Cardinal says homosexual orientation God-given

An Indian cardinal has said he believes that the sexual orientation of homosexual people might well be given by God.

In an interview with The Hindu, Cardinal Oswald Gracias said he knows “there is still research being done whether it’s a matter of choice or matter of orientation and there are two opinions on this matter”.

“But I believe maybe people have this orientation that God has given them and for this reason they should not be ostracised from society,” the Archbishop of Mumbai said.

He said he supports the repeal of a section of India’s penal code that criminalises homosexual acts.

Cardinal Gracias also rejected judgmental language about LGBT people, and said the Church and Indian society should be more welcoming towards them.

“Asian society is very traditional and the Indian society, in particular, is very traditional and resists change. [It] doesn’t want to be destabilised perhaps.

“That is why I think sometimes that if society is not ready then maybe we shouldn’t push against it as there will be a backlash.

“But on the other hand, a group should not suffer because of that. We have to get these people integrated into society.”

He said he recently ordered a priest to tone down his language in speaking publicly on the issue.

“The Church in India and also worldwide has a role to play in forming the mentality of people and the thinking of people,” Cardinal Gracias said.

“We should be more welcoming of people from the LGBT community and certainly less judgemental in our approach.

“In fact, we just had a meeting of bishops last month where frankly everybody agreed that we have been speaking a little too harshly about them.

“The Church also has an important role to play in providing [LGBT people with] a sense of security.

“It’s not just that they should be tolerated, they should also be accepted. For many of them, through no fault of their own, this is a great suffering.”

Cardinal Gracias, who is a member of the Pope’s advisory C9 council of cardinals, noted that the Church does not accept gay marriage.

Sources

News category: World.

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