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Mexican Bishop Raúl Vera: Homophobia is 'A Mental Illness' — VIDEO

Bishop Raul Vera

Ever since Pope Francis' message of tolerance towards LGBT Catholics and (people in general), members of the Catholic church have been divided as to precisely what it means for their faith and for the church. On the one hand, you have Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who quickly issued a rebuttal to the Pope's statement reaffirming that "homosexuality is still a sin". On the other, you have the likes of Mexican bishop Raúl Vera, who believes that homophobes are actually the depraved ones.  

LifeTeenDuring an interview posted Tuesday on YouTube, the bishop was asked to respond to the Pope's statement of "who am I to judge", which sent him off on a two and a half minute speech condemning religious-based homophobia. "They're human beings deserving of respect," he began, speaking of LGBT people. "I am certain that [God] knows because, in reality, it's many members of the Church who don't want to recognize the scientific reality on the issue of homosexuality." 

Bishop Vera subsequently gives a questionable explanation of the origins of homosexuality, claiming that homosexuality occurs when a person's "anatomy does not correspond with their hormones." While Vera may or may not have his facts straight in that regard, he does preach a message of acceptance, and faults members of the church who insist on excluding members of the LGBT community:

"One mother came to me and said that she was being watchful of her son because he was hanging out with 'those degenerate gays' and I said 'so blame yourself for it because that's the way your son developed in your womb and he didn't develop into a degenerate or a perverse person. He was born with a certain constitution you are trying to ignore. Calm down, you are the mother of that child and he began to be who he now is inside your womb. So the first one I'd kick out would be you because you are the perverse one who is first in line.' That's what I said...

"What does the Bible say? Why would I immediately think a gay or lesbian person is perverse or depraved the moment they approach me? That's how people who are homophobic react. It's a mental illness in which you see gays as depraved and promiscuous.  You have to be sick in the head for that."

This isn't Bishop Vera's first brush with LGBT rights advocacy. This past December, the Associated Press profiled Vera and his pro-LGBT stances in a piece last December. Vera has supported LGBT rights legislation before in Mexico, and was previously brought to the Vatican to explain an outreach program he helped organize for gay young people. He's even received death threats as a result of his activism. 

Watch the video clip (with translation annotations, courtesy of Blabbeando)... AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. Did anyone see the story of the Mexican lawmaker in a state in Mexico that is debating same sex marriage, who said she is completely opposed to it because gay men and gay women can't face each other during ex, hence it's not loving, just perverse? I swear I'm not making this up.

    Posted by: Michael | Aug 22, 2013 9:45:47 PM

  2. My experience with so many religious people has been "hate the sin, not the sinner" in relation to us being gay. Which is so insulting and perfectly proves they don't grasp the innate, scientific, nature of being gay. Something very natural and inherent. They so often want to put their own spin on what being gay is and not even allow themselves to open their minds and THINK more of it.

    Posted by: Quick Sand 1992 | Aug 22, 2013 9:47:16 PM

  3. @ Quick Sand
    The religious meme of "I love you, I just hate your sin of gay sex" is complete bigotry at best and hatred at worst. Somehow they convince themselves that they are doing us a favor by just being friendly to us, yet don't see how offensive viewing our relationships as sinful worthy of eternal burning in hell is utterly ignorant, insulting and just plain stupid. I tell them, why are you even thinking of sex ad sexual acts the moment you encounter gay people? that says more about you than us.

