Australian Priest Publicly Endorses the Goodness of Same-Gender Relationships

Fr. Michael Fallon

A priest in Australia is calling for public recognition of same-gender relationship and says they should be celebrated joyfully.  While not extending this recognition to marriage, he advances the Catholic position by speaking to the goodness of these couples’ relationships.

Fr. Michael Fallon’s comments were reported in The Canberra Times:

“In a notable departure from the public teachings of some church authorities, Dickson-based priest Michael Fallon called for a ‘public celebration of committed love for homosexual couples’, saying he feared ordinary people were being driven away from the Catholic faith by views they saw as hardline and irrelevant.’…

“‘[The public should offer] not just recognition, but joy, public joy in their communion with each other, that’s the least we can offer people,’ he said.”

He credits time as university chaplain, including ministry with LGBT students, as a key step in overcoming personal homophobia. He also appeals to his academic work as a scripture scholar for his position:

“…there were church authorities who saw homosexual behaviour and partnerships as immoral, but many priests he spoke to supported recognition of committed same-sex relationships.

“He said biblical references to homosexuality should be seen within the context of the time, rather than taken literally. ‘When Paul spoke about homosexual behaviour, the key is what was he actually speaking about? Did he know about two adults lovingly committing themselves to each other? We haven’t the faintest idea, and it’s quite unlikely,’ he said.”

This Australian priest is the latest among clergy calling for legal protections of LGBT people, with several bishops supporting civil unions in recent months and other priests speaking strongly for a rethinking of the Church’s sexual ethics.

–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry

5 replies
  1. Terence
    Terence says:

    It’s significant that he credits his own change of heart to the time he spent actually working with and getting to know gay people. This is the big difference between the experience of many LGBT people in real parishes, where they often find a genuine welcome and full acceptance, and the harsh and unrealistic words in documents from the CDF, crafted by ivory tower theologians with little contact with the real world, let alone any direct contacts with the lives of actual lesbian or gay people and their relationships.

    When I come across evangelical pastors who have had a similar change of heart (and there have been many), a common thread in their journeys has been meeting and getting to know people in committed, loving same- sex relationships. Invariably, they then come to a recognition that these relationships are really mush like the pastors’ own marriages. What a pity it is that Catholic bishops and Vatican theologians, deprived of the blessing of marriage in their own lives, are in no position to make similar comparisons.

    Reply

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