We are one of the oldest student associations of Belgium, the Flemish Catholic Students Union. In the Antwerp branch, we have around 15 members and there are plenty of old students who are still active or supportive. A week ago we sent a letter to the Flemish press about some comments our bishop, Johan Bonny, made concerning homosexual couples and their place in the Church. Bishop Bonny proposes that the Church should recognise homosexual and bisexual relationships. We responded.
Bishop Bonny presupposes there is no place for homosexuals in the Catholic Church. On the contrary, everyone is welcome and called by God to take part in it.
However there are universal rules, structures and traditions in the Church, applying to every Catholic. One of them is the sacrament of marriage, which is founded by Christ, made for one man and one woman, entered into out of free will.
According to the Church sexual activity cannot take place outside marriage, and is ultimately meant for procreation and founding a family. This ultimate goal cannot be achieved with two people of the same sex. ?But God is merciful. He has given us the sacrament of confession, which leads every Catholic to a renewal of his spiritual life, because mistakes are human.
Bishop Bonny does not just ask for a place for homosexuals in the Church. (They already have one, like everyone). Instead he expects the Church to allow and bless Catholics who want to experience a sexual relationship outside marriage. ?As a Catholic union we cannot agree with the views of Bishop Bonny, because, well, they just are not Catholic.
Katelijne Uytterhoeven, Catholic Flemish Students Union, Antwerp branch