Steve Weatherbe

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Nfld. archbishop: Gay unions should be ‘accepted and respected’ in Catholic Church

Steve Weatherbe
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St. John's Archbishop Martin Currie Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John's

In comments about the Vatican Synod on the Family this week, the Archbishop of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Martin Currie, told the CBC: “Hopefully we can find some accommodation where [same-sex] unions are accepted and respected and they can have a part in the church life.”

Asked by LifeSiteNews for clarification, he said that though he supports Church teaching on homosexuality, he wants the Catholic Church to “find a way to avoid alienating same sex couples” and their extended families. Archbishop Currie was adamant about his own sexual orientation. “Anybody who knows me knows I am as straight as they come. I haven’t got a gay bone in my body.”

The Catholic Church has taught that “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family.”

This week LifeSiteNews twice asked Archbishop Currie to explain how he would reconcile his statement with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which itself states, “Basing itself on Holy Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ … Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

Responding to the first query, he said, “I uphold Church teaching. I do not accept same-sex marriages. Whatever the Church teaches [on homosexuality], I support that. I have had to discipline people for going to same sex weddings.”

He did not deny or correct the comment quoted by the CBC, however. Asked again to explain his comment in light of Church teaching, he answered with one sentence: “I am a loyal son of the church and said nothing more than has been said by others at the synod.”

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The mid-term report from the synod caused an explosion of controversy as it suggested a positive value in the homosexual orientation, but such language was rejected in the final report.

Currie, who did not attend the Synod, told LifeSiteNews his CBC comments were based on “pastoral” concerns. “My problem is pastoral. How do we deal with the children of gay couples who come requesting baptism? Can we deny them baptism? I have difficulty with that.”

“We have lost whole families over this,” he added. “There is a pastoral need to give them comfort, not necessarily to the [same-sex] couple itself, but their extended family who experience the Church’s position as rigid and hard.”

Asked about a passage in the interim relatio stating that homosexuals bring “special gifts and qualities” to the Church, the archbishop told LifeSiteNews, “I do believe some have gifts to bring. Some I have known have the gift of music, for example.”

The archbishop should know well the negative fruits of homosexuality in the Church. His archdiocese is currently being sued by the alleged victims of homosexual assaults by members of the Christian Brothers order at the infamous Mount Cashel orphanage. Ninety victims over several decades from the 1950s until the institution closed in 1990 have been paid more than $11 million from the sale of the order’s Canadian assets.

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