A crucial question, deserving serious reflection:
When an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Boston asked the nearly 200 students in a high school confirmation class what questions they had for him earlier this month, two themes quickly emerged. First, they wrote him, why did you want to become a bishop? Second, why does the church hate gay people?
The first one was easy, Bishop Mark O’Connell told them, since very few priests set out to become bishops.
But the second question, which he said comes up frequently when he meets with young people, was more difficult for him to answer, not because church teaching is unclear to him, but because the language the church often uses fails to resonate with a generation that increasingly sees kindness as the highest virtue. An experience he had with a student following the listening session earlier this month led him to post a message on Twitter to encourage other bishops to listen to the concerns young Catholics have about fraught issues of gender and sexuality:
Source: America Magazine
A German bishop’s proposal that the Catholic Church could provide blessing ceremonies for gay couples, as well as divorced and civilly remarried couples, gained support at a Church conference in Frankfurt this weekend.
Earlier this month, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode suggested that the Church develop a ceremony for blessing same-sex unions during an interview with Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung.
“We need to think about how we can differentiate a relationship between two same-sex people,” said the bishop, who is deputy chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference: “Is not there so much that is positive, good and right that we have to be fairer?”
Source: Catholic New Agency
“Conversion therapy” is harmful to mental health. Also, A US court has ruled it is fraudulent advertising, on two counts (homosexuality is not a pathology, so therapy is inappropriate, and also ineffective, because orientation cannot be changed).
The government is facing a fresh push to ban “conversion therapy” aimed at changing gay people’s sexuality.
The Church of England has been calling for the highly controversial practice to be outlawed, after its ruling body voted for a ban last year.
Ministers condemned the “therapy” but have refused to meet Church campaigners to discuss the issue.
Now, Tory MP and church commissioner Caroline Spelman has vowed to set up a meeting with the minister in charge.
Recently, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, Germany, discussed the teaching on with a German magazine, and he specifically applied the teaching to homosexuality. Crux reported on the interview:
“German Cardinal Reinhard Marx has stated that decisions about sexual morality must be discerned according to a well-formed conscience, respecting “the interplay of freedom and responsibility.”
“The chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference said in a new interview that a person ‘has to be guided into the full reality of the faith and heed the voice of the Church. It is not sufficient to say that one knows by oneself whether something is good for you, or not. That would not constitute a conscientious decision-making process in the context of the Gospel.’
“Speaking to the German magazine Herder Korrespondenz, Marx affirmed that this also applies to homosexuality.
A ‘truly comprehensive assessment of the severity of guilt’ is not possible without looking at the individual’s conscience, without looking at his reality, at the concrete circumstances.”
Source:– New Ways Ministry
The moral obligation to avoid scandal is biblically based. Jesus warns the man who would lead the “little ones” into sin that it “would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6; cf. 1 Corinthians 8:10-13). He asserts that “temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!” (Luke 17:1). The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines scandal as “an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. … Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense” (2284). It is clear, then, that in both Scripture and tradition, scandal is a serious issue and something to be avoided.
What is not clear, however, and what is not defined, is what constitutes scandal and how are claims of scandal to be justified.
Source: National Catholic Reporter