Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Bishop's responds

Catholic Church's teachings still oppose homosexuality

By The Most Rev. Paul D. Etienne
In response to the recent column by Rodger McDaniel (Aug. 24) about Pope Francis and his non-judgmental stance regarding our brothers and sisters with same-sex attraction, I would offer the following:

First, the Catholic Church loves all of God’s people. Pope Francis with his clear priority and personal witness to put our love into concrete expression is providing wonderful leadership for the faith and winning the hearts of many, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.

His recent comment that Mr. McDaniel cited reveals that judgment does not belong to him as pope, nor does it belong to anyone other than Christ. Our holy father’s emphasis regarding the pastoral love for all the people of God serves as a good reminder to us all.

While our holy father is helping to set a great example of pastoral outreach, he has made no changes in church teaching. He is simply reiterating the teaching as outlined in section 2358 of the catechism in which chastity and homosexuality are addressed.

In referring to people with homosexual tendencies, it states, “They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

In section 2360 of the Catechism, it says clearly, “Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In marriage, the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion.”

Pope Francis did not change this teaching. Reading anything into his statement that would suggest otherwise is inaccurate.

Finally, speculation by Mr. McDaniel in regard to what “most likely got the bishop’s ire” in regard to the Wyoming Association of Churches was interesting indeed.

When the writer questioned my reasons for withdrawing from the association, he did not list the obvious, such as the lack of support for the unborn or any kind of defense for traditional marriage.

Most problematic regarding the Catholic Church’s affiliation with the association is that when a Catholic legislator would defend the unborn, he or she would be challenged that the Catholic Church was not genuine in its support of life precisely because it was affiliated with the Wyoming Association of Churches.

Once again, the writer irresponsibly concluded that it must certainly be my desire as bishop to keep “employment-related discrimination against homosexuals” alive and well.

Happily, we as Catholics share a number of beliefs in common with other Christian denominations. Sadly, we still have strong disagreements regarding the application of our belief in Christ and his teachings to the social issues of our day.

I will not argue those differences in a forum such as this. The dignity of our faith is above such public banter.

In closing, I also express my deep disappointment in the WTE’s lack of discretion and disrespect in printing the offensive cartoon that appeared above Mr. McDaniel’s article.

The Most Rev. Paul D. Etienne is the bishop of Cheyenne.

No comments:

Post a Comment