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Archbishop of Mumbai: Catholic church ‘never considered gay people criminals’

Thursday, December 12, 2013

MUMBAI — The Archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, said Wednesday that the Church has “never considered gay people criminals.”

Cardinal Oswald Gracias

AP (File)
Cardinal Oswald Gracias

Referring to the Supreme Court of India ruling that reinstated a law banning homosexual acts, Cardinal Oswald Gracias — one of the Pope Francis’ eight closest personal advisers and a member of the Council of Cardinals advising the Pope on Curial reform — said “the Catholic Church has never been opposed to the decriminalization of homosexuality, because we have never considered gay people criminals.”

“As Christians, we express our full respect for homosexuals,” said Gracias.

“The Catholic Church is opposed to the legalization of gay marriage, but teaches that homosexuals have the same dignity of every human being and condemns all forms of unjust discrimination, harassment or abuse,” he said.

The Cardinal’s remarks came as India’s Supreme Court overturned a 2009 ruling by the High Court of Delhi which decriminalized homosexual acts.

The High Court said it was up to Indian lawmakers in parliament to legislate the issue.

According to Section 377 of India’s criminal penal code, a 153-year-old colonial legacy as British imposed law, a same-sex relationship is an “unnatural offense” and punishable by a 10-year jail term.

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76 more reader comments:

  1. He’s lying

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 3:46am
  2. really? they need to tell some of the morons here

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 3:47am
  3. They still do!

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 3:47am
  4. …and yet the Catholic Church persecuted them like they were. Funny how that works, huh?

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 3:48am
  5. Radical catholics are the most hipocrates. God does not "hate gays", so neither should the bishops and all the other ones.

    Replied on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:24am
  6. What blows my mind is how so many spiritual leaders (priests, pastors, ministers, etc.) in the Christian faith seem to have forgotten one basic, glaring truth: the Old Testament is a history lesson of how things used to be for them, and the New Testament is how things are supposed to be now. That being the case, all the cruel and barbarous rules from the Old Testament went out the window once Christ came along, and he never said anything bad about same-sex relationships. Think about that... so many spiritual leaders using their holy bible as a smorgasbord, picking and choosing what to promote, only preaching what supports their own personal agendas of bigotry and hatred. It's terrifying to think of how many people have been misled and lied to by these corrupt church leaders.

    Replied on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:29am
  7. Catholic church is a scam

    Replied on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:49am
  8. I'm queer, I'm not catholic, and yet I have never felt at all badly treated by catholics or the catholic church.

    Replied on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 9:30am
  9. Fucking lies

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 3:50am
  10. Why would any one think gays and lesbians criminals? That I just don’t understand.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 3:50am
  11. Well gee that’s nice of them…..but apparently the catholic church didn’t consider their pedophile priests as criminals (you know actual criminals who committed crimes unlike gay people who haven’t committed any crimes) Try again catholic church. You’re pretty transparent on your stand with gay people….try again.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 3:51am
  12. Ok I have to say this.

    My family is extremely religious. They are Catholic. Me, eh, not so much.

    However, my parents may be opposed to same-sex marriage, but they treat EVERY SINGLE GAY PERSON WITH RESPECT AND DIGNITY.
    They understand not everyone is straight. They understand though that people are people. They all need love and respect and dignity. So I’d like to say that NOT EVERY CHRISTIAN IS CRUEL TO GAY PEOPLE/

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 3:52am
  13. It makes me so mad when they say all of them are retards because of what they believe. They believe in God. They live in God's word. I live with my parent's. I am more agnostic than anything, yet we ALL GET ALONG

    Replied on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 3:53am
  14. I appreciate your sentiment, but this goes deeper than being outright cruel to a segment of society. If you (not specifically you, but collectively "you") are fundamentally preventing a group of people from being recognized as regular, everyday, functional human beings with the same basic rights as the as the masses, then it is not respectful. It's polite disrespect. I don't say this with piety. I say this as someone who has been in the closet, and has learned to recognize the difference between kind discrimination, blatant disregard, and heartfelt equality. I do agree with you that not every Christian is cruel toward gay people; that's something that we can all greatly appreciate.

