Respect for all

At this time in history there is much discussion about the meaning of marriage. Some suggest that it is unjustly discriminatory not to allow people with same-sex attraction to marry someone of the same sex. Others believe that marriage is an institution uniting a man and a woman. We wish by this pastoral letter to engage with this debate, present the Church’s teaching to the faithful, and explain the position of the Catholic faithful to the wider community.

Because of this, every man, woman and child has great dignity and worth which can never be taken away. This includes those who experience same-sex attraction. They must be treated with respect, sensitivity, and love. The Catholic Church opposes all forms of unjust discrimination. We deplore injustices perpetrated upon people because of religion, sex, race, age etc. The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls for understanding for those with deep-seated homosexual tendencies for whom this may well be a real trial. “They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” {2358}

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Christians believe that all people including those with same-sex attraction are called by God to live chastely and that, by God’s grace and the support of friends, they can and should grow in fulfilling God’s plan. Even those who take a different view to us about the place and meaning of sexual activity can appreciate the particular significance and importance of this institution. We now face a struggle for the very soul of marriage.

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