Mary McAleese will today launch an international Catholic think tank which will challenge the theological evidence for church teaching that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered”.
Plans for the study by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research will call on Pope Francis to question official church teachings on same-sex relationships.
A spokeswoman for the Institute said that the research would also address “the exclusion of gay and lesbian families from the World Meeting of Families” which it argues furthers the church’s “marginalisation and demonisation” of LGBT Catholics and their relationships.
The Wijngaards research will engage in critical evaluation of the arguments behind official Catholic teaching which date back to a 1986 Vatican document, ‘Homosexualitatis Problema’, according to Luca Badini Confalonieri, director of research at the Institute.
“Since [then], however, biology and genetics have made some progress towards understanding the causes of homosexuality. The same can be said of biblical studies, on what the Bible affirms with regard to the meanings and purposes of human sexuality and sexual diversity,” writes Confalonieri in a preliminary paper on the research.
“The question of homosexual acts is sometimes regarded as settled from the earliest days of Christianity . . . A process of debate and consultation would be tantamount to putting this in doubt, and so, no such process has been initiated or encouraged by the Vatican. This report aims at filling that gap.”
Mary McAleese’s Mordern Family
Ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families, a new RTÉ series will follow former President Mary McAleese as she travels the country, charting the seismic changes that have occurred in the Irish family and in our relationship with the Catholic Church since the last historic papal visit, 39 years ago.
In the documentary, Mrs McAleese, whose son, Justin, is a gay rights campaigner, says she found it “really upsetting”. “Worse than that it cements a view of the church as being unwelcoming, possibly a view of our Pope as being unwelcoming and that’s not what I wanted ever to give to my children,” she said.
‘Mary McAleese’s Modern Family’ will air on RTÉ this Wednesday, August 22, 2018.
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