Dew – Not about changing doctrine just the language

In an interview with Cindy Wooden of the Catholic News Services Cardinal John Dew, the Archbishop of Wellington, said he did not think anyone was arguing that church doctrine should be changed.

“We know what the church teaches; we all want to preserve that.”

He said that there was, however, a need to change the language the church uses.

“But we want to able to put it in such a way that people understand it.”

Dew said that he also spoke about language last year at the extraordinary synod on the family.

“I said when we have documents, which talk about ‘intrinsically disordered’ (as the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes same-sex attraction) or being evil, that’s not going to help people.”

“We have to find a way to express what the teaching actually says, but not putting it in ways that people feel they are being branded and they are being told that they are bad or evil.”

In his speech to the Synod Dew quoted from a letter issued by the bishops of Oceania in 1994, which said that when families are struggling they need friends.

Dew said he told the assembly: “Surely, the church needs to realize that we are there to be friends to people who are struggling or are in difficulty in any way.”

“And even if there is something there which is against church teaching, we put it in such a way that we’re being friendly to them, we’re being helpful to them and being supportive.”

“It’s not denying any teaching or any doctrine, but saying, ‘Look, we’re here to help you, to work with you.”


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News category: New Zealand, News Shorts.

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