A "gay pride" parade held in Jerusalem last week was met with "profound resentment" by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and opposition from other religious groups in the city. The Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal said that those who support the yearly event "care neither for the feelings of families, nor for the holiness of this City."
Nearly 3,000 participants saw widespread non-violent protests from the holy city's inhabitants along the parade route, which stretched from Independence Park to the Wohl Rose Garden, according to the Jerusalem Post. The event was sponsored LBGT community of Israel and has been held annually since 2002.
Patriarch Fouad Twal of the Latin Patriarchate issued a statement on Friday in which he underscored that the Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Druze religious communities of the city continue in their "tough opposition" to the event.
He blasted the premise for the event, saying that it "takes place not only to proclaim the rights of homosexuals, but also to defy family and marriage, both instituted by God, who blessed the union of man and woman."
To highlight this point, the patriarch's statement began with the passage from Genesis: “Male and female God created them.”
In the patriarch's words, the parade, as well as "its organizers and the authorities who allow it, care neither for the feelings of families, nor for the holiness of this City.
"Let the homosexuals have their parade wherever they want, however, leave Jerusalem to her pilgrims and her faithful," Patriarch Twal continued. "This city has suffered enough wounds and humiliation, and it is painful to prevent millions of Arab believers, including inhabitants of the areas of the Palestinian Authority, from visiting Jerusalem's Holy Places – for 'security' reasons – whereas such a parade is permitted."
He went on to say that, considering his responsibility for safeguarding the "holiness and sanctity" of Jerusalem and seeking inter-religious cooperation, the Latin Patriarchate expresses its "profound resentment in the face of such parades.
"These demonstrations take aim at our holy cities and express blunt opposition to the teachings of the Holy Books concerning the holiness of marriage that unites man and woman, blessed by God with children," he said.
The Thursday parade was held on the first anniversary of a still unsolved attack at a gay bar last year in Tel Aviv that left two people dead and 15 injured. An organizer of the parade told the Jerusalem Post that they have no plans to change cities.
"We will continue to come here every year, to Jerusalem, because this is the most important place, not only for the gay community, but for everyone who cares about the free and democratic character of the State of Israel."
Patriarch Twal ensured the "profound respect" of the Church for each human being, but said, "we proclaim the truth of the Ten Commandments, which are the basis of happiness according to the Lord’s word: 'If you wish to enter into eternal life, keep the commandments.'"