Church of inclusion

Church of inclusion

Homosexual couple © Manuel Lopez

Australian Bishop Van Nguyen is positive about "gay marriage". In a pastoral letter on the occasion of a survey on the introduction of "gay marriage," the clergyman stressed that the Church must also move with the times.

A church no-no on gay marriage: The Catholic bishop of Parramatta in Australia, Vincent Long Van Nguyen, has called on the faithful of his diocese to do some real soul-searching.

Church must perceive signs of the times, Long writes in pastoral letter on state questioning of introduction of "gay marriage". Even the introduction of civil divorce in Australia did not shake Catholic doctrine at the time.

Gay marriage "deeply personal" ie for many people

Long stresses he stands by church teaching that marriage is a union of a man and a woman. But he also recalled the promise he made when he took office in 2016: He stands for a church that "conveys less an experience of being excluded and more an encounter with radical love, inclusion and solidarity".

Homosexuals had often enough not felt welcome in the church, Long stressed. For many people, the ie of "gay marriage" is not just theoretical, but "deeply personal".

Don't answer with a simple yes or no

In families and circles of friends, deep feelings for close relatives competed with love for the church and its teachings. He therefore wants to encourage Christians not to answer the government's question with a simple yes or no, but to examine their own conscience to see what is Christian and what the Holy Spirit says about the needs of the time.

Australians to give opinion on possible introduction of 'gay marriage' in postal survey by mid-November. The church is divided on the ie.

The 55-year-old Long is a colorful dot in the Australian Bishops' Conference. Pope Francis appointed the Vietnamese-born Franciscan bishop of Parramatta in 2016. Born in Dong Nai in 1961, he came to Australia as a boat refugee at the age of 19.

Criticism of hierarchical structures

Before the Australian Abuse Commission, Long recently explained that as a young man he himself had been the victim of sexual abuse by a priest. The assault had occurred shortly after his arrival from Vietnam.

The bishop also criticized hierarchical structures in the church at the time. Titles, privileges and the "institutional dynamic" are a breeding ground for "clerical superiority and elitism".

Laity would have "no significant say" in appointing, supervising and de-longing a priest. The marginalization of women must also change.

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