19Mar Academic Statement on the Ethics of Free and Faithful Same-Sex Relationships

Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research


“Catholic moral teaching on [homosexuality] will be intellectually marginalized to the extent that it avoids engaging with the experiences of the people and the human sciences that reflect on them.

Moreover, the dialogue with the exegetical and moral theological knowledge of the last decades must be such as not to preclude from the outset progress in learning and knowledge.”

Rt Rev. Dr. Franz-Josef Overbeck, Catholic bishop of Essen, Germany, 2019


3 Responses

  1. Joe O'Leary

    It seemed to me that arguing with biblical fundamentalists and literalists on their own premises was the wrong place to begin. A much deeper reflection on biblical hermeneutics (for which assistance might be found in the Vatican document on the interpretation of the Bible in the Church: https://catholic-resources.org/ChurchDocs/PBC_Interp-FullText.htm) seems to be a mandatory prerequisite. But Catholic theology has fallen dismally flat as far as lgbt issues are concerned, and that is the result of centuries of censorship and silencing, as well as the ongoing refusal of dialogue and consultation. The number of top class theologians and biblical scholars who have drawn on their expertise to address these questions in a substantial way is still tiny.

  2. Cyril North

    Christianity is trapped in a Platonic mindset since the earliest time. This imagines natural objects as being based on “essences” or immaterial “Ideas”, which are immutable. Such a philosophy is unable to accept variants in nature and to understand that homosexual orientation is a part of the natural world.
    Consequently, Francis 1 is obliged to conform to traditional teaching about human sexuality, while at the same time he’d like to show compassion to gays.
    Trouble is, it’s hard to have it both ways and remain consistent.

  3. Pat O'Hagan

    What a clear and well argued piece of writing, supported by some eminent theologians and biblical scholars. This should be compulsory reading, not just for conservative / fundamentalist Catholics and other Christians, but for anyone interested at all in furthering the discussion on LGBT rights in the Church and in society at large. A very welcome article which could be the basis for fruitful discussion on a topic that’s close to the hearts of many members of our Church and which, sadly, is driving many good people, young and not so young, away.

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