    Posted by: Klien | Aug 22, 2013 9:49:37 PM

  4. Raul Vera is one of the good guys. He is a Dominican priest and Bishop of Saltillo. He is definitely a black sheep in the Catholic Hierarchy in Mexico. He is an outspoken supporter of human rights, including gay rights, and a social justice advocate. He is a vocal critic of government corruption and the drug cartels. He has received many death threats. He was called to the Vatican to explain his outreach program for gay youth. He is a guy who struggles to use whatever influence he has to make the lives of ordinary Mexicans better. He is truly a champion for social justice.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 22, 2013 11:31:50 PM

  5. Wow, this sure puts a different spin on the situation. He's right...especially considering Cardinal Dolan, who thinks he needs to speak for the Pope. No, Cardinal Dolan, you are wrong. Time to shut the pie hole and listen to our spiritual leader. If you cannot do that, perhaps the time has come for you to exit the Catholic Church. It's not "pick-and-chose" which rules you like and follow. Cardinal Dolan disrespectfully questioned and attempted to alter a huge announcement from the leader of our faith, Pope Francis. Sorry, Timmy, you just lost the last shred of credibility you had, if you ever had any. Epic fail, Timmy. Listen to the Pope. We believe he was chosen by God (and some men in a smoky room) which means YOU listen to HIM, not the other way around. Zip it, Timmy. Rock on, Bishop Raul. You get it, along with Pope Francis. Who are we to judge? If the Pope can ask that question of himself, there should be no problem with lower clergy doing the same. Anything else is disrespectful. You don't dis the Pope.

    Posted by: millerbeach | Aug 23, 2013 12:41:23 AM

  6. There is no mental illness defined as such. It's very dramatic to use "mental illness" in the title of this story, but actually reflects stupidity regarding psychology by the editors. You can use what ever weapons you like to win your war, too bad no one has he heart to tell you the war is already lost.

    Posted by: BE | Aug 23, 2013 1:01:40 AM

  7. bigotry alone may not be mental illness, but when combined with other behaviors demonstrated by the hate mongers, there is good evidence there are many who have untreated issues that could be best resolved with professional help. it's something to think about.

    Posted by: northalabama | Aug 23, 2013 1:25:55 AM

  8. @ BE: Be specific, what war are you talking about?

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 23, 2013 1:27:38 AM

  9. Homophobia IS a mental sickness, as Bishop Vera claims, as "phobia" is defined in the Concise Encyclopedia: "Extreme and irrational fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation. A phobia is classified as a type of anxiety disorder (a neurosis), since anxiety is its chief symptom."

    Posted by: trees | Aug 23, 2013 1:45:22 AM

  10. The actual mental illness is belief in 'god.

    Homophobia is a nasty side effect of that mental illness.

    Posted by: MaryM | Aug 23, 2013 3:39:23 AM

  11. @MARYM : I believe in God yet I'm not homophobic. How do you explain it ?
    People judge gay as a whole with silly generalization and we fight against that. It's not to judge religious people in generalization ourselves. Fight with love, not with hate.

    Posted by: oakpope | Aug 23, 2013 7:16:50 AM

  12. Why do you believe in 'god'? And do you also believe in Santa Claus and The Tooth Fairy?

    There is absolutely no evidence for its existence.

    Religion is a foolish choice that people should reject. Enjoy life because this is all there is.

    Sexual orientation on the other hand is not a choice.

    Posted by: MaryM | Aug 23, 2013 7:26:29 AM

  13. This is great, I wish more from the Catholic Church would speak out like him.

    Posted by: Reality | Aug 23, 2013 8:50:07 AM

  14. how long are we gonna wait for Donohoe & Fischer, especially, & all the rest to slam Bishop Vera. he's using their own argument against them.

    good for him........

    Posted by: mike/ | Aug 23, 2013 8:52:08 AM

  15. He actually is not too far off with his facts. From the research that I have done, epigenetics is a likely cause of homosexuality. Epigenetics is the way that hormones act on your genes while you are in the womb.

    Posted by: Luke | Aug 23, 2013 1:07:03 PM

  16. I like his statement even though I don't believe in his religion. It rings true even for me, a gay man.

    Posted by: darkorient | Aug 23, 2013 1:17:45 PM

  17. goood thanks

    Posted by: sohbet | Apr 26, 2015 3:22:46 AM

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