13 March 2019, The Tablet

Church must reconcile with LGBT+ Catholics


Credit is due to Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster for his sensitive and consistent efforts to reconcile gay Catholics with the Church. The latest example was his facilitation of a Lenten pilgrimage to Rome, organised by the LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council, which included an audience with Pope Francis, and a group photograph and the personal gift of a rosary each to prove it. The group is the main body representing gay Catholics in the Westminster Diocese, and like the cardinal, it has been careful not to move too far ahead of opinion in the Church.

That opinion is shifting, especially among younger Catholics. For many of them the Church’s traditional language about gay men and women, especially the phrase “intrinsically disordered”, is frankly incomprehensible. It implies they are deficient and in some way inferior to heterosexuals because their sexual inclinations are inherently unnatural and sinful. This teaching itself can be harmful.

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