indeed the worst assault on religious freedom by the federal government in a long time. It cannot be allowed to stand.

Wishing you every peace and blessing of this New Year, I remain

Sincerely yours in Christ

But I can understand the peaceful communal and ecumenical dialogue.


Some very odd comments from the Bishop. Lot’s of criticism leveled at Christians, Catholics, and guns, but none for Muslims and homosexuals, despite the fact that the shooter was a Muslim. On top of that, every recent survey I see indicates that a majority of Catholics in America now support Same Sex Marriage, so I’m just not seeing this contempt he’s referring to. I’ve never heard a practicing Catholic, or practicing Protestant for that matter, advocate violence against homosexuals. I don’t believe the Westboro Baptist Church even advocates violence.And yet after the second greatest terrorist attack in US history, which obviously was carried out by an Islamic radical, he criticizes Catholics by name but not Muslims.


I second that.


We need to thank him for speaking out. Very few Bishops are saying what he has said.


GT, why does that not surprise me? :thumbsup:


I agree.






Patheos just did a piece on the infamous Pastor Steven Anderson.

But I will say this: The Bible says that homosexuals should be put to death, in Leviticus 20:13. Obviously, it’s not right for somebody to just, you know, shoot up the place, because that’s not going through the proper channels. But these people all should have been killed, anyway, but they should have been killed through the proper channels, as in they should have been executed by a righteous government that would have tried them, convicted them, and saw them executed. Because, in Leviticus 20:13, God’s perfect law, he put the death penalty on murder, and he also put the death penalty on homosexuality. That’s what the Bible says, plain and simple.


And Westboro? I would agree that they don’t promote violence. However, their key tag line is: God Hates Fags. To me, that’s pushing the line pretty close.


If our Catholic religion targets, mostly verbal, and also breeds contempt for gays, lesbians, and transgender people, I want nothing to do with it. Did the Bishop really say this and does our religion actually teach this? :confused:


With all due respect to His Excellency (a respect not always given to the bishops), this betrays a serious lack of prudence on his part. Also, we may say, that it gives rise to serious misunderstanding. A certain contempt for LGBT people is in fact praiseworthy, if that contempt is directed to them being sinners as sinners. It is even lawful, according to Gregory the Great and St. Alphonsus to will certain evils befall them, if one can see that it will lead to their repentence, or for the benefit of society.

It would have been better had he just said “offering prayers for those who died”, and left it at that.

Benedicat Deus,


Im all for reform and progressive I might add but gun safety is a unthinkable proposal in this social religious zealot climatic period imo. When the death toll with radical Islam is what this week, just in my quick reading its well over 100 world wide just with Isis? How many laws have been forced through in the name of fear and public safely? Patriot act, TSA? what else? I;m sorry it simply doesn’t resemble prudence but stinks of bad politics with bad timing.


Will evil to befall them? :confused:


While I would not thank him, I do agree there is a valid issue to be raised.

The church generally has vented perhaps too much rancor toward that particular sector. True, no-one likes to have “alternative morality” shoved up their nose. But our LORD never named us the morality police, either.



Yes, this… On another forum I visit conservative Christians and guns were blamed, conservative Christians blamed indirectly-even thought the shooter was not a Christian, and as you stated I have never heard any conservative Christian group ever advocate violence against the LGBT community.


The bishop is intelligent to know that leveling criticism at homosexuals in a statement about the shooting would be taken by some as these victims getting what they deserve. It would be the height of insensitivity. As for Muslims, he used the general term “religion” because he is a shepherd. Shepherds take care of the sheep. Reading some of the comments I have today, there is plenty of room in the Catholic flock for conversion.

And no, contempt for our fellow man is never praiseworthy. Contempt for the dead, doubly so.

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