Tells CBCP: Don’t judge us
MANILA, Philippines - The Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) brands as “unfair” the statements made by Novaliches Bishop Teodoro Bacani against the rites he and his colleagues made for gay and lesbian couples in Baguio City over the weekend.
Bacani had criticized the unions, as he called on the public to boycott similar celebrations. He also said the pastors should be suspended for holding an unsanctioned ceremony.
"Napangitan ako talaga, nakakadiri. Dapat hindi puntahan, against moral grounds," Bacani had said.
Speaking on ANC's "Headstart", MCC's Administrative Pastor Reverend Ceejay Agbayani said they follow the scripture on the celebration of holy union. "Walang kadiri sa pagmamahal. Kadiri si Bishop sa sinabi niyang yun.”
“Walang biblical basis ang marriage itself, pache-pache lang yan. Yung pinanggagamitan natin kasal rin na pinanggagamitan ng ano, but we read the bible on the gay look, gay perspective. So kahit yung sa bibliya, applicable rin sa amin iyon.”
“Anong kinasama ng pagmamamahalan ng dalawang tao? Pag-pinag-aralan mo ang sakramento ng marriage, institutionalization iyan ng simbahan ng mga Katoliko, at ang purpose lang nila ay to dominate the people, that's why they theologized that."
MCC not under Catholic Church
Agbayani clarified, their group is not under the jurisdiction of the Catholic Church.
"Gusto kong ipaabot sa [Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines] na huwag kaming husgahan. Wala kaming ginawang masama sa batas ng simbahan at batas namin. Hindi kami saklaw ng Simbahang Katoliko. Walang ecclesiastical jurisdiction ang Catholic church sa amin and we have our own set of hierarchy sa church."
Agbayani explained the MCC is an ecumenical Protestant Christian denomination that has been ministering to the Filipino lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT), and promoting loving and responsible homosexual relationships since 1991.
It is said to be the 7th biggest denomination in the US. It has spawned churches in some 40 countries all over the world, including the Philippines in 1968.
Reacting to criticisms over their appropriation of wedding rites, Agbayani said they had carefully studied references made to homosexuals in the bible.
Some rules were only applicable to the olden days, and did not even refer to homosexuality.
There are supposedly 6 such biblical references in the bible about unions, including Genesis 19, Romans 26, 27 and Leviticus.
The section taken from Romans supposedly pertains to idolatry while the original form of first Corinthians 26:9 used euphemism about temple worship.
Leviticus 18.22 states: "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female, it is an abomination."
"When you read the bible you have to consider sino nagsusulat at kanino pinatutungkol yung sinusulat. Yung Leviticus 18, hindi sa homosexuality iyan. Patungkol yan sa mga Sacerdote na nagsasabing huwag kayo magtapon ng spermatozoa kasi konti lang tayong mga Israelita. Pinagbabawalan ni Yahweh na magsayang ng sperm kasi nagpaparami tayo ng lahi, kaya bawal na bawal yan sa kanila. Sa kanila abomination yun, bawal kasi, nagpaparami sila ng lahi."
A councilor from Baguio City has called for an investigation into the rites to determine if there is basis to declare members of the MCC as “persona non grata.”
MCC seeks fairness
Today, the MCC urges the public to be fair and to accept gay Christians, and their perspectives on faith and morality.
"Napaka-conservative ng MCC: prostitution is bad, orgy is bad, pedophilia is bad. Ang stand ng MCC, sex is morally neutral. Nagiging mali lang ito pag nagiging oppressive and suppressive."
Agbayani said he is praying for the legalization of all same sex marriages that would allow gay partners to enjoy the same privileges enjoyed by heterosexual couples, and for members of the LGBT community to come out on Sunday and hear mass at the MCC.