By Meg Jalsevac and John-Henry Westen

BALTIMORE, November 15, 2006 ( – The US bishops have approved and released a letter entitled “Ministry to Persons With a Homosexual Inclination: Guidelines for Pastoral Care.” The document was approved at the bishops’ meeting in Baltimore yesterday.Â

As reported on previously by LifeSiteNews, the document treats homosexuality – carefully distinguishing between the disorder and intrinsic evil of homosexual acts and the innate dignity and value of the homosexual person.Â

In accord with the teachings of the Church, the recent document calls homosexuals to live a life of chastity. It says “Chaste living is an affirmation of all that is human, and is the will of God. It is we who suffer when we violate the dictates of our own human nature.”Â

The document does not shy away from the teaching of the Church thatÂsays “The homosexual inclination is objectively disordered.” It explains that “There is the intrinsic disorder of what is directed toward that which is evil in all cases (contra naturam).”

The document encourages those having a homosexual inclination to seek out true and good friendships as a means of support in their struggle.“True friendships are not opposed to chastity; nor does chastity inhibit friendship. In fact, the virtues of friendship and of chastity are ordered to each other.”

The bishops encourage all those involved in Church ministry to reach out to those of the homosexual community and instruct them. It says, “The ministry of the Church to persons with homosexual inclination must always have the overriding aim of fostering the greatest possible friendship with God, participation in the divine life of the Trinity through sanctifying grace.”

The document is clear to explain that “the Church cannot support organizations or individuals whose work contradicts, is ambiguous about, or neglects her teaching on sexuality.” It goes on to explain that the Church’s teaching is frequently rejected in today’s day and age because of the prevalence of moral relativity and “an obsession with the pursuit of pleasure” in today’s society.Â

Church participation, catechesis and the sacraments are offered as some of the means to assist in the struggle to live a virtuous life.

The document concludes with words of encouragement and direction for those with the homosexual inclination who are striving to live out their life in a chaste manner according to the teachings of the Church and also for those ministering to them.“As Jesus Christ came and died for us in order “to gather into one the dispersed children of God” (Jn 11:52), so we must all work for unity among God’s people”

Read the entire document:


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