There are a couple of things that are very much on our minds these days, and I want to say the briefest word about them before the blessing. The racially based attacks on our Asian and Asian American sisters and brothers in recent days are not only appalling, they are the very antithesis of everything we stand for both as Christians and as Americans. We need to speak up for them and to do everything we can to defend and support them in the midst of the violence and hatred they are experiencing. And to you, our parishioners who are Asian American, I am here to say that you belong, you are respected, and you are loved.
Also, in my homily I made mention of the recent statement from the Vatican regarding the blessing of same sex unions. The language employed in the statement was, in my opinion and in the opinion of many - including some very prominent bishops and archbishops – unfortunate, to say the least. It was tone deaf and hurtful. I know many of our gay and lesbian parishioners felt crushed by it, and they are not the only ones who found it very disturbing.
The issue here is not the church’s teaching. We are all well acquainted with that. The issue is that, even though there was an effort in the statement to affirm our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and remind them that they are loved, some of the language that was used negated that effort and left many of them with the feeling that they are not welcome in the Church. I am here to say that they are. You are. You are welcome and you are loved.