Bishop Conry argues that the Gospel has little to say about sexual behaviour to justify his meeting Quest and Queering the Church

In a letter to a reader of Protect the Pope concerned about his meeting with Quest and Terence Weldon of Queering the Church Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton argued that the Gospel has little to say about sexual behaviour, as if that justified his meetings with homosexual Catholics who advocate dissent from the Church’s teaching.

The reader of Protect the Pope wrote:

With regards to Mr Weldon and Quest. Quest was banned from being included in the Catholic Directory by Cardinal Hume. (I was in error in my last letter in stating it was Cardinal Heenan who banned them). They were also banned from describing themselves as a Catholic organisation. This was due to their promotion of homosexual sex, which is contrary to Church teaching. I would respectfully suggest that Your Lordship might have better access to further
information on this than I do.
I did not suggest in any letter that people who suffer with same-sex attraction should be discriminated against. In fact I agree with you completely that is against Church teaching. Being “homosexual” is not sinful, engaging in homosexual sexual practices is sinful. Pope Francis confirmed this in the same conversation that you referred to: “The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says they should not be marginalised because of this (orientation) but that they must be integrated into society”

I was quite hurt that Your Lordship would suggest I wanted to discriminate. May I make it very clear that my concern is not with people sinning – it is with people rejecting the Magisterium and leading souls astray. All people have a right to free association in this country, that isn’t in doubt. People don’t have a right to hold meetings on Church property with the blessing of the Church. I have no objection should Quest wish to hold meetings in any secular locations.

My concern is that Your Lordship is giving approval to these groups. This is going to cause confusion among the faithful and lead those in your charge to occasions of sin. Can you please remove any confusion for me and clarify whether “A Call To Action” and/or “Quest” have been approved to hold meetings within the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton.’

Bishop Conry replied:

‘I am also troubled that some people seem to regard sexual morality as a priority and ignore the more basic demands of the gospel. The gospel has little to say about sexual behaviour and a lot more to say about justice and charity. Yet these words appear very rarely in the letters of complaint that I receive.’

Protect the Pope comment: Apart from the fact that the Catholic Church holds that we receive the Gospel from Scripture and Tradition (CCC 82), safeguarded by the Magisterium, Bishop Conry is wrong when he writes that the gospel has little to say about sexual behaviour. In fact the gospel has quite specific things to say about homosexual acts in particular.

Romans 1:24-27

Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies.25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.26Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural,27and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.x28And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper.

I Corinthians 6: 9-11

Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes, nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.11That is what some of you used to be; but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

I Timothy 1:8-11

We know that the law is good, provided that one uses it as law,9with the understanding that law is meant not for a righteous person but for the lawless and unruly, the godless and sinful, the unholy and profane, those who kill their fathers or mothers, murderers,10the unchaste, sodomites,* kidnapers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is opposed to sound teaching,11according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

Bishop Conry would do well to remind himself of the following:

“It is clear therefore that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others.  Working together, each in its own way, under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.” (CCC 95).


26 comments to Bishop Conry argues that the Gospel has little to say about sexual behaviour to justify his meeting Quest and Queering the Church

  • Rifleman819

    Kieran Thomas , the over-promoted [moderated comment], is playing with fire here-he will get burnt , doubtless.

    As someone else here remarked on an earlier blogpost-just because he is a bishop does not mean he escapes valid criticism.

    A bishop should be the lynch-pin of his diocese with the priesthood in the fullest degree …+Kieran is so patently not so by his actions and associations.

    If he does not want to be a bishop anymore then that is fine-but while he is, he should be doing his job..not associating with the Church’s enemies.For that is exactly what they are.

  • ms Catholic state

    To be honest….with current leadership in the Church in Britain, I worry about our children. Are they going to be led into sin of all kinds by these people in charge?! Ugh! The sooner they are gone….the better.

  • Lynda

    He needs to be removed from all ministry. A six year old properly educated in the Faith would know better than that.

  • You do not need to refer to the Bible for confirmation that homosexual acts are intrinsically wrong.
    A basic knowledge of morals and human biology does the job also.

  • Leonard

    You missed out Leviticus 20:13

  • Joseph Matthew

    Alas, Bishop Conry responds like a liberal protestant. The Gospel says nothing about the Trinity,so nothing wrong with Arianism etc.Abortion? Same sex marriage? Nothing in the Gospel.
    That is why we have the Magisterium your Lordship.

