The Catholic Church in the Mediterranean island country of Malta has allowed a homosexual group to use sacred church space for meetings.
The group labels itself “Catholic” but does not adhere to traditional Catholic or biblical teaching that mandates marriage between a man and a woman. In biblical teaching, a homosexual lifestyle is sinful.
The “Drachma LGBTI,” however, preaches homosexual acceptance and currently has permission to use Catholic parishes and retreat centers in the country, according to LifeSiteNews.
“Drachma is a space open to all persons of good will who seek sexual and spiritual integration,” the Drachma website states. “It includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and intersex persons, as well as friends of LGBTI persons who wish to meet to pray together and explore the intersections between sexuality, gender, gender identity, faith, spirituality, and religion.”
The main religion in Malta is Catholicism; meanwhile, the country has embraced a more progressive stance on views of sexuality and gender.
“Malta has elected the nation’s first transgender politician, a sign of just how far on LGBT rights a country where Roman Catholicism remains the state religion has come,” New Ways Ministry Blog noted in a post in February.
Roman Archbishop Charles Scicluna heads the Archdiocese of Malta.
“While the group [Drachman LGBTI] has no official status within the archdiocese, this has not stopped Archbishop Scicluna from going out of his way to lend support to the group and its activities,” LifeSiteNews reported.
The Drachma group hosted a celebration in May 2017 at the University Chaplaincy; it donned an LGBT rainbow flag at the altar, according to a photo posted on Facebook by Drachma LGBTI coordinator Christopher Vella.
“I believe my sexuality as a homosexual person, bisexual, and all the other sexualities that you can mention, are all normal and natural,” Vella said in a February 2016 interview with One News Malta.
Vella considers his sexuality a gift from God.
“I say that even a relationship between two men or two women can be a beautiful relationship, and even spiritual, holy, even the relationship between two men in their sexual intimacy,” Vella said in February. “If you consider sexuality as a gift of God, therefore you cannot consider sexuality to be an obstacle to being a person of faith.”