INSIDERS have said the Church’s decision to seek the advice of the LGBTI community has “stirred unease” among some Catholics.
Many fear the conference could result in radical change at a time when issues such as the ordination of female priests and the relaxing of mandatory celibacy rules are already hotly contested.
Recently Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli invited 80 members of the LGBTI community to take part in a plenary council session run by the Melbourne archdiocese.
Participants included prominent campaigners of the same-sex marriage debate, as well as the Victorian Government’s Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality Ro Allen.
“It’s not about opening the door to LGBTI people of faith, because we’re already here,” Allen, who identifies as non-binary gender, said.
Ro Allen (formerly Rowena Allen) does not believe in the primordial truth of two genders – male and female.
From a Christian point of view, this belief is paradoxical.
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
The acceptances of homosexuality and modern gender theories have become so great that the nature of truth is being threatened.
“The Church needs to move with the times” has become a hackneyed belief – but what does it actually mean?
Does it mean the Church should abandon tradition for the wayward nature of secular ontology?
Or does it simply mean “the Church needs to move with the sin”.
The differences between the LGBTI community and the Catholic Church raises a pivotal question – where are these discussions leading?
Submissions from the LGBTI community will be assessed over the next 12 months before the plenary council concludes with two gatherings – the first next year and the second in May 2021 – in which bishops and delegates will vote on possible changes to Church practices.
To make any consequential changes that may appease the LGBTI community, the Catholic faith would need a rather substantial reorientation.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states the following on homosexuality.
“Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered’.
“They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
“The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible.
“This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial.
“They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.
“Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.
“These persons are called to fulfil God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”
Time will tell where these discussions lead our Church.
Nicholas Holt is a journalist with The Catholic Leader.