  • Andrzej

    “The gospel has little to say about sexual behaviour…”

    I am afraid that this is the logic that has led to so much of the recent damage in our Church, if you know what I mean.

  • Jack

    The Gospels may not have much to say about sexual behavior, but what it does say is very explicit

  • Andrew Hall

    I wonder if anyone can tell me whether Mgr Conry will be expending the same time and energy in meeting with the parish priests of his Diocese who quietly get on with the business of celebrating the Sacraments and proclaiming the Gospel? Like Fr Ray Blake of Brighton, for example? Perhaps they are not sufficiently conformed to the spirit of this present world? Or is it simply that such activity doesn’t deliver in terms of publicity?

  • For goodness sake Protect the Pope, Bishop Conry is a man of the world. He does not care about the damage done to young people as they run off to live together for a short time and have sex, just so long as they give to the poor. OK the parents have to pick up the pieces but well, its the 21st Century. And when marriages break down Bishop Conry will show his concern by letting those who remarry receive Holy Communion but what does he care about Divorce and the harm it does to parents and children. If the Gospel says something about morals, he just uses his conscience and ignores the matter. No, Bishop Conry is protecting the poor and don`t point out that it is his very ignorance that is creating them. Why did Christ not condemn Roman Rule, or comment on the Roman Taxes, or ask the Romans to provide the equivalent of soup Kitchens? Oh, sorry, I am bringing Jesus Christ into this, I forgot this is the 21st century.

  • AkP

    Nuncio – has anyone made him aware of this huge problem. Poor man, he has so much to deal with, but this cannot go on, it’s a scandal in the true sense of the word.

  • Wake up England

    Bishop Conry causes continuous scandal to the Faithful.

    I think it’s highly debateable whether this man should be a priest, let alone a bishop.

    I sincerely hope someone is bringing Conry’s dreadful scandals to the attention of the relevant people in Rome.

    If he had true integrity and (or) humility, he would realise he’s not up to his job, and resign.

    We, the (paying) laity, deserve better bishops and priests than this man. He should be removed from office before he causes further harm in his diocese – and the wider Church.

    • Charles

      I do agree but I would say “We, the (P(R)AYING laity”. This Bishop needs to go as there are too many controversies surrounding him from Fr Ray Blake (who never criticises his Bishop (Conry)to basic Catholic beliefs. He never replies to E-mails. It has become embarrassing.

  • BJC

    The elephant in the room is Humanae Vitae so the solution is shoot the elephant or rather change the subject. Until we get a crop of half-decent bishops coming through the ranks together we are doomed to hearing cop-outs and wimpy statements from our Bishops. The war babies and post-war babies have been a disaster for the Church. They re-made the Church in their own image and what did we get? A hollowed out gospel, churches that look like Ikea shopping malls and unmanly priests and Bishops (with honourable exceptions). Not exactly a winning combination.

  • Fr. Gregory

    It seems like His overlordship is barking up the same tree as (Bp) Tom Gumbleton, former auxiliary in Detroit, who has called on Catholics here to ignore the directive of the current Archbishop who has stated that Catholics who favor abortion and same sex unions should not receive Communion. Seems like His Holiness has his hands full of Bishops who wouldn’t make good chimneysweeps in Ireland.

  • Anna

    A quote from one of my bishops pastoral letters,

    “In the film Brokeback Mountain, there are two people who enter quite a deep relationship, but one of them seems unable to sustain it. Leaving that relationship, he enters another, but that, too, fails. The woman (this time) asks him why he left her, and he says that he didn’t think he was much fun any more. “I didn’t fall in love with fun,” she says.”

    the rest is here:

    Obviously, he has a long term difficulty understanding heterosexual marriage.

  • Jacobi

    We are Catholics. Our beliefs are decided by Scripture, Revelation, Tradition, and the whole Teaching Magisterium of the Church over two millennia – whatever Bishop Conry may imply to the contrary.

    One clear teaching that emerges from this is that sex outside of a valid union between a man and a woman is a mortal sin. Mortal sins, apart from anything else, prevent one from receiving Holy Communion under pain of Sacrilege if done knowingly. That applies to both heterosexual and homosexual actions, although the latter are additionally, “disordered”.

    The answer is simple. Chastity’ As is required of the religious, the widowed(ers), long distance lorry drivers, submariners who are away for six months at a time, business men on long distance travel, certain disabled , I could go on.

    p.s. plus Confession, contrition and a firm purpose of amendment of course.

