Words from Cardinal Basil Hume on the Church's Teaching on Homosexuality

Encourage, the Catholic Church's organisation which offers support to Catholics struggling with same sex attraction, has some wonderful words from Cardinal Basil Hume, who was a great supporter of the organisation:

'The Church recognises the dignity of all people and does not define or label them in terms of their sexual orientation...

The particular orientation or inclination of the homosexual person is not a moral failing. An inclination is not a sin...it is homosexual genital acts that are morally wrong...

Friendship is a gift from God...a way of loving. Friendship is necessary for every person...

Sexual loving presupposes friendship but friendship does not require...sexual involvement...

The word 'love' must never be thought of as synonymous with the word 'sex'. Love can take many forms...love between two persons, whether of the same sex or of a different sex, is to be treasured and respected.

...that experience of love is spoiled, whether it is in marriage or in friendship, when we do not think and act as God wills us to think and act...

The Church is...aware that people may fail to live consistently what she teaches...the Church does not reject such people but wishes to walk with them in order to guide them to a fuller understanding and realisation of the teaching she holds to be God-given.'

Did you hear that? The teaching she holds is 'God-given'.

If Archbishop Vincent Nichols is looking for help in explaining the Church's position, he could do worse than reaffirm the position of one of his predecessors. In the meantime, I'll be sending the musical letter to His Grace tomorrow and, given His Grace's 'clarification', will consider sending it to the CDF as well.

As a lay Catholic man, who has every sympathy and more for those carrying the Cross of homosexuality, I know that as well as the many men and women who find that they have the condition of homosexuality and who look for guidance from Holy Mother Church (guidance which in England and Wales appears to be rather confusing), there are countless men and women who strive to live the teachings of the Church in spite of our weaknesses, temptations and failings. His Grace's recent remarks are, frankly, a slap in the face for those who, knowing their own weaknesses, have placed their hope and their trust in Christ and His Church.

As far as I can see it, that hope and that trust is being betrayed by members of the Hierarchy who do not consider the truth to be worth proclaiming, who do not consider the souls of their own flocks to be worth saving. I have confessed mortal sin in this very area of my life to holy, good and merciful priests. Never, not once, in all my time as a Cathoic, have I ever felt rejected or scorned or derided for bringing my sin before Our Lord Jesus Christ, to receive His forgiveness, mercy and grace. That is what it means to be 'pastorally sensitive' - it means not to crush the broken reed. It does not mean that immoral behaviour or sinful activity is condoned. To do such a thing is to spit upon the very Cross that Our Lord died upon to save us from our sins. To do such a thing is to deny even that the Lord came or that He died for us. To do such a thing is to deny to men the one thing that the Church can give us that no other power on Earth can: Salvation.

For those reasons, I encourage readers to write to the CDF and draw their attention to the recent statements of His Grace on this matter.

Comments

Sorry dude - but this passage isn't the whole story regarding cardinal Hume's position; you need to read the full account and look at GBH's words a little more closely and see what he's really saying...

No - it is not [necessarily] a moral failing to be homosexual [remember some people [albeit few] actually choose that lifestyle and some through the deplorable indoctrination/enticement of peers or those entrusted to nurture them] the moral failing [if present] is not necessarily theirs but they may be victim to others' moral failings...

But it IS a moral disorder - this aspect MUST NOT be denied - albeit a 'natural' moral disorder wrought from the consequences of original sin [in which we have all conspired [St Augustine & His Holiness]]

A homosexual is unable to fulfil their love in a marital union and unable for their procreative yearnings to be fulfilled within a union intrinsically denied to them.
Their cross is heavy - and it shouldn't be dismissed so lightly as if 'there is nothing wrong with being a homosexual' - there's PLENTY wrong..and we should be the first to acknowledge it and afford those with such a burden with the utmost dignity and love - and recognise those who struggle in a chaste celibate life of disaffected friendship - as [in the words of Michael Voris] 'giants' - as heroes and outstanding witnesses for the Faith.

It is admirable for Encourage to quote His Eminence of blessed memory where he can be of assistance, guidance and support to those with same-sex attraction; but we also have to be very careful not to recognise that Cardinal Hume's message to homosexuals may have seemed welcoming but it didn't exemplify the full teaching of Cardinal Ratzinger's 'Pastoral care for the homosexual' which recognises the deprivation, struggle and the heavy cross they bear...

As for +Vin?
He reminds me of Ernest Foot from the league of gentleman - feeling really awkward around anything 'different' and having to compensate...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCwYnJYgtxU
The Bones said…
Yes, it is true that it is a disorder, of course, I for one don't doubt that, but that said, it is a vast improvement on what his successor now says.

At least, OTSOTA, he actually called the sin that dare not admit it is a sin by its name.
The Bones said…
Cardinal Hume's statements, imperfect as they are, are worlds apart from that of His Grace the Archbishop Vincent Nichols.
Would never deny it.

Doesn't +Vin get it?
If you can't respect homosexuals enough to be sincere, authentic and truthful to them - what do you think they're going to think of the Church?

But there is a hidden enthymeme in all this and it IS subversive homophobia by default - remember Catholic adoption agencies were adopting kids to unmarried couples and divorced/'remarried' couples and not a word was said...until suddenly it became a homosexual issue and a secularised 'parental' paradigm.

Remember too that because of its very nature and defiance - contraceptive heterosexual sex is a sin more grave than anything homosexuals can get up to sexually...homosexuals disrespect the intrinsic dignity of each other by using each other for mutual masturbation - but the contracepting couple spit in the face of God by denying Him the opportunity for life giving grace...

But do you think +Vin is EVER going to say anything about contraception? Except when in the 80s he was given a public arena opportunity to do so by +Worlock to show his 'conservative credentials' and appease Rome and get the green light for a Bishop's mitre.
When my Bishop died in 1988 ; +Vin was supposed to be his successor ; but he turned it down because it was a 'dead-end Episcopacy' - so he waited until he could get near the seat of power in Westminster as auxiliary...says a lot really.

His Grace needs our prayers - but moreso he needs convincing that he doesn't need to be afraid of the secular forces out there - he has overwhelming power - but it's spiritual and teaching apostolic power - doesn't he realise that with millions of Catholics behind him he could truly be a real aristotelian political force? But no he prefers to play silly beggars trying to please everybody thus offending everyone!
Lazarus said…
I'm not at all sure that the Church should straightforwardly buy into the language of homosexual vs heterosexual identities or orientation. We are all human. We all suffer the disorders of concupiscence. Those disorders are far, far more complicated than the straight/gay division would have us believe. I sometimes wonder if the obsession of modern secular society with homosexual sex is a way of ignoring the fact that living with sexual desire ought to be seen as highly problematic for all of us in different ways and at different times.
You're on the hermeneutical's
A very good post laurence, thank you. I also relate very much to what you have said here:
"Never, not once, in all my time as a Cathoic, have I ever felt rejected or scorned or derided for bringing my sin before Our Lord Jesus Christ, to receive His forgiveness, mercy and grace. That is what it means to be 'pastorally sensitive' - it means not to crush the broken reed. It does not mean that immoral behaviour or sinful activity is condoned."
It is the Truth that sets us free. Even when the truth is very painful.