One of the six couples chosen to participate in the Vatican’s Synod on the Family had some rather controversial advice for the gathered leaders of the Catholic Church. Ron and Mavis Pirola, co-directors of the Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council, spoke this afternoon to the 191 synod fathers. The text of their address was released today by the Vatican press office.

Ron and Mavis Pirola

The Pirolas suggested as an example of “upholding the truth while expressing compassion and mercy” the Church should follow the example of their friends.  “Take homosexuality as an example. Friends of ours were planning their Christmas family gathering when their gay son said he wanted to bring his partner home too,” they said.

“They fully believed in the Church’s teachings and they knew their grandchildren would see them welcome the son and his partner into the family,” added the Pirolas. “Their response could be summed up in three words, ‘He is our son’.”

The Pirolas concluded their instruction to the bishops regarding homosexuality, saying, “What a model of evangelization for parishes as they respond to similar situations in their neighbourhood! It is a practical example of what the Instrumentum laboris says concerning the Church’s teaching role and its main mission to let the world know of God’s love.” 

The example of the ready acceptance of a son and his homosexual lover to a gathering where the grandchildren would welcome them into the family is not an example of love or mercy at all. It is in fact a capitulation to sentiment at the expense of both the child and the grandchildren.

Homosexual acts are immoral and imperil body and soul. How can a loving parent encourage their child in behaviors so harmful by ‘accepting’ into the family an arrangement dangerous to their child’s temporal and eternal well-being?  How too could they expose their grandchildren to thinking well of a lifestyle that would threaten their eternal life?

No, the right answer is to meet privately with your son and if need be his ‘partner’ and explain to them with love and care that because you love him and his friend too, you must urge them not to engage in homosexual acts. Despite their complaints you will continue to desire eternal happiness for them and so you can’t help but offer them the path of holiness – which requires chastity. 

You would not permit them to come to Christmas with the extended family because it would encourage your grandchildren to embrace a disordered and dangerous lifestyle.  This path is a hard one for sure, but it is the path of love and mercy.

Ron and Mavis Pirola were founding members of the Pontifical Council for the Family, on which they served for over twenty five years.