Washington DC, September 20, 2016
Catholic Archbishop William Lori, Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Religious Freedom which was set up in 2011 by Catholic hierarchs, has described as “irresponsible” the statements made by Chairman of the U.S. Federal Commission on Civil Rights Martin Castro in which the latter condemned religion as a cover for intolerance and homophobia, reports the Tsargrad TV channel.
“Religion is being used both as a weapon and as a shield by those who oppose general equality. The word combination ‘freedom of religion’ carries no other message but hypocrisy, leaving a loophole for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, islamophobia, and any other form characterized as having lack of tolerance,” M. Castro said, speaking in effect on behalf of the USA’s judicial system, as it is the Commission on Civil Rights that gives judges the directives on which future judicial decisions are based.
This statement was made by the American official last Wednesday during the declaration of a resolution of the Commission on Civil Rights entitled: “Peaceful Co-existence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties." The document proposes to introduce an amendment to US legislation which would stipulate that freedom of religion will be restricted by the rights to transgender and homosexual expression, including same-sex marriages, irrespective of the sincerity of sentiment of believers involved in a conflict.
According to the archbishop, the religious sentiment of believers in the USA is falling under serious threat. “Martin Castro has made a shocking assumption that the Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox Jewish, Mormon, and Muslim communities can be compared with supporters of radical segregation in the period of formation of civil rights,” William Lori said. “Such statements can be directed only against those who understand freedom of religion in the light of reckless fanaticism and demonstrate deep contempt for the religious foundations of their own activities,” he added.