- The Washington Times - Friday, June 3, 2022

The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See in Rome is displaying a Rainbow Flag in honor of Pride Month, which the diplomatic mission to the Vatican State displayed this week on Twitter.

“Today is the start of #Pride Month. The United States respects and promotes the equality and human dignity of all people including the LGBTQIA+ community. #PrideMonth #AllInclusive #Pride2022,” said the June 1 tweet.

The post included a photo of the flag.

The Roman Catholic Church, whose world headquarters the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See serves, rejects homosexual behavior. The church teaches that homosexual acts are a sin, though homosexual people deserve understanding and compassion.

The Biden administration resumed the display last year, following a hiatus during the Trump administration.

The move drew immediate pushback from Twitter users.

“Are you putting up the flag in the Middle East, too?” asked user @johnamonaco, who is listed as having 10,500 online followers.

Another user, @LiteralSheridan, replied with a retweet of a June 2, 2021, message from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, adding the State Department “more or less did that, and it didn’t work out well.”

Roughly two months after the 2021 Kabul embassy posting, Afghanistan fell to Taliban forces noted for their strict interpretation of Islam, including a ban on homosexual acts.

This year, U.S. “Pride Month” tweets met with quick disapproval in the Middle East.

James Holtsnider, acting U.S. charges d’affairs in Kuwait was summoned to the country’s foreign affairs ministry after the embassy posted a quote from President Biden supporting gay rights.

The U.S. message — posted in Arabic and English — read “‘All human beings should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear no matter who they are or whom they love.’ @POTUS is a champion for the human rights of #LGBTQI persons. #Pride2022 #YouAreIncluded.”

@POTUS is Mr. Biden’s official Twitter account.

Nawaf Abdul Latif Al-Ahmad, Kuwait’s acting assistant secretary of state for American affairs, gave Mr. Holtsnider a memo “confirming Kuwait’s rejection” of the tweets and stressed, “The need for the embassy to respect the laws and regulations in force in the State of Kuwait.”

Homosexual activity is outlawed in Kuwait.

The Catholic Church’s stance on homosexual acts is unwavering.

In paragraph 2357 of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition,” it states in part: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ … Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

However, last month Pope Francis, in a “mini-interview” with Outreach.faith, a website billing itself as a “resource” for LGBTQ Catholics, declared “God is Father and he does not disown any of his children.”

His declaration was in response to a question from the Rev. James Martin, SJ, who asked Francis what was the most important thing for LGBTQ people to know about God.

• Mark A. Kellner can be reached at mkellner@washingtontimes.com.

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