A worker lays down metal wire for a sidewalk in front of the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi, Russia, Aug. 19. The arena will serve as the main venue for ice hockey during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in February.
Catholic News Service
Calls for an Olympic boycott because of a Russian law banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” have become “highly politicized,” said an official of the Russian bishops’ conference.
The monsignor-secretary general said the Catholic Church would not be adopting an official stance on either the boycott or the law.
He said homosexuality is a marginal issue in Russian society.
“There are very few homosexuals in our Catholic communities, and we direct our pastoral work at individuals, not groups. But we don’t exclude homosexual people either,” he said.
Russia is hosting the Winter Olympics Feb. 7-23 in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Western politicians and gay rights organizations have called for a boycott to protest a June law banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.” The law imposes heavy fines for promoting “nontraditional relations” among minors via the media and Internet and warns that athletes and fans could face arrest if identifying openly as gays and lesbians.