Mexican Bishop Raul Vera (photo), of the Diocese of Saltillo, northern state of Coahuila, called today for the acceptance of "gays within the Church" and "fighting injustice, defending the poor, human rights and building peace."
The prelate, a proponent of liberation theology, proclaimed the "Diocesan Plan for Pastoral Renewal", which aims to "evangelize and reach out to all the baptized to be imitators of Jesus," including homosexuals. The project "aims to overcome indifference and dehumanization, to get people to be good Christians, to help the needy, prisoners, migrants, the sick, the kidnapped and the disappeared," he said.
Vera insisted on the need to accept "gays and lesbians, who are still discriminated against by society." The bishop, who was formerly in charge of the diocese of San Cristobal in the southern state of Chiapas, stronghold of the Zapatista National Liberation Army, called for promoting "universal values among all people of good will."
"God does not want the death of sinners, but for them to convert and live," he said, quoting a biblical phrase.
The diocesan plan was unveiled before about 10,000 faithful from 18 municipalities.
Mons. Vera has already drawn some flak from conservative Catholics for his support of the Catholic GLBT organization Comunidad San Elredo.