A diocese in the northern Philippines has published its own opinion on the Catholic Church’s position on same-sex relationships.
Published on November 2 and titled “Catechism of Questions and Answers on the Church’s Teaching on Homosexuality and the Homosexual Person,” the document is a response to the confusion caused by Pope Francis’ comments in favor of the civil union for homosexual couples, according to the diocese.
Pope Francis recently declared that homosexuals have the right to be in a family because they too are children of God.
The controversy erupted when the Pope declared: âWhat we must create is a law on civil union. This way, they are legally covered. I got up for it.
The commentary came in a documentary titled Francois, which premiered at the Rome Film Festival on October 21.
âThis quote attributed by the international media to Pope Francis on same-sex unions has created some confusion and perplexity among you. [clergymen]and even more among our parishioners, âArchbishop Socrates Villegas de Lingayen-Dagupan said in a letter to clergymen.
Bishop Villegas said that instead of explaining what the Pope wanted to say and did not want to say, he chose to present the teaching of the Catholic Church in the form of questions and answers.
âI hope to help you positively understand the moral doctrine of the Church on the issue rather than the usual reactionary apologetics,â added Bishop Villegas.
âAccording to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies should be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Any sign of unjust discrimination against them must be avoided, âdeclared the archdiocese’s catechism material.
The archdiocese also said the Church is not angry with homosexuals, although homosexual activity runs counter to the purpose of marriage.
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âHomosexual activity is not a complementary union capable of transmitting life; and so it thwarts the call to a life of that form of self-giving which, according to the Gospel, is the essence of Christian life, âsays the catechism material.
Retired Bishop of Sorsogon Arturo Bastes was cyberbullied after he said he had “very serious doubts about moral rectitude [and interpretation]of the Pope’s position on same-sex marriage.
“This is a shocking statement from the Pope. I am truly scandalized by his defense of same-sex unions, which lead to immoral acts,” Bishop Bastes said in a statement in response to the Pope’s comments.
Philippine lawmaker Tito Sotto said Pope Francis’ perceived support for civil unions may be insufficient to force his fellow lawmakers to pass a law for same-sex marriage in the Philippines.
“I doubt it. Homosexual unions are already practiced here [in the Philippines]and there is nothing we can do about it. Same-sex marriage is one that is not acceptable to many religious and other sectors, âhe told reporters.
Bishop Villegas declared that the objective of the catechetical tool was to form a âbetter conscienceâ among the faithful on the issue according to the spirit of the Catholic Church.