Bishop Owens Responds

Thursday, May 18, 2006

During my Palm Sunday sermon, I used words that the D.C. Coalition of Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Men and Women has denounced as offensive ["Gays, God and Bishop Owens," op-ed, May 13]. It was not my purpose to wound anyone or discriminate against any group, and I apologize for any offense.

Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church was in the forefront of delivering help through counseling, education and prevention to the gay community when HIV-AIDS hit hard in the 1980s. For that I was harshly criticized, and the church was stigmatized. Nevertheless, I increased our financial aid and instituted a support group for those who wanted help in pursuing a heterosexual orientation. I will continue the fight to alleviate the suffering of all people.

However, I will not submit my sermons through political filters for fear of recrimination by political or social groups.

On any given Sunday, I preach about love, faith and holiness, and, yes, about hell and sin. For that, I offer no apology.

BISHOP ALFRED A. OWENS JR.

Pastor

Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church

Washington


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