Bishop Michael Putney of Townsville, Australia has been preparing for next fall’s Synod of Bishops that will focus on family life, and in doing so spoke realistically about the lives of Catholics in his diocese when it comes to marriage.
While affirming the hierarchy’s negative view of same-gender marriage, Putney also spoke positively about pastoral outreach and other matters relating to LGBT people in the Church, saying:
“This present pope does want it to be more merciful and more sympathetic and to really understand the sufferings of people and to show [people] love above all…You get questions about how do you pastorally look after the children of, say, gay couples? He does want them to be cared for. How do you reach out to gay couples?
“I do find a great deal of sympathy for [LGBT] people. There’s no family that doesn’t have a gay member. There’s no circle of friends that we have that doesn’t contain gay people. This is true of bishops and priests and every Catholic. They must know first of all that we love and accept them.
“We do have a teaching about marriage and family life and so on…but that doesn’t mean we treat them badly or speak badly against them or have bad attitudes agains them or treat their children badly. That’s always been my attitude and I’m glad Pope Francis is saying that loud and clear every chance he gets.”
You can listen to the entire interview at ABC Brisbane.
–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry