Change Thinking on Homosexuality
From June Boyer, Johannesburg – Pope Francis has announced 2016 as a Year of Mercy, saying: The Churchs very credibility is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love.
When you read the letter by Cindy Quantoi (October 28) and hear how the attitude of people, including Catholics, towards gay people causes untold suffering and misery to so many people who have not chosen to be gay, you must surely realise that it is time for a change in thinking about homosexuality. Our collective attitude towards gay people has alienated millions of them from the Church and the sacraments over the years.
In a recent article in that excellent publication of the Comboni Fathers, Worldwide, on the Holy Fathers papal bull Misericordiae Vultus, which pronounced the Year of Mercy, Fr Anthony Egan SJ writes regarding people in same sex marriages:
I think mercy here will have to work overtime since it contains two dimensions. First, the question of acceptance within the community. An approach of mercy here would try to see (no matter how one sees homosexuality in gay and lesbian couples) fellow Christians trying to love God and each other as part of the Christian community. Reaching out to them, encouraging them in living out a faithful and faith-filled commitment to each other.
On the second level, the Church will need to re-examine our understanding of what constitutes normal sexuality. This is a massive, though I think not insurmountable, challenge, Fr Egan writes.
He continued to say that moral theology has an open-ended quality taking principles and interpreting them through the developments in history, culture and science.
Fr Egan then concluded: I think a systematic re-evaluation of homosexuality in the light of developments in our scientific knowledge is long overdue. It is also the merciful thing to do, as well as an expression of a commitment to truth.