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.
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).