RC Church hits out at pro gay comments from Anglican Primate

David Virtue DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Sun May 20 23:50:11 EDT 2001

Roman Catholic Church hits out at pro gay comments from Anglican

By Jordan Baker

CANBERRA, AAP - The Anglican Primate's call for a softer church stance
on lesbians and gays was at odds with mainstream Christianity, the
Catholic Church said today.

Dr Peter Carnley, head of the Anglican Church in Australia, questioned
the church's attitude towards long-term homosexual couples in an
article in the Bulletin magazine.

He stopped short of condoning gay marriages but suggested committed
homosexual relationships could be recognised as friendships.

His comments were criticised by the Catholic Church's official
spokesman and by the political party, One Nation, which labelled
homosexuality un-Christian and wrong.

But the Primate's comments were welcomed by the Australian Democrats
and gay-acceptance groups within the Catholic Church, who said loving,
long term relationships should be blessed.

Catholic Church spokesman Brian Lucas said there was a wide gulf
between marriage and friendship and one could not be dressed up as the

"You're either married or you're not," Fr Lucas said.

"If he's saying that the church should regard homosexual relationships
and activity as legitimate, I think he's at variance with mainstream

"That point of view is not one shared universally at all."

Fr Lucas said the Catholic Church was opposed to accepting same sex

But Catholic priest Claude Mostowik, who heads Acceptance, a gay
support organisation, said he did not believe in gay marriages but
homosexual relationships were a reality.

"I think if they are committed and long term, then why not bless them,"
he said.

"We've blessed tanks and aeroplanes that kill.

"Blessing a couple who want to commit to each other in a relationship,
that can't be less than blessing a car or a house or an animal."

 The theological row comes a week after protesters in Sydney accused
Catholic Archbishop George Pell of homophobia as he was installed in
the Sydney Archdiocese.

One Nation also criticised the comments and called on  governor-general
designate and Brisbane Anglican Archbishop Peter Hollingworth to speak
out against same-sex relationships.

The party's Queensland parliamentary leader Bill Flynn said
homosexuality was un-Christian and wrong and peer pressure was needed
to steer people away from it.

"Archbishop Hollingworth is part of the Anglican Church and, before he
gets into a situation where he says nothing at all, I would be
interested to hear him support the tenets of the church and move
towards strong moral values," Mr Flynn told reporters.

Archbishop Hollingworth was unavailable for comment today.

But Democrats sexuality issues spokesman Brian Greig said Dr Carnley
was an intelligent and compassionate person who helped force sensitive
issues into the mainstream.

"By contrast the Roman Catholic Church, represented in Australia by
Archbishop George Pell, has adopted a head-in-the-sand and often
hostile attitude to matters of sex and sexuality, targeting gay and
lesbian people in particular," he said in a statement.


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