Bishop Raul Vera Lopez (Pic: Facebook)

A Catholic bishop has spoken out in support of gays and lesbians and slammed those who oppose LGBT equality.

In an interview with El Pais, Bishop Raul Vera Lopez of Saltillo in Mexico was asked about his views on gay people.

He responded that, “The people who say homosexuals are sick are sick themselves.”

He added: “The Church needs to come to them not with condemnation, but with dialogue. We cannot cancel out a person’s richness just because of his or her sexual preference. That is sick, that is heartless, that is lacking common sense.”

The 69-year-old Dominican friar has become well know as an outspoken critic of inequality and the country’s drug cartels, surviving more than one attempt on his life.

Described as the “Catholic Church’s black sheep,” Lopez has also championed the plights of missing people, immigrants, prostitutes, women who’ve had abortions and LGBT people.

Recently, he controversially baptised the daughter of a lesbian couple.

Not a supporter of capitalism, the bishop stated: “The true meaning of life lies in the community, in caring for the weak and sharing equally in the bounty of the land.”

While Pope Francis has hinted at an apparent willingness to be more accepting of gay people, the Catholic Church remains vehemently opposed to same-sex relationships and marriage.

According to official Catholic dogma, while gay people are accepted, their sexuality is not. This is described as “acts of grave depravity” and as “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to the natural law”.

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