Wednesday 12 January 2011

Archbishop Nichols should stop causing confusion regarding homosexuality

According to The Tablet and other sources, Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme at Christmastide:
“When it comes to understanding what human sexuality is for, there is a lot that we have to explore. Because I think what is at one level in the broad perspective clear, is that there is an intrinsic link between procreation and human sexuality. Now how do we start from that principle, not lose it, and have an open ongoing conversation with those who say, well, that’s not my experience?”
Regarding Catholic teaching on homosexuality*, the archbishop is reported to have said:
“How do we bring together some principles that if you like are written into the broad book of nature, and individual experiences? That’s the area that we have to be sensitive and open to, and genuinely wanting to explore."
These comments have been welcomed by Clifford Longley of The Tablet and by Terence Weldon, the openly practising homosexual who helps organise the Archbishop Nichols-backed Soho Masses for dissenting homosexuals. Archbishop Nichols' latest comments are in tune with his comments last year (see my blogs of 4 April, 21 April, 4 July, 9 September, 11 September and 23 September) which clearly undermined Catholic teaching on homosexuality. His approach appears to be to make half-hearted acknowledgements of official Catholic teaching whilst softening up opinion among Catholics to allow practices contrary to that teaching. Those practices include "gay civil partnerships", Holy Communion for practising homosexuals and "openness" to the "experiences" of homosexuals.

This duplicitous approach is the motif of the Catholic bishops' conference of England and Wales, reflected in its approach to major pro-life/pro-family issues in recent times: abortion and contraception (e.g. Connexions in Catholic schools), euthanasia (e.g. the Mental Capacity Act), assisted suicide (e.g. prosecuting guidelines), sex education (e.g. departmental guidance) etc. How very different from the words of our Lord, Who instructed His Apostles to make their "yes, yes" and their "no, no" (Matt.5:37). Or Pope John Paul II who said:
"Given such a grave situation, we need now more than ever to have the courage to look the truth in the eye and to call things by their proper name, without yielding to convenient compromises or to the temptation of self-deception. In this regard the reproach of the Prophet is extremely straightforward: 'Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness' (Is 5:20)." (Evangelium Vitae , 1995, para.58)
When will our bishops, the successors of the Apostles, give us clear Christ-like leadership on pro-life/pro-family issues?

*The late Pope John Paul II, the great pro-life champion, taught (Evangelium Vitae, 1995, para.97) it is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not offer adolescents and young adults an authentic education in sexuality, and in love, and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection.

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