October 9, 2015 at 6:00 am EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Archbishop: Countries need ‘time to deal with’ homosexuality

Pope, gay news, Washington Blade

An African archbishop who is in Rome to attend a three-week meeting on the family on Oct. 8, 2015, said countries need “time to deal with” homosexuality. (Photo by Jean-Pol Grandmont; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

An African archbishop on Thursday specifically discussed homosexuality during a Vatican press conference.

Vatican Radio reported that Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckley of Archdiocese of Accra said countries need “time to deal with” homosexuality and other “issues from our own cultural perspectives.” He also highlighted the need for “the dignity and rights of all God’s sons and daughters need to be upheld,” as Vatican Radio reported.

Palmer-Buckley’s comments come four days after he and other Catholic bishops began a three-week gathering in Rome during which they will vote on a document that specifically addresses the family. Leaked drafts indicate that it reiterates the church’s opposition to unions between gays and lesbians.

Davis Mac-Iyalla, a gay Nigerian man who received asylum in the U.K., was among the LGBT Catholics who gathered in Rome earlier this month ahead of the start of the bishops’ meeting.

Mac-Iyalla on Thursday noted to the Washington Blade the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Nigeria has supported anti-LGBT measures in his homeland, including a 2014 law that punishes those who enter into a same-sex marriage with up to 14 years in prison. Mac-Iyalla added African religious leaders should “stop colluding with governments in persecuting LGBT people.”

“I want to ask Archbishop Palmer if he did speak to any LGBT people before coming to attend the synod,” he told the Blade. “LGBT Africans are available to engage with the church in Africa, but the church must create the safe space.”

The bishops began their meeting in Rome a week after Pope Francis returned from the U.S. and Cuba.

The Argentine-born pontiff has taken a more moderate tone towards marriage rights for same-sex couples and homosexuality since he assumed the papacy in 2013, although the Vatican’s position on these issues has not changed.

Yayo Grassi, a gay man that Francis taught at a Catholic high school in Argentina in the 1960s, and his long-time partner had a private meeting with the pontiff on Sept. 23 at the Papal Nunciature in Northwest Washington.

Grassi told the Blade earlier this week during an interview at his D.C. home that Francis apologized for the “hurt” his comments against Argentina’s same-sex marriage law had caused him. Grassi also said the pontiff was “fooled” into allowing Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses to gays and lesbians because of her religious beliefs, into a group of people he greeted at the Papal Nunciature before traveling to New York.

“He said I have never said any of those things that the press is publishing about me,” Grassi told the Blade, referring to Francis’ response to his criticisms over Argentina’s same-sex marriage law. “He said as a matter of fact he never expressed himself about this question. And he ended up by saying something that to me is so important. He said believe me, in my pastoral work there is no place for homophobia.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

5 Comments
  • How bout you deal with them as fellow human beings? Radical, I know.

    • yeh and stfu about gays getting married – these clowns- most of the vat in rome must still think its a choice

      it sure was a choice for the church for centuries to hide the endless molestation of children, due to their stupid not natural celibacy policy which turned then into sexually immature molesters

      Keep ratning church, its your priveledge as last may the most catholic nation in the world – N. Ireland voted62% for changing the constitution to allow gays to marry

      Amazing how some people dont get it. due to being brainwashed from birth

  • How about make amends for the atrocious persecution the powerful religious bullies have heaped on them.

  • “countries need “time to deal with” homosexuality and other issues from our own cultural perspectives”

    Wake up man! Homosexuality is not some new fabrication just popping into existence yesterday.
    The church and communities have had centuries and centuries and centuries to “deal with it”.
    The enormous volume of science and understanding on homosexuality has been building up for over a century now.
    You have had two milleniums to get to this point and still you demand more time?

    Homosexuals dont have time to wait another thousand years for the stubborn to hoist their lazy carcasses into action. They and their families and their supporters will simply bid you farewell and be done with you.
    If you think you have the power to brutalize them into staying with you, think again.

    The church’s standpoint on homosexuality is holding it back as humanity moves forward.
    The world will not wait for the stubborn.
    The church’s sluggishness will be the death of it.

  • Perhaps no news report has more starkly exposed the lies and duplicity of Pope Francis regarding both his personal homophobia and his papal homophobia than that of the Blade’s.
    https://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/10/07/popes-gay-friend-speaks-out/

    Grassi’s affection and loyalty to an old friend and mentor is understandable. But a pope’s unmitigated lies and flat denials to a friend of his very public homophobia are not.

    Bergoglio’s/Francis’ comments are a matter of public record. Is Francis an arrogant, intentional liar? Or perhaps a delusional old man in denial of his homophobia?

    http://www.salon.com/2013/03/14/pope_francis_on_gay_rights_his_5_worst_quotes/

    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/cardinal_bergoglio_hits_out_at_same-sex_marriage

    Now, Francis’ defenders want us to believe Pope Francis’ personal denial to his gay friend of his, 1) history of very public homophobia as well as, 2) his Vatican’s denials of its intentional connection to Kim Davis.

    Why?

    Apparently, because we should all know, of course, that popes and the Vatican have never lied about a thing, huh?

    Continuing to exhibit homophobic hate (intense dislike and animus) in papal words and deeds, for a whole class of Catholics, as Francis did (as recently as his speech to seminarians in Philadelphia, btw) renders Francis a liar and a fraud.

    Fool us once? But for millions of LGBTs, both Catholic and non, Francis’ church is only slightly better than, in part, a hate group targeting gays while falsely posing itself as Christ-like.
    ——————-
    “He said I have never said any of those things that the press is publishing about me,” Grassi told the Blade, referring to Francis’ response to his criticisms over Argentina’s same-sex marriage law. “He said as a matter of fact he never expressed himself about this question. And he ended up by saying something that to me is so important. He said believe me, in my pastoral work there is no place for homophobia.”

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