Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin says some in church may be homophobic

“Debates on issues like this have to be carried out in a mature way so that people can freely express their views while at the same time being respectful and not causing offence,” he said.

That’s certainly true and it ought to apply to both sides of the debate.

Of course. I haven’t personally met any Catholics who are, though. And yet, I’m willing to bet others think I am. It’s like saying people against abortion are anti-woman. Some are, perhaps.

With a billion members, it’s a fair bet to assume that there are also racist, mysoginist, child abusers, slave owners, tax cheaters, wife beaters, adulterers, fornicators, con men and mobsters in the church too. But that’s rather besides the point, isn’t it?

The point is whether catholic teaching encourages actual homophobia or not. And if you define the word as meaning fear and disgust of homosexual PEOPLE, then clearly the church is innocent of the charges. We are always taught to distinguish between the wrongness of sins and the dignity of the person, whatever the sin in question may be. The fact that real world catholics have real world flaws is just a red herring.

I know of quite a few. Needless to say, the clergy are usually not on their side. I know of one instance where they (homophobic laymen) hounded a kid out of a good Catholic school (and by good, I don’t mean like Eastside in Seattle, indeed, quite the opposite) because he was being raised by two homosexuals. The priest and his order told the laymen to back off on the poor kid, but they did not listen to the counsel of the brothers and drove away someone who could have been strengthened in his Faith so as to reject the sins of those who raised him. Naturally the anticlerical press got the story, with all that entails.

What I find most interesting in the article is where it says this:

He said that church teaching was that marriage was between a man and a woman, exclusively, but that this approach did not exclude gay people from celebrating their union by a different means.

Bolding mine.

What does the Archbishop mean by this? As Catholics we can’t approve of Civil Unions for the record.

Revulsion toward homosexuality is not an irrational fear,it is a natural reaction of disgust at perversion. If people react to homosexuals with violence,that is not about fear,but hate.

It’s true that the Church does not teach fear and disgust toward homosexual people,but it is a natural reaction to feel disgust at people who are homosexual. Even though we should distinguish between sins and the dignity of persons,sins are attached to persons and undermine their dignity. Homosexual acts are especially abominable.

I most certainly do. It gives the surviving partner rights when one dies, for instance.

Where does it say that Catholics can’t approve of Civil Unions? By their nature Civil Unions are Civil, i.e. of the State, not of the Church.

As Catholics we can’t approve of them but it doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Even though it’s false compassion, if they want a “civil union” they can have it as far as I’m concerned; they just have no right to call such a situation a “marriage.”

Read this thread to see:

Here is a Vatican document regarding homosexual unions.

Here is what the USCCB says about same sex civil unions:
"No relationship between persons of the same sex can be the same as that between a man and a woman, nor should they ever be treated as analogous to marriage in any way. Thus, legal categories such as “civil unions” or “domestic partnerships” that claim equivalent or analogous status to marriage are wrong and unjust, harmful both to the person and to society. Legal categories such as “civil unions” or “domestic partnerships” should never be treated as analogous to marriage.”

(See par. 14 of this document.)

Archbishop (and soon to Cardinal) Nichols seems to agree. He said:

we would want to emphasize that civil partnerships actually provide a structure in which people of the same sex who want a lifelong relationship (and) a lifelong partnership can find their place and protection and legal provision

He later qualified this by explaining:

*Clearly, respect must be shown to those who in the situation in England use a civil partnership to bring stability to a relationship,” the archbishop said, qualifying that while “equality is very important and there should be no unjust discrimination,” that “commitment plus equality do not equal marriage.”

Archbishop Nichols said the key distinction between civil partnerships and marriage is that the former does not “in law contain a required element of sexual relationships.” *

“*Same-sex partnerships are not marriage because they have no root in a sexual relationship, which marriage does,” he explained. “And that’s the distinction that I think it’s important for us to understand, that marriage is built on the sexual partnership between a man and a woman which is open to children to their nurture and education.”

So while the bishops of England and Wales “respect the existence of same-sex partnerships in law,” he said, “the point we are at now is to say that they are not the same as marriage.” *

Tarpeian says many in society may be Christophobic.:frowning: It would be nice to hear from the Bishops and Cardinals on this issue.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit