A thoughtful answer from the head of Courage, via CNA:
Fr. Philip Bochanski, the executive director of Courage, told CNA that Catholics should keep in mind that Pride events “were originally meant to draw attention to unjust discrimination and harsh and sometimes even violent treatment against people because of their sexual attractions and their understanding of their sexual identity.”
“And a letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith from 1986 goes even further and says: ‘It’s deplorable that homosexual people have been and are the object of violence malice in speech and in action, and that such behavior deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors whenever it occurs,’” Bochanski added.
“The Church has always been in agreement that people who are living with these experiences should not be discriminated against unjustly and should not be treated with malice or violence,” he said.
But the Church also teaches that the answer to the unjust treatment of people identifying as LGBT “is not to change the Church’s teaching or to say that homosexual relationships are good or moral, but the answer really should be to teach the truth more clearly about the dignity of the human person, and call all of our brothers and sisters to a life in holiness which always includes the virtue of chastity, among the other virtues,” he said.Bochanski added that he has some Catholic friends, many of whom are involved in the Courage apostolate, who attend Pride events — though not as participants or marchers.
“They’re there along the route offering words of encouragement about God’s love and the inherent dignity of every person, talking about the virtue of chastity, offering people friendship and support and if they’d like to know more about what the Catholic Church teaches about same-sex attraction, offering them support if they want to understand what chastity means and how to embrace it.”
Still, he said, while it may be good for some people to attend Pride events in order to witness to God’s love and the teachings of the Church, it would be “foolish to ignore the reality” that sometimes, at some of these events, some people display “images that can be lewd and in some cases offensive and scandalous and especially for younger people.”
“(Catholics) have to be very prudent and careful about that reality and not expose ourselves to situations we can’t control that are offensive or obscene, or raise issues that a person is too young to understand,” he noted.
Bochanski said that Catholics can love those who identify as LGBT by being willing to listen seriously to them, and by accompanying them on a path of holiness.
“I think that trying to welcome and accompany people as Jesus would do really starts with a willingness to listen to where people are coming from and what they’re going through,” he said.
“So, I often say, a person who wants to spread the Good News and lead people to understand God’s plan for sexuality and relationships and virtues like chastity…(should) say, first of all, ‘I love you very much,’” to such a person, he said.
There’s much more. Read it all.