OTTAWA, June 27, 2011 ( – A commission of the Canadian bishops today released a letter on pastoral ministry to young people with same-sex attraction.

“Scripture and Tradition teach that sexual relations between persons of the same sex are not in accord with God’s original intention expressed in the plan of creation,” says the document from The Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB).  “For this reason, the Church has consistently taught that homosexual acts can never be approved.”

The bishops repeatedly and emphatically reject any unjust discrimination against those with same-sex attraction.  The Church, the document says, “carefully distinguishes between an individual’s inclinations or feelings … and one’s actions. While homosexual acts are always objectively wrong, same-sex inclinations are not in themselves sinful or a moral failing.”

At the same time, the bishops affirm the teaching from the Catechism of the Catholic Church that the homosexual inclination itself is “objectively disordered.”  “This does not mean that the person as a whole is somehow defective or “badly made,” or that he or she has in some way been rejected by God,” they explain.  “Inclinations to homosexual acts in no way diminish the full human dignity or intrinsic worth of the person.”

The bishops reach out to parents of children with same-sex attraction, advising them that while counseling is advised, parents must be careful to select counselors faithful to authentic Catholic teaching on sexuality.  “Ensure that professional counsellors or psychologists who see young people are distinguished by their sound human and spiritual maturity,” say the bishops. “They must be committed to the Christian vision of the human person and sexuality, as well as the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and chastity.”

Touching on the current controversial issue of education around topics of homosexuality, the bishops stress, “Parents have the principal moral responsibility of educating their sons and daughters in matters of human sexuality.”  Addressing teachers, catechists and other educators, the document says, “you play a role insofar as you carry out your responsibilities in the name of the parents and with their consent.”

The teachers of faith and other educators are warned that misrepresentation and silence about the Church’s teaching that homosexual acts are immoral has grave consequences for youth experiencing same-sex attraction.  “Avoidance of difficult questions or watering down the Church’s teaching is always a disservice,” it says. “Such attitudes could lead young people into grave moral danger.”

The bishops specifically encourage parents to direct their young adult children with same-sex attraction to the authentically Catholic help group Courage, and warn all those who care about such youth to “help them avoid involvement in a ‘gay culture’ opposed to the Church’s teaching, with its often aggressive and immoral lifestyle.”

See the full document here.