Rome, Italy – A Colombian bishop, insisting that being homosexual is not a sin, said Thursday it’s possible that one of the twelve apostles if Jesus was gay or that Mary Magdalene, another key New Testament figure, was a lesbian. Bishop Juan Vicente Cordoba of Fontibon, Colombia, also said the Catholic Church does not oppose same-sex couples making a life together, but does not consider such arrangements to be a marriage or a family.
“No one chooses to be gay or straight,” Cordoba said. “One simply feels, loves, experiments, is attracted, and no attraction is bad.” Cordoba was speaking at a conference about gay marriage and adoption hosted by the local University of Los Andes, at a time when Colombia is debating gay marriage and adoption rights. Although Cordoba reiterated Church teaching when it comes to marriage – that it’s a union between a man and a woman, permanent, and open to children – he said that homosexuality isn’t a sin.
“Sin is something else. It’s not respecting the dignity of others. Not loving God and our neighbors as we love ourselves, not feeding the hungry, not giving water to the thirsty,” Cordoba said. He added that he prefers “a thousand times over” for Colombians to have dignity, a proper health system and food for all, rather than talking about whether they’re gay or straight.
According to local reports, Cordoba said that in the Bible there’s no explicit rejection of homosexuality, suggesting there’s no basis for making a condemnation of homosexuality a Church doctrine. “We don’t know if one of Jesus’ disciples” had a same-sex orientation, he said. “We don’t know either if Mary Magdalene was a lesbian.”
“There will come a time when the Catholic Church is a minority that will be crushed by the majority,” he warned. “Let us respect each other, without using adjectives or telling anyone they’re sick or disordered. We can spare all the adjectives. We have a noun, and it’s that we’re all brothers and sisters.”