    Replied on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:04am
  15. That''s true. I will agree

    Replied on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:05am
  16. Saying your parents respect and treat everybody with dignity, but that they are opposed to same-sex marriage, that's double-talk: it's a contradiction. If they honestly had respect for everybody, they would accept the fact not everybody will, or even has to, believe and follow what they do. They would accept the idea of equality as a basic human right, not sit by and repeat their religion's mantra of persecution (gays shouldn't get married).

    Replied on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:06am
  17. I am gay but do not believe in God so a marriage is not for me. But a civil partnership would be great :)

    Replied on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 5:23pm
  18. No- you just talked shit about us since the Middle ages fool.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 3:54am
  19. Someone to me “if god hates gays then why is there a rainbow when after it rains ” now to me this SOB is lying so bad and he is doing a bad job of it

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:00am
  20. NEVER? The Church has NEVER considered gay people criminals?

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:06am
  21. if that’s the case than why is homosexuality illegal in india? >:(

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:07am
  22. That's not so much a Catholic Church thing as it is a governmental bigotry thing, fueled by fundamentalists and the ignorant.

    Replied on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:20am
  23. Lying sack of shit. The Catholic Church has persecuted the LBGT community of centuries.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:08am
  24. Agree

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:09am
  25. Nah, just “inherently evil, unnatural, and sinful”.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:18am
  26. He believes that being a Bishop makes him Like a God…WTF

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:31am
  27. He believes that being a Bishop makes him Like a God…

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:34am
  28. This comes from that Catholic Church which was a party to the suit against de-criminalization in the Indian Supreme Court.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:35am
  29. I guess there’s a difference between “sinner” and “criminal”?

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:53am
  30. Is he new? Lol

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 5:12am
  31. When the Jesuits came to India….they called the hijras worthless profilgates! They were part of the colonialist ideal.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 5:18am
  32. And yet there are places in this world where you can be jailed or put to death for being gay? …seriously?

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 6:01am
  33. The Cardinal lies and there is a public record of his statements to prove it. The Catholic Church, along with reactionary Hindus, Muslims and the surging evangelical movement in India, helped the reactionary Supreme Court of India overturn marriage equality. Expect much repression in the months ahead. Be careful LGBT Indians. They are out to persecute and kill you.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 6:02am
  34. Say again ?! Expelling gay priests … preaching that being gay is against God’s will and human nature and we’re all going to hell for that …

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 6:29am
  35. I’m glad not Christian ( otherwise I’d be classed as twat) read the bible ( New testament not the old)

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 6:42am
  36. So they just hate us for fun? xD

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 7:10am
  37. nope just the walking dead and scape goats for all the world’s ills.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 7:28am
  38. Sorry, I don’t approve of the church….Magic virgins? Talking snakes? come, now.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 7:36am
  39. We are all gods children, regardless of who or what we are.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 7:55am
  40. Sorry I don’t believe you Mr Archbishop….HIstory gives to us the true story of the facts and deeds of the Catholic church against the LGBTQ community…..WHICH IS HYPOCRISY….This is just another press releases to make the Catholic church look all WARM AND FUZZY AND LOVING….AND IT IS NOT.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 7:56am
  41. Honestly, the Roman Catholic Church is messed up as the U.S.’s government. They say one thing and then the other. Both just need a BIG meeting to organize everything.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 8:43am
  42. *U.S.

    Replied on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 8:43am
  43. aha!

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 10:22am
  44. Does not change the fact though that the Catechism of the Catholic Church call gay acts “intrinsically disordered,” (see CCC #2357) contrary to psychological findings. :P

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 11:05am
  45. It is wrong to think that way of Gay people.. he should preach the Gospel of laterz love. God is love and we’re all his children. Gay Bisexual Heterosexual lesbian . All share a common father..

