... the referendum is passed?

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Irish Times
Mon, July 29 2013


Pope Francis, in some of the most compassionate words from any pontiff on gays, said they should not be judged or marginalised and should be integrated into society, but he reaffirmed Church teaching that homosexual acts are a sin.

In a broad-ranging 80-minute conversation with journalists on the plane bringing him back from a week-long visit to Brazil, Pope Francis also said the Roman Catholic Church’s ban on women priests was definitive, although he would like them to have more leadership roles in administration and pastoral activities.

Pope Francis defended gays from discrimination in what was his first news conference since being elected pontiff in March, but also referred to the Catholic Church’s universal Catechism, which says that while homosexual orientation is not sinful homosexual acts are.

“If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?” the pope said.

At a time when the Convention on the Constitution is meeting in Dublin to look at the issue of same-sex civil marriage it is an opportunity to revisit traditional Church teaching on homosexuality. In the video below Matthew Vines, a 21 year old campaigner against homophobia in the Church, takes a detailed look at how the Bible has been traditionally used to support its stance against same-sex behaviour. It's a persuasive and at times heartrending presentation.



Download a PDF of the Talk

In a recent radio interview Mary McAleese, the former president of Ireland, talks about how the Catholic Church is increasingly "losing the argument" with regard to homosexuality. She recalled how when she was president she became aware of how suicide among young males between the ages of 15 and 25 was a particular problem in Ireland. And in this group how young gay men were a particular "at-risk" group. She said young men between the ages of 14, 15 and 16 who discover that they are gay are often faced with a conflict of "appalling proportions" and driven into a place that is "dark and bleak" when they hear those close to them using words such as "disorder" and "evil" in relation to homosexual practice. She decries the lack of fora where parents and friends can bring their concerns and developing sensibilities around the issue of homosexuality to the Church.


- Listen to the full interview here -


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