10/24/2014, 00.00
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Philippines, after the Synod "we need a ministry of accompaniment" for gay and remarried

The President of the Bishops Conference, Msgr. Villegas: "We need to help homosexuals to live in chastity, responding to Christ’s call to purity". But "there is no equivalence between marriage and so-called civil unions between persons of the same sex”. With regards the divorced and remarried "we cannot presume to judge and condemn".

Manila (AsiaNews) - Through honest dialogue and pastoral accompaniment, it should be our goal to assist people with homosexual attractions to respond to the demands of chastity and that purity of body and heart that Jesus, in the Gospels, calls 'blessed'. Persons with homosexual orientation are sons and daughters of God; no less than any of us is. Discrimination against them is contrary to the Gospel spirit". This was the statement issued by the president of the Philippines Bishops' Conference at the end of the Extraordinary Synod on the family.

According to Msgr. Socrates Villegas "If these people wish to make an offering to the life of the Church according to their talents, abilities and gifts, the Church as mother provides for them". However, speaking to lawmakers, the archbishop said that " there is no equivalence or even any remote analogy whatsoever between marriage between a man and woman as planned by God and the so-called same sex unions "

With regard to the question of divorced and remarried Catholics, the bishop has no doubts: "We cannot presume to judge and condemn. Rather, the presumption should be that there is a genuine effort on their part to live according to the demands of our faith. The danger of scandal should never stand in the way of genuine charity, and the Catholic faithful must be reminded that much of what Jesus did was scandalous to the 'righteous' of his time".


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Synod: "intense" debate in drafting of final document
Synod: "the desire for family" still alive, but "new pastoral programs" needed
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