    • Nicolas Bellord

      But Jacobi we don’t do mortal sin in A&B.

      • Jacobi


        You know, we all beef a bit to each other on our blogs about the Church going down the plug hole and possibly feel a bit better for it. I think the time has come for more sustained complaint, for example, in writing, (recorded delivery?) cc to Rome, or whoever, and follow up if there’s no reply. Procedures do exist. I certainly have a draft of a letter that’s going of to my local spiritual boss.

        By the way if you are in A&B refer him to the CCC, 1456 & 1457.

        • Nicolas Bellord

          Dear Jacobi: From my slight contacts with Rome I have always understood that they are deluged with complaints and simply cannot cope; partly because of rather antiquated and bureaucratic systems; yesterday’s technology to-morrow as someone has said. Although I do understand that there are shredders in Rome both of the mechanical and human variety. I have been told to write complaints on something that is difficult to shred!

          Now Pope Francis has confirmed this saying he is surprised by the deluge of complaints and asking why cannot these problems be dealt with locally. Well we know the answer to that in the case of Great Britain! So we are faced with a conundrum. In the end it is going to be down to the laity to kick up enough fuss. We must still write the letters but we must think of what we can do locally to get results. Prayer of course is essential.

  • Michael B Rooke

    Many have tried to endorse what is not the Church’s teaching by using the legal device “that which is not forbidden is allowed” which is frequently used in positive that is to say man made laws.

    Some positive (man made) state laws are specific listing criteria, for example, what items are subject to VAT. The use of listed criteria enables a search for exceptions and use of the criteria “that which is not forbidden is allowed”. That does not apply to the natural and moral law.

    The Old Testament injunctions were listed as 613 Commandments by Rabbi Simlai in C3th AD.
    In that list the forbidding of homosexuality is number 157 ( Lev.18:22)

    Jesus said in Matthew 5:17
    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfil.

    Pope Benedict XVI said that Jesus did not enter into theoretical discussions on sections of the Mosaic Law but his objective was concerned with salvation and saving souls.

    “Dear friends, from the Word of God we have just heard emerge practical instructions for our life. Jesus does not enter into a theoretical discussion with his interlocutors on this section of Mosaic Law; he is not concerned with winning an academic dispute about an interpretation of Mosaic Law, but his goal is to save a soul and reveal that salvation is only found in God’s love. This is why he came down to the earth, this is why he was to die on the Cross and why the Father was to raise him on the third day. Jesus came to tell us that he wants us all in Paradise and that hell, about which little is said in our time, exists and is eternal for those who close their hearts to his love. ”

    The Heritage of Faith and the Divine Authority of the Catholic Church is given the the Catechism of the Catholic Church

    • Nicolas Bellord

      Michael: You mentioned the legal device “that which is not forbidden is allowed” as not being Church teaching. Unfortunately this can be misused.

      When I asked why the ban on referrals for abortion had been deleted I was told that just because the ban had been deleted it did not mean that such was allowed. LOL!

      • Michael B Rooke

        Here is Blessed John Paul II on the subject:

        6. The judge must then abide by canonical laws, correctly interpreted. Hence, he must never lose sight of the intrinsic connection of juridical norms with Church doctrine. Indeed, people sometimes presume to separate Church law from the Church’s magisterial teaching as though they belonged to two separate spheres; they suppose the former alone to have juridically binding force, whereas they value the latter merely as a directive or an exhortation.
        Such an approach basically reveals a positivist mindset which is in contradiction with the best of the classical and Christian juridical tradition concerning the law. In fact, the authentic interpretation of God’s Word, exercised by the Magisterium of the Church (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, n. 10 2), has juridical value to the extent that it concerns the context of law, without requiring any further formal procedure in order to become juridically and morally binding.

        For a healthy juridical interpretation, it is indispensable to understand the whole body of the Church’s teachings, and to place every affirmation systematically in the flow of tradition. It will thus be possible to avoid selective and distorted interpretations and useless criticisms at every step. …

  • Terry

    Is Archbishop Nichols purposely giving +Conry enough rope to hang himself? An easy way to rid the CBCEW of an unwanted bishop? Will we see another smackdown from the Vatican soon over this? I can dream, can’t I?

  • Nicholas Hinde

    The Church has repeatedly said that truth is the mainstay of both justice and charity.

  • stephen m

    if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off…

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