Last summer, Pope Francis stated that Christians should apologize for their treatment of gays, reported Delia Gallagher and Daniel Burke on CNN’s website. While some feel this was a historic moment for the Church, others believe they can do better.
Al Vernacc, a gay Germantown resident who teaches English and Sex Education in Wynnewood, stated that the statement was “definitely not enough.”
Vernacc grew up a Roman Catholic, and felt that his sexuality and his church “were fundamental to who [he] was.” He went on to study theology at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.
According to Burke’s article, Pope Francis declared that Christians should not discriminate against gay people, and that “the church not only should apologize to the person who is gay whom it has he offended, but has to apologize to the poor, to exploited women, to children exploited for labor….”
However, he added, “one can condemn…certain manifestations.”
For Vernacc, this was where the problem lay. “The Pope used the word condition to describe who we are.”
He continued, “I’m grateful he is saying things that might make it easier for Catholics who are LGBT to be embraced compassionately by their family, but it’s still nothing close to equality.”
In his late 40’s, Vernacc left the Catholic church due to Church sex scandals and misogyny and now worships with the Quakers, who he says are “more progressive.”
While we can recognize the progress that the Church has made, it seems we can still do more.
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