A number of ministry and church leaders believe a cautious approach to same-sex marriage is needed so as not to alienate those outside the church.
Father Neil Vaney, an Auckland Roman Catholic moral theologian, said the secular media and various people were “pushing” the same sex issue. He said the Church should “show great compassion” to people from whom it had differing views.
“It is important the Church does not come across as homophobic or as being anti-gay. It is also important that Christians stay humble,” said Fr Vaney.
“Several leaders said anti-gay-type comments would not alter what seemed inevitable — so was it worth getting offside with those the Church should be reaching out to?” he asked.
Fr Vaney noted that it was “ironic that after so much rhetoric to create the legal category of civil union, with its avowedly secular repudiation of all religious tradition, that the homosexual lobby should be fighting so hard to reclaim the label of marriage for their unions”.
“Perhaps it is the aura of stability, commitment and lasting community that they are pining after – if so, all to the good…” he said.
A number of other ministry and church leaders believe a cautious approach to same-sex marriage is needed so as not to alienate those outside the church.
The church’s main role, they point out, is to proclaim the Gospel and bring people to salvation and faith in Jesus and not get sidetracked. Many of them who did not want to make a public comment said Jesus came alongside people and sought to form friendships rather than judge a person from a distance.