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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 25, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 52
Catholic Church has at least two bishops that are not total jerks
Section One
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Catholic Church has at least two bishops that are not total jerks

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The Roman Catholic Church has at least two bishops who are not blatantly anti-Gay, but neither of them are American.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the archbishop of Mumbai, India, has said that India should decriminalize Gay sex. The country's parliament is set to debate a proposed repeal of Section 377 of the penal code, a survivor of colonial-era British law, which criminalizes sexual contact 'against the order of nature.'

An Indian court struck down the law in 2009, but the country's Supreme Court reinstated it in 2013.

'I had been reflecting on the question of whether the church should be more welcoming towards members of the LGBT community for some time. I met some groups and associations of LGBTs, and I had an understanding for them,' Cardinal Gracias told The Hindu newspaper.

'I don't want them to feel ostracized. That's why I came out publicly some time back saying I was in favor of decriminalization of Section 377.'

'Personally I feel that it should not be criminalized,' Gracias added.

'For me it's a question of understanding that it's an orientation ... I know there is still research being done whether it's a matter of choice or matter of orientation, and there are two opinions on this matter. But I believe maybe people have this orientation that God has given them, and for this reason they should not be ostracized from society.'

The cardinal admitted there is a lack of understanding of LGBT issues within the Catholic Church.

'The church has always said people should not be discriminated against, and I know the Vatican itself is not for criminalization of these people,' he said. 'I have to make a distinction of course. Catholic theology makes sexual morality rather clear.'

Meanwhile, a Catholic bishop in Malta said the Church should accept Gay and divorced couples.

'This year the synod said that families who have homosexual members need to be supported, their decisions respected and not hindered in any way,' Bishop Mario Grech told The Sunday Times of Malta.

'[Gay couples in civil unions] are part of God's people, and like everybody else they are going through a journey, and the Church needs to support them in revealing God's hidden face. We cannot define such a journey in stages and put up barriers, as the road is wide open to those truly seeking to follow God's footsteps, regardless of their sexual orientation.'

When asked whether same-sex couples would be allowed to accompany their children to communion, baptisms, or confirmations in the church, Grech said, 'Yes.'

'This is already happening and is fully accepted by the Church, he explained. 'The child or baby should not be held accountable for their parents' deeds, decisions, or way of life. Why should the Church deny the opportunity for same-sex parents wishing to give a Christian formation to their adopted children? They are most welcome.'

'We are neither condoning nor condemning anybody,' he added.

'Marriage can only be referred to when talking about heterosexual couples. This is why there can be different forms of relationship. But this does not mean we are excluding or delivering judgment on other types.'

Malta legalized same-sex civil unions in 2014.

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