Decriminalization of homosexuality – what it means for the Catholic Church in Dominica

first_img Sharing is caring! FaithLifestyleOpinionsReader Bites Decriminalization of homosexuality – what it means for the Catholic Church in Dominica by: – May 21, 2013 Share In response to the claim of the advocacy group, Minority Rights Dominica (MiriDom) that the Catholic Church in Dominica is not reflecting the Vatican’s position on unjust discrimination towards homosexual persons, I wish to make it clear that the Catholic Church in Dominica adheres to the call of the Holy See in its statement to the 63rd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations on the Declaration of Human Rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, “to condemn all forms of violence against homosexual persons as well as to urge all States to take necessary measures to put an end to all criminal penalties against them.”The Catholic Church maintains that free sexual acts between adult persons must not be treated as crimes to be punished by civil authorities. The Vatican specifically objected to the declaration’s use of the term sexual orientation and gender identity, which it said had no established meaning in international law. According to the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, these terms imply that sexual identity is defined only by culture, and their use in the declaration is part of an attempt to equate same-sex unions with marriage and to give homosexual couples the chance to adopt or procreate children.”This is where I think it is necessary to bring into focus the moral question. It is very important to note that the role of the Church in any society is primarily a moral one. She is not at liberty to change the divine mandate at will or according to human expediency. She has no authority to make a wrong into a right. She only serves as a guide to direct the faithful to what is morally correct and to discourage them from spiritually perilous decisions that can hinder their salvation. Homosexual “activity,” according to Holy Scriptures, is among many wrongs which, if not controlled, can lead to spiritual death. Among these are adultery, fornication, orgies, calumny, deep seated hatred, and the like (cf. Rom 13:13; Gal 5:16-21). These, along with homosexual “activity” will never be right, whether they are decriminalized by the State or not. Part of the problem we face in this post- modern world is what both Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, refer to as a dictatorship of relativism. What it means is that there is no longer an objective truth that should guide human decisions; what is important for many persons is what “I” perceive to be good for “me”. We seem to recognize neither the natural law nor the divine law. This attitude no doubt directly influences our sense of morality. The Church in its role as moral guide does not exist to condemn human persons but rather to condemn lifestyles and behaviours that are not in keeping with the divine law. Therefore, just as the Church has a responsibility to bring an adulterer to repentance she has the same responsibility towards those who indulge in homosexual “activity.” Let me take this opportunity to share with you the Church’s position on same-sex unions. In the Christian order of things, it has everything to do with our understanding of the divinely established structure for perpetuation of the human species; a structure which is unchangeable. In the book of Genesis we read that God created human beings; in his image and likeness he created them male and female (Cf. Gen 2:37). Human beings therefore reflect the image of God when they are united in love, a love which comes out of their complementarity. God made man male and female to complement each other and together be an image of God. In the Catholic understanding, there is a sacramental dimension of marriage. It simply means that the human participation in the union of a man and his wife reveals in some way the nature of God. Part of the vocation of married couples is to generate their own species, a direct fruit of the union. As Pope John Paul II puts it, “when a couple, man and woman, are joined in the sexual embrace, they are filled with sanctifying grace.” A couple united in marital embrace which is open to creativity, is the image of God the Creator. Therefore, for us who believe, same-sex unions can never be a sacrament and therefore can never be accepted by the Church as valid marriages. They may be licit, according to the State in which they are permitted by the civil law, but they can never be valid in the face of the divine law, as we understand it.There is an attempt today to redefine marriage to say that it is a union between two persons. Marriage is between a man and a woman, not between just two persons. This is the only definition in the Christian order. In conclusion, I wish to affirm that there is such a thing as an objective law, no matter which philosophy some people may hold. Some things are right and some things are wrong whether we like it or not. What is according to God’s law is right and what is contrary to God’s law is wrong; and all of us are called to live by God’s law if salvation is part of our agenda. Therefore, whether it regards fornication, adultery, homosexual activity, the whole gamut, we have to live by God’s law. We live in an age in which people say, it is my body and I can do whatever I want with it. St. Paul reminds us that our bodies are temples of God’s Spirit and therefore deserve our utmost respect. They must not be treated just in any other way.By Bishop Gabriel Malzaire Tweetcenter_img Share Share 241 Views   5 commentslast_img read more

Why Man United target Ethan Ampadu chose Wales over England, Ghana

first_imgWelsh teenager Ethan Ampadu hit the headlines this week after Manchester United reportedly joined Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea in the race to sign him .But long before he gets the chance to choose between the Premier League big-guns, the 15-year-old Exeter City midfielder had an even bigger choice to make – between England and Wales.And after careful consideration, the son of former Swansea midfielder Kwame Ampadu chose Wales , the land of his mother’s birth.Why Wales?Having spent much of last summer at FA training camps and thriving, even attracting interest from Ghana , Ampadu was captain as Wales U16s gloriously retained the Victory Shield last November, a year after winning it for the first time in 66 years.The talented teen was then asked to jump up to the Wales U17 set-up for their UEFA Elite tournament campaign. After sitting out the qualifying rounds, the lure of the competitive tournament in Croatia was enough to make Ampadu effectively commit his international future to Wales.He joined his clubmate Max Smallcombe in David Hughes’ squad and travelled to Croatia lat month as an integral part of a group of full international hopefuls who are mostly two years older than him.How did he get on?Ampadu played 90 minutes in the 2-0 win over Croatia on March 16 and the 1-0 defeat against Portugal two days later but was replaced by Arsenal’s Robbie Burton with 17 minutes to go in the 1-0 defeat against Sweden on March 21. He was also booked in that game.Wales finished third in their group behind Portugal and Sweden but Ampadu came back with his reputation very much enhanced. What do his club think?Exeter City’s academy manager Simon Hayward said: “Ethan was handed a really difficult choice at such a young age but we have fully supported him and his family in making it.“He was treated really well by the FA and really enjoyed his time in the England camp but he really wanted to play for Wales at the tournament.“He is really grateful to the FA for the opportunity but he really enjoys being part of the Wales squad and hopefully he will keep developing. He’s got a lot of hard work in front of him.” What happens now?Having attracted the attention of some of the Premier League big-boys, it seems as though Ampadu has the world at his feet but his club and international coaches will be keen to keep them firmly on the ground, as will his father who is currently a coach at Arsenal.But he only has to look at Manchester United’s Regan Poole to see what can be achieved. Poole was in the Wales U17 setup last season before making the big move to Old Trafford last summer and making his first team debut in February.Other youngsters like Marcus Rashford, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson have also flourished under Louis Van Gaal this season and their reported interest could tempt Ampadu away from his father’s grasp at the Emirates.What certain is that Wales manager Chris Coleman will be keeping a close eye on his progress having seen him play several times and been briefed fully by his trusted lieutenant Osian Roberts, who made the exciting youngster the captain of his successful Wales U16 team. —last_img read more