Russian Church neutral on Olympic boycott

September 9, 2013

Calls for an Olympic boycott because of a Russian law banning "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" have become "highly politicized," said an official of the Russian bishops' conference.

Msgr. Igor Kovalevsky, secretary-general of the conference, said the Catholic Church would not adopt an official stance on either the boycott or the law.

"It's hard to predict whether homosexual athletes and fans will face problems at the Olympics – these are issues connected with the life of society in Russia," Kovalevsky told Catholic News Service Aug. 27.

The Church tries to help every Catholic and everyone wishing to become a Catholic, to become holy, he added.

Kovalevsky said homosexuality is a marginal issue in Russia.

"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."