Retired Australian Bishop Calls For New Church Study on Sexuality

 Two more recent articles both from NCR to add to the ongoing debate about sexuality and the Catholic Church.

The first from here is by retired Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson who made a call at last week's Seventh National Symposium on Catholicism and Homosexuality, for "a new study of everything to do with sexuality" -- a kind of study that he predicted "would have a profound influence on church teaching concerning all sexual relationships, both heterosexual and homosexual." 

"If church teaching on homosexual acts is ever to change, the basic teaching governing all sexual acts must change," he said.

Robinson, has been a priest since 1960 and was auxiliary bishop of Sydney from 1984 until his retirement for health reasons in 2004.

 His full text at the New Ways Ministry symposium, as well as other writings and references to controversies Robinson has engaged in in his efforts to change the way the church's approach to issues of sexual morality can be found on his website
and from here.

 Image by Jaume Plensa

In this article here on the Redemption of Eros , Eugene Cullen Kennedy, emeritus professor of psychology at Loyola University, Chicago, endorses Robinson's view when he says :

"Indeed, in urging a much needed review of what and how the church teaches about human sexuality, Bishop Robinson draws on themes central to Vatican II. The first of these is found in placing the reality of the human person rather than the abstraction of natural law as the central reference point in church teachings and papal pronouncements about marriage and sexual activity. 

The second is found in the shift from an emphasis on objective acts to subjective intentions and dispositions in making judgments on the badness or goodness of how people behave. 

This rightfully emphasizes the impact that our actions or omissions have on other persons rather than on the ire that has idled within so many church leaders who have been so preoccupied with sin.

Robinson's convictions on the need for a thorough examination of the church's teaching on sexuality are significant in themselves but also because he has found a way to speak about this essential matter from within the church, even if in the mannered traditional way that dialogue moves, however slowly, toward a wider circle of prelates."
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