‘Catholic church can love homosexuals, not homosexuality’

September 4th, 2009 - 7:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Sep 4 (IANS) The Catholic church in Goa has steadfastly maintained it is against homosexuality. But a prominent Christian spiritual advisor has now said it is not against homosexuals per se.
The church’s view on homosexuality has been underlined in a paper titled “Church and Homosexuality, a basic understanding” presented at a seminar by spiritual advisor of the St Luke’s Medical guild (SLMG) Father Daniel Pereira.

“Although homosexual attraction or orientation is not a sin in itself, all people are called to moral responsibility in the way in which they manage sexual desire,” he said.

Pereira, who belongs to the upper echelons of the Roman Catholic church in Goa, acknowledged that the issue of homosexuality and the moral evaluation of homosexual acts had become a matter of public debate even in Catholic circles.

Calling homosexuality a sensitive issue, Pereira said the church was extremely

sensitive to the difficulties, hardships and problems faced by homosexuals.

“Very little is known and much is needed to be revealed concerning the conditions and orientation of homosexuals. From what has been known and experienced, the church as a loving mother wants her children having homosexual inclinations to unload their burdens on to the Lord,” he said.

The SLMG has decried ostracism of people with homosexual tendencies, calling for “treating them with respect, compassion and sensitivity”. A leading global collective of Catholic health professionals, it has a worldwide presence.

However, Pereira said homosexuality is a “holocaust of marriage” and defiles the sacredness of sexual activity which is expressed only in a valid marriage.

“The church holds that there are two distinct but connected purposes of sexual activity i.e. unitive and procreative… A homosexual’s sexual activity manipulates nature to selfish ends and for reasons independent of God’s will,” he said.

Imploring homosexuals to heed to the chastity call, the spiritual advisor said by the virtues of self-mastery that teach inner freedom, by prayer and sacramental grace, homosexuals can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

“Like heterosexuals who are single and live a life of holiness in celibacy (even though they experience heterosexual desire), so also people with homosexual desire can live a life of holiness in celibacy,” Pereira’s paper reads.

Catholics make up 26 percent of Goa’s 1.4 million population.

The SLMG was founded in Australia in 1933.

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