It is with great sadness and disappointment that we hear of the action of the Baguio City Council regarding lesbian and gay presence in the city. Surely their constitutional rights must be respected and protected. Surely they are entitled to justice, not injustice, freedom under the law, not oppression from the government or the church. But we write as Christian priests, called by our Lord Jesus Christ to Christian ministry in the Christian United Church and the Catholic Diocese of One Spirit.
Although we do not speak for the Metropolitan Community Churches, we support them and their Christian ministry. We know their minister, Pastor Myke Sotero and members to be motivated by the call of Christ to bring the gospel good news of God’s love to people who turn to them. We are motivated by the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, who opened his arms to the marginalized, to offer hope and assurance of the unconditional love of God.
We thank God for every opportunity to save lives, to save souls. Well known, sadly, are the suicides and forlorn lives of would be active and good Christian lesbian and gay people emphatically rejected by their church and bluntly told God will cast them into the fires of hell for loving the person they love. We are motivated by the mission our Lord himself has sent us on, to bring liberation (Luke 4), as he himself came to bring liberation, in short to bring the whole gospel of God’s love and the fullness of the mission restated in I John, “God is love and those who live in love, live in God and God lives in them”. As Filipinos we are fully aware that the fight for liberation from injustice was begun by Dr. Jose Rizal more than 130 years ago, and we can do no less than continue that fight.
Our mission is not to convert Baguio or its council to anything. Our unmistakable mission is to pull despairing LGBT people out of the pits of despair and helplessness, to make a difference in the lives of individual human, LGBT lives, changing their outlook from despair to self esteem, self realization and a happy fulfilled life as a Christian loved by and lived within Jesus, God himself.
Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Regen R. Luna, CUC SSD CDOS
Elder, Christian United Church
Pastor, Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd COGCUC
Priest, The Catholic Diocese of One Spirit Philippines
Rev. Richard R. Mickley, OSAe CDOS PhD
Abbot, The Order of St. Aelred
Bishop, The Catholic Diocese of One Spirit Philippines