As a Catholic great-grandparent who has same-sex relatives, I am responding to two recent letters that support the policy of the pastor of St. Francis By the Sea Catholic Church; he refuses admittance to its school the children of a same-sex married couple.
One of the writers claimed that, according to the church, “homosexuality is a mortal sin and it will stay that way.” Actually, I believe official church doctrine states that a homosexual is welcome to communion but if that person is in a same-sex relationship that would bar him or her from the sacraments.
Fortunately, in our church, the practice of the faithful leads to changes — perhaps not immediately in doctrine — but in acceptable conduct.
For example, in 1968 Pope Paul VI declared the use of contraceptives “intrinsically evil.” Since then, the great majority of Catholic parents use contraceptives and, as of today, I do not know of any priest barring them from the sacraments (much less their kids). To be consistent, should not the pastor bar all kids from the sacraments whose parents use contraceptives?
Consider further: the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Australia has released a document that encourages its 330 schools to approach LGBT students with support and tolerance. Note: This applies to the LGBT students themselves.
I believe, regardless of doctrine, the Archdiocese of Melbourne has received and is putting into practice Pope Francis’ words of mercy and inclusion of LGBT persons — as well as their children.
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