Malta Bishop: Those Who Won’t Adhere to Church Teachings on Homosexuality Should be “Honest” and Lea

Wed Jan 28, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

GOZO, Malta, January 28, 2009 ( - "Whoever does not accept Christ’s teachings should be honest with themselves and excommunicate themselves from the Church," said Bishop Mario Grech of the diocese of Gozo at a recent meeting of parish priests in this small island off the Maltese coast.

Bishop Grech was alluding to a recent decision by openly homosexual political candidate Dr. Ing Patrick Attard, who excommunicated himself from the Catholic Church to protest the Pope’s end of year sermon to senior Church leaders, in which the Holy Father pointed to the fact that the two genders are part of the “language of creation.”

“When the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman and asks that this order of creation be respected, it is not the result of an outdated metaphysic,” said Benedict XVI.

These remarks were interpreted as an attack on homosexuals, although the pope did not specifically address the question of homosexuality in the talk.

In the context of a talk urging Christians to take part in political debate, given to the clergy during a visit by President Eddie Fenech Adami to the College of Parish Priests in Gozo, Bishop Grech said the disintegration of the fusion between faith and reason has led society to believe that those who participate in politics cannot not think in Christian terms. This, said the bishop, is a false idea.

"It is in this context that the Church is eager to cooperate with society to help in the whole development of its citizens," Bishop Grech said, but also warned that, "We cannot have a Church that does not distinguish itself from the rest of society. It is worrying if a Christian does not distinguish himself with his lifestyle, in a bid to conform."

Speaking of the decline of Christianity in many Western nations and the difficulty in integrating faith and public life, the Bishop encouraged people "not be disheartened that the Church was no longer one for the masses, but was becoming a minority" and gave the example that even a small witness to faith was like "a bit of salt that went a long way to enhance the taste of food."

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