A ministry for gay men and women operated by a northern Mexican diocese has come under scrutiny from the Vatican and might revert to its original status as an unaffiliated nonprofit organization.
Bishop Raul Vera Lopez of Saltillo told Catholic News Service July 31 that he is responding to questions from the Vatican about Comunidad San Aelredo, which began as a youth group for gay Catholics and recently became a diocesan ministry.
“I’m looking to resolve all of these kinds of questions and will do so gladly because I’m a Catholic bishop,” Bishop Vera said.
“I have to respond to all of the questions that they put toward me and the doubts that there are,” he added.
Specific concerns of the Vatican were not outlined.
Bishop Vera said the most recent controversy came after the Catholic news organization ACI Prensa reported information “that has nothing to do with kind of ministry we’re carrying out.”
The bishop defended the diocesan ministry, saying it was based in the Gospel and meant to promote expanded human rights protection while helping gay people develop a sense of belonging especially because they are not always made to feel welcome by the church as a whole.
The ministry, he explained, “is based in personal attention, in spiritual attention ... to see that they have a place in the church, that they’re treated as dignified people.”