Archbishop defends LGBT flags on coffins

LGBT flags on coffins

A Mexican archbishop has defended the draping of LGBT flags on the coffins of a gay activist and his partner during their funeral in Aguascalientes cathedral.

The vice president of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Gustavo Rodríguez Vega, defended the act despite the dismay it caused among the faithful.

During the 14 November funeral Mass of judge and activist Ociel Baena and his romantic partner, supporters covered their caskets with LGBT flags.

Rodríguez, the archbishop of Yucatán, pointed out that Baena and his partner are “children of God and our brothers” and so “we could not, in any way, not receive them in the church. Especially when the family wanted them to be taken there [to the Aguascalientes cathedral].”

Ociel Baena notably requested to be addressed as “magistrade” – reflecting a nonbinary identity. In May, Baena was the first to receive a “nonbinary” passport, a category created by the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Claims of hate crime

The couple’s bodies, showing signs of violence, were discovered inside Baena’s house on 13 November.

Investigators suggested “everything indicates that it could be a personal matter” since “a sharp instrument” was found in the hands of one of the deceased.

Several comments on Facebook questioned the quick conclusions of the investigators and claimed it was a hate crime.

Father Francisco Torres Ruiz, a liturgy expert, clarified the church’s stance on symbols at funeral Masses, emphasising that ideological symbols contrary to Christian beliefs should not be present.

Ruiz suggested the attending priest could “indicate to the family or the funeral planners that that symbology is strictly prohibited.”

However Ruiz added “it’s a very forced situation for the priest, because he’s not going to stop a celebration to remove that flag.”

“There is no problem” said Archbishop Rodriguez, because “there was no intention to offend anyone.

“They are also welcome to all the services that the Church can offer” he concluded.


Catholic News Agency



Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , ,