Bishop from Malta Shows Respect for Lesbian and Gay Couples

Bishop Charles Scicluna

Bishop Charles Scicluna

In what seems to becoming a trend in Europe of slight affirmation of gay and lesbian relationships, an auxiliary bishop from Malta recently reprimanded a Catholic who negatively characterized those relationships as based on lust. reports:

“Malta’s Auxiliary Bishop, Charles Scicluna, has stepped in to condemn a provocative letter written by zealous Catholic churchgoer Joe Zammit who claims there can only be lust and not love between gay people.

“Bishop Scicluna told the Sunday Times of Malta: ‘Joe Zammit has managed to do a great disservice to the Catholic ethos by presenting a caricature of the Church’s teaching on gay relationships.’ ”

Bishops Scicluna did not endorse marriage between gay and lesbian couples, but his comments reflect a new awareness on the part of some bishops in expressing respect and positive regard for gay and lesbian relationships:

“Bishop Scicluna maintained that ‘Gay people are not called to marriage which is the permanent union between one man and one woman open to the gift of parenthood,’ but then added, ‘they are indeed called to chaste friendship and chaste friendship is chaste love.’

“ ‘To say, as Mr Zammit keeps harping, that “there can never be love but only lust between homosexuals” is to deny the truth of what the Church teaches.’ . . .

“Bishop Scicluna felt compelled to step in and dismissed Mr Zammit’s comments saying his opinion ‘does not represent the teachings of the Church.’ ”

Bishop Scicluna joins the French bishops, British Bishops, and a Vatican official who recently made similar comments regarding respect for gay and lesbian couples.

Let’s hope and pray that American bishops will soon follow suit.   It will be a giant step forward if bishops can refrain from their inaccurate rhetoric which unilaterally disparages gay and lesbian couples.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

0 replies
  1. Ryan Sattler
    Ryan Sattler says:

    Words from the bishop that touch our hearts. Hatred and the lack of love “do not represent the teachings of the Church.” May the US bishops begin to say the same. Amen


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […]  Though he opposed civil unions, Scicluna said the church should apologize to LGBT people, and criticized a right-wing blogger for homophobic language. Just last year, Scicluna became one of the few […]

  2. […] Yet, Scicluna also apologized to lesbian and gay people for harm done by the church and publicly criticized a lay man’s harsh letter against same-sex relationships. He even participated in the International Day Against […]

  3. […] to lesbian and gay people for times the church has made their lives more difficult. He publicly criticized a lay man’s harsh letter against same-sex relationships, saying it was a “caricature of the Church’s teaching on gay […]

  4. […] made headlines with statements critical of a doctrinaire approach to lesbian and gay people.  In February of this year, he criticized a public letter by a Catholic man who said that lesbian and gay people can only […]

  5. […] Three days ago, we posted about Bishop Charles Scicluna of Malta expressing respect for the love of gay and lesbian couples.  Thanks to one of our readers, today we are able to provide video of an interview with Bishop Scicluna.  Though he clearly does not endorse marriage for gay and lesbian couples, he does show a pastoral sensitivity to the human relationships of same-gender couples that few bishops exhibit.   Towards the end of the interview, he explains the hierarchy’s use of the term “disorder” to describe sexual orientation.  Again, while his definition is not overwhelmingly positive, he does remove from the term any connotation of stigma and mental illness.  He also categorically states that people should not use the word “evil” to talk about gay and lesbian people. […]

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