The provincial ministers of six provinces belonging to the Order of Friars Minor in the United States have added their support to a statement from a group of Catholic bishops and the Tyler Clementi Foundation that condemns bullying and other acts of violence toward LGBT youth.
As Catholics and Franciscans, we recognize and celebrate the God-given dignity of every human being. In signing on to this statement, the provincial ministers have reaffirmed their support of their LGBT sisters and brothers, who experience high rates of harassment, violence and suicide.
The statement is included below:
As we see in the Gospels, Jesus Christ taught love, mercy and welcome for all people, especially for those who felt persecuted or marginalized in any way; and the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that LGBT people are to be treated with “respect, compassion and sensitivity.”
All people of goodwill should help, support, and defend LGBT youth; who attempt suicide at much higher rates than their straight counterparts; who are often homeless because of families who reject them; who are rejected, bullied and harassed; and who are the target of violent acts at alarming rates.
The Catholic Church values the God-given dignity of all human life and we take this opportunity to say to our LGBT friends, especially young people, that we stand with you and oppose any form of violence, bullying or harassment directed at you.
Most of all, know that God created you, God loves you and God is on your side.