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 11:19am
  46. Nope not criminal but they certainly dont see us as human either. So glad I turned my backbon

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 11:36am
  47. The arch bishop though alonhg with the Catholic church must go the distance and sanction guy weddings as well. It is not enough to say that gay folks are not considered to be criminals.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 11:41am
  48. They weret criminals – they just executed them ….. for fun ?

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 11:50am
  49. This is a total lie. The Catholic Church handed over Jews and Homosexuals to the Nazi’s…as long as St. Peter’s would not be bombed and the Nazi’s would respect Vatican territory.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 11:50am
  50. How nice of the Catholic Church -_-

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 1:00pm
  51. Yeah and I was born yesterday

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 1:21pm
  52. Now that is some epic rewriting of history! Sorry ArchBishop its a no fucking way are you getting away with that malarkey

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 1:25pm
  53. All religions, no matter which one, fucks us all. We become narrow minded, fearful, orthodox, conservative, traditional, and extremist. Men made religions drive humans crazy that they end up killing, hating…in their religion’s name.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 1:46pm
  54. The most progressive view among Indian religious hypocritical bigotries.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 1:49pm
  55. cult members are criminals.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 2:00pm
  56. “never” really ? that’s a lot of crap !

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 2:05pm
  57. Tell that to all the LGBT people who are harassed, assaulted, and killed simply because of who they are. The church does nothing to discourage that and many times promotes intolerance. Saying things like this serve no purpose except making bigots feel better about themselves.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 2:11pm
  58. Another lying sack of crap Cardinal.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 2:34pm
  59. a little bit hypocritical don’t you think?

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 2:38pm
  60. Never is too long cardinal…really? Lets talk seriously once in a life… People are tired of the same bullshit again and again… There is only four controversial and strange passages in the bible about homosexuality and it was always wrong translated. From where do you stand on your truth? From nowhere.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 2:39pm
  61. I consider catholic my self & gay but I not agree with the churches thoughts.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 2:46pm
  62. Denying a dark past does not contribute to progress. Own up to your faults, make reparations in the present, and build a better future.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 3:03pm
  63. The he’s no of the church god knows everybody and we are all made in a image of god and there’s meany creeds

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 3:55pm
  64. How are these people in powr?

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 4:31pm
  65. My fucking ass they dont!!!! So people who were gay were either put in jail to be tortured and die in prison or killed on the spot. Oscar Wilde was put in prison for years and died shortly after getting out. And that was a little over 100 years ago. Are they just going to pretend that never happened?

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 5:36pm
  66. No. Vatican do not “hire” anyone who is openly homosexual to be a priest. So, do not go too far with praising them, for they do not deserve this.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 5:42pm
  67. bullshit. I guess all those people threw themselves into the fire… The word Faggot comes from the term of bundles of sticks used for fires… FROM THE CATHOLICS BURNING TO MANY GAYS…..

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 6:31pm
  68. we hate the sin not the sinners……. bla bla bla shit, Fuck You!

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 7:21pm
  69. Ex squeeze me!

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 8:29pm
  70. Only considered absolute evil and the coming armarggedon, According to the past Pope, who quickly QUIT after the revelation of the Gay Mafia within the Papal hierarchy and financial skullduggery, Pope Benedict.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 9:12pm
  71. What a load of BULLOCKS. Research the origin of the word faggot: we were rounded up, beaten, tarred, and used to burn heretics when there was rain and the “real” faggots were too wet to burn.

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 10:32pm
  72. Then why do they treat us as criminals?

    Posted on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 10:46pm
  73. The catholic church has always, at least in modern times, considered GLBT folks as criminals. Apparently, that church has its head on backwards because they continue to harbor and shield those who are still committing crimes against children. They are the ones who are criminals.

    Posted on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 2:54am
  74. Ahaha. Maybe they should tell that to Turing.

    Posted on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 3:09am
  75. Oh really?

    Posted on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 4:34am
  76. christianity had no damn business goin into asia to begin any way o_/o

    Posted on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 4:35am