By Hilary White
June 28, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Portuguese Catholic bishop has told media that he is “OK” with homosexual relationships and complained that the Church is a “little inflexible” in “cultural matters” like contraception and homosexuality.
In an interview with Ionline, a Portuguese language news site, Januário Torgal Ferreira, bishop for the Armed Forces of Portugal, said, “I do not agree with the notion of [same-sex] marriage. I do agree with and accept a man who lives with a man, and a woman who lives with a woman.”
Acknowledging that the Catholic Church asks homosexuals not to “practice their sexuality,” he continued: “It is certain that a homosexual couple is not theoretical, isn’t it? And affections are translated through this practice, through this psycho-affective fusion of mysterious unity that is the human being.”
The bishop also implied that Catholics need to be more relaxed about “cultural” issues such as public nudity. The bishop first criticized people who he said are "perfectly illiterate, filled with guilt, malice, sensuality, almost castrated." Such people, he said, will complain to him, "Oh…[sic] you go to the beach and to the pool in trunks."
"And then?" he responded. "What is the problem? I am a citizen like everyone else!"
After being asked by the interviewer if anyone had actually made such a complaint to him, he admitted, "Not directly."
"But," he continued, "people see me in the beach. Let us imagine the following situation: 'So, you were there lying down, next to a topless lady?' And then? What is the matter? Only a pervert goes to the beach and thinks about these things. Malice is often in the way one faces the world."
The bishop said he was thankful for "the educators I had, for looking to the world in a guiltless and uninhibited way."
He complained that his ideas have garnered him opposition from the lay faithful, saying, “I receive so many nasty letters!”
“I don't care, naturally, that there are positions different from my own. What upsets me is that people distort what I defend or decide to use insult and gratuitous aggression.”
He admitted that he has been corrected by Catholic authorities, saying he has "been warned once or twice” about his statements on contraception, which he referred to as “family planning.”
“I do not accept the dogmatism of natural methods. People often do not wish to be realistic.” Nevertheless, he said that “what matters most” is the “great dialogue” on such issues, “because truth is never possessed in full.”