Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Bishop Gumbleton Opens Door for All to Pass Through

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Bishop Gumbleton Opens Door for All to Pass Through

Article excerpt

Taking risks takes courage. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit and a coalition of parishes in the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese were courageous recently for their unprecedented attempt to reconcile the church with gay and lesbian Catholics [NCR, Nov. 4 and Nov. 11].

The church's views on homosexual morality are evolving, slowly and painfully. Just as the church has changed its views on aspects of heterosexual morality, so too can it change views on homosexual morality, Gumbleton explained during his visit to the Twin Cities. Today the church esteems married sexuality, but back in the seventh century, Gumbleton said, St. Gregory the Great wrote to St. Augustine, then archbishop of Canterbury, that "since even the lawful intercourse of the wedded cannot take place without pleasure of the flesh, entrance into a sacred place should be abstained from because the pleasure itself can by no means be without sin."

Gumbleton encouraged sexual-minority persons to continue to tell their stories to bring about change in the church and society. This contradicts the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's 1992 statement that discrimination "is not a problem unless a person is known to be homosexual," Gumbleton said. "This reasoning implies that gay and lesbian people would be better off to pretend, hide or deny their sexuality to avoid problems in society."

Gumbleton disagreed, describing the pain and harm that comes to those who hide who they are. …

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