Archbishop Charles Chaput Says the Catholic Church Needs to Avoid Using the Term LGBTQ

Chaput said there’s no such thing as an LGBTQ, heterosexual or transgender Catholic.

Charles Chaput, the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Philadelphia, reportedly said during a speech in Rome the church should avoid mentioning the LGBTQ term to identify a distinct subset of people in documents as no such thing like an "LGBTQ Catholic" exists. He also denied the existence of "heterosexual Catholic" or "transgender Catholic." His reasoning behind the denial was that the Vatican does not categorize individuals as per their “sexual appetites.” The term LGBTQ, in his opinion, suggests these are actual autonomous groups, whereas the church does not classify people in that manner. Chaput's speech was directed to the members of the Youth Synod, a general assembly bishop’s meeting.

Some Catholic documents use the LGBTQ term to describe queer people. One document is the Instrumentum Laboris, a working document relating to the synod of bishops. As per the document, a few LGBT youths wanted to benefit from the increased closeness and enjoy greater care given by the Church. The financing of such activity was to be satisfied by the various contributions which were received by the Synod's General Secretariat.

Chaput is known for his inflammatory anti-LGBTQ speeches. Many of his recommendations towards the gay community could only be described as out-of-the-way, like gay individuals who engage in regular sex must not receive communion. The archbishop said young individuals are frequently products of their times. As per Chaput, the popular culture nowadays is essentially atheist and a deeply appealing one. He continued on to say that young people are frequently products of their age, shaped in part by confidence and love and through witnessing the activities of their teachers and parents.

Chaput's words are not welcomed by all in the Catholic Church. Francis DeBernardo of New Ways Ministry, a known advocate for the LGBTQ community within the Catholic church, termed the archbishop's statements “dangerous” In his blog post, DeBernardo said the comments mirror the avoidance mentality which is the root cause of the sexual abuse scandal within the clergy. Such a mentality, he affirmed, also causes multiple ills which are presently tearing up the Catholic Church. He said Chaput is a known extremist on the LGBT issue and how the church should address homosexuality. DeBernardo said it is good that not all synod members think along the same lines as Chaput.

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