US Embassy to Vatican: Celebrate LGBT Day With Us!


Our embassy to the Holy See was established to promote goodwill between the United States and the Vatican.

Under the Obama administration, however, it has at best done nothing and at worst it actively harms our relationship with the Holy See.

Today for instance the embassy staff took a break from posting selfies and asking “who’s your favorite jazz performer?” to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on their official Facebook page:



It’s nice to see where our tax dollars are going. One wonders if a rainbow flag was flying from our embassy in Rome today. Or if the embassy staff was distributing literature in St. Peter’s square today to promote awareness of homophobia and transphobia.

A post like this by our embassy prompts the question, is it the position of our embassy that the Holy See is guilty of homophobia when, say, it opposes the redefinition of marriage, or is the Holy See transphobic in their eyes when it refuses ordination to a woman who undergoes sex reassignment therapy?

Is the embassy saying the church does not support all youth, including those who are questioning their sexual identity? Is the embassy saying the church is intolerant?

Citing the case of Matthew Shepard is itself incredibly incendiary. The claim here is that anyone who refuses to give gay activists everything they want politically is somehow guilty of hate crimes perpetrated against gay people. (That’s even setting aside the questions of fact surrounding the story.)

And how is any of this promoting goodwill between our country and the Holy See?

I don’t follow our other embassies, but I’ll be shocked to find out if our embassy to China is calling out that country for its abhorrent forced one-child policy. Or if any of our embassies to sharia law countries are calling them out for religious intolerance.

No, it’s only on this issue that the Obama administration sees fit to lecture our allies and moralistically judge other countries, especially the Holy See.

In fact the church disagrees that “being gay is who you are”. We believe that a person’s deepest identity can only be found in Christ. The church doesn’t reduce people to their sexual orientation. Courageous Catholics living with same-sex attraction and trying to live up to Christ’s exhortations are a testament to the fact that living the faith is beautiful.

Even Pope Francis’ often-quoted line about people with same-sex attraction “who am I to judge?” presumes that such an individual is “seeking God” and is of “good will”. He goes on to say: “The problem isn’t this (homosexual) orientation—we must be like brothers and sisters. The problem is something else, the problem is lobbying either for this orientation or a political lobby…”

That’s exactly what our embassy to the Holy See is doing: lobbying for the LGBT political agenda, plain and simple.

Here’s what we can do:

I think we need to help our embassy to the Holy See overcome its “pope-a-phobia” — their fear of the teachings of Pope Francis, Pope Benedict, St. Pope John Paul II, St. Pope John XXIII, and all the popes in between and all the popes before and all the popes to come.

Also, the teachings of the Church (dogmaphobia) and the teachings of Christ (christophobia).

But “popeaphobia” just sounds better.

You can join me in celebrating this First Annual International Day Against Popeaphobia in several easy ways:

First, Like The US Embassy to the Holy See on Facebook, then:

1) encourage the embassy staff to ask themselves how they can increase their tolerance of the church’s teaching and respect those who have different understandings of human sexuality

2) post a link to the excellent new short video by Blackstone films “The Third Way” so the embassy staff can learn to better support youth who are questioning their sexual identity (seriously)

3) post a link to a blog or story about young Catholics with SSA who are  joyfully living out the church’s teaching in the Catholic community so the embassy staff can share these positive role models with the youth they meet who are questioning their sexual identity (seriously)

4) post a link to this blog post so others can read it

If you are feeling extra motivated, you can share all of the above with the embassy staff via Twitter: @USinHolySee

Who knows, if enough of us get involved we may even inspire one of the members of the embassy staff to come out as a Catholic and as an ally of church teaching!

Sure, that may earn them some bad names around the office and they will probably face discrimination from their bosses in the Obama administration for coming out as catholic, but that’s the price we pay to create a more tolerant and understanding world for all of us, even us LGBT (“Loyal, Good, Beautiful and True”) Catholics.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author


Thomas Peters, 33, grew up in Southern California and attended college in Michigan. He has two graduate degrees in theology. He began his award-winning American Papist blog in 2006, which went on to become one of the most popular Catholic blogs in America. He was one of a handful of Americans invited to the Vatican’s first-ever Bloggers’ Meeting in Rome. Peters has appeared in dozens of TV, radio and online media outlets over the years discussing the intersection of Catholicism and political activism, debating topics related to life, family and religious freedom, in addition to writing and speaking about the future of social media and online organizing. From 2010-2016 he served as an advisor to He and his wife Natalie live in Washington DC. You can follow him on Twitter @AmericanPapist.

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