In response to the Pope’s statement last week that Christians should apologize to homosexuals for any mistreatment they may have experienced at their hands, homosexual groups are saying they want much more than apologies.
They want action, including for the Catholic Church to change its teachings.
Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of Church-condemned group DignityUSA, said, “For a pope to acknowledge that the church has done so much damage to gay people, and that we deserve an apology, is an unprecedented act of humility. But a statement of remorse is only as good as the change in behavior that follows.”
Specifically, homosexuals are offended by Church teaching that homosexuality is an “objective disorder” and that homosexual activity is “intrinsically evil.”
Typically, the New York Times gets this teaching wrong in a story published this week. Reporter Jim Yardley reported that the Church teaches that homosexuals themselves are “’objectively disordered” and “intrinsically evil.” The Church teaching refers to the condition of homosexuality and then homosexual acts.
Dissenters from Church teaching are having a field day after the Pope’s sometimes confused and confusing statement. Jesuit Jim Martin has issued two videos condemning Bishops for not explicitly mentioning the sexual attraction of the men and women killed by the Islamic terrorist in Orlando, the event that triggered the Pope’s statement.
A Catholic bishop from Florida explicitly blamed Church teaching for the massacre in Orlando.
Eliel Cruz, leader of the homosexual group Faith in America, said, “Pope Francis’ comments about the church’s ‘past treatment’ of gays doesn’t acknowledge the harm being caused in the present day. Seeking an apology without recognizing the root cause of the harm caused is useless. Francis’ apologizes for harm caused without changing the theology that continues to do this harm. Francis continues to believe LGBT people are intrinsically disordered. The Catholic Church’s teachings on LGBT people demonizes the community.”
Besides teaching that homosexuality is disordered and that gay sex is intrinsically evil, the catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that homosexuals should not suffer “unjust discrimination.” However, the Church excludes men who identify as “gay” from the priesthood. Besides a priestly ban, the Church also considers the ban on gay marriage as just discrimination.
DignityUSA is a renegade group of dissenting Catholics who actively oppose Church teaching on homosexuality, who believe that gay sex is morally acceptable, and that has been lobbying the Church for a change in its teaching. Duddy-Burke is particularly incensed that the Church has been firing employees who come out gay and married.
Call to Action, a dissident group of Catholics, also heralded the Pope’s statement but also called on the Church to “reform teachings and practices” related to homosexuals.
It should be noted that Pope Francis did not apologize to gays for Church teachings on homosexuality. He said individual Christians should apologize if they have caused harm. This distinction was universally lost on the media and campaigning gay groups.