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.
“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.’ ”
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