LINCOLN, Nebraska, April 15, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Priests should not use concerns over “prudence” as an excuse to avoid speaking boldly on the immorality of homosexual acts, says Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska.
“Caution and prudence are important, but I don’t think they should be excuses for not properly speaking when speaking is necessary or extremely important pastorally,” the bishop told LifeSiteNews this week.
He said priests may be reluctant to address homosexuality because “there’s a lot of intimidation in various places,” but he stressed that the wide promotion of openness to homosexuality in our culture demands that they present the Catholic Church’s teachings clearly. “In a culture in which this kind of activity is broadcast all over, I think it’s important that the teaching of the Church be clear and precise,” he said.
“Homosexual acts are intrinsically evil, and if one does them with full knowledge and consent, they’re mortal sins and place one’s eternal salvation in the gravest of jeopardy,” he added.
Those who experience same-sex attractions must “resist that inclination,” he said. “There are people who are inclined to start fires, or to kill people, or to rob or something, and they can’t give into their inclinations. They have to struggle against them and restrain them.”
“Similarly, people who have such an inclination, however they obtained it, must maintain what God wants us to do in regard to the way human sexual activity and human reproductive activity takes place.”
Bishop Bruskewitz lamented that “in recent times things that were unspoken, or basically unspeakable, are now broadcast all over the media.” “We have a proliferation of every sort of pornography on the internet, and there’s a general cultural deterioration in that direction,” he said.
While there’s a need to present the Church’s sexual teachings clearly, the bishop also stressed that priests must make a “pastoral judgment” in determining the appropriate context for these discussions. “I think there’s a time and place to do these things. Sometimes there’s a certain delicacy, I think, and modesty in speaking and referring to sexual matters that has to observed,” he explained.
Discussions on homosexuality would be “inappropriate” with certain audiences, he said, but “there’s others where it would be not only appropriate but sometimes necessary to speak about them.”