Thursday 26 November, 2020

Grenada Bishop: 'Pope did not say yes to same-sex marriage'

Bishop Clyde Harvey of the Roman Catholic Diocese of St George’s in Grenada has made it clear that the teachings of the church have not changed.  

He stated this in response to international media reports that pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions in a documentary.  

The pope's comment was both praised and criticised worldwide in various quarters. On social media, the public also held mixed views, some in support while others condemned the pope.  

During his conversations with the Bishop programme, Harvey said the piece about same-sex civil unions in the documentary was taken out of a larger statement about how Christians treat homosexual people.  

Harvey stated that the pope was not talking directly about gay sex and that there is a difference between homosexual acts and the laws about homosexual persons.  

Bishop Clyde Harvey during his conversations with the Bishop programme

He said the statement made by the pope is about the rights of gay people under the law, that those rights have to be protected:  

“The pope is not saying yes to homosexual marriage. He is not saying that homosexuals have a right to go before the altar and get married. He is not saying that.” 

The Roman Catholic Bishop further clarified that the church’s teachings have not changed.  

“The main thing for us to understand, the teaching of the church has not changed. Francis never intends to change it; he has made it very clear. He is about the pastoral approach to people not changing doctrine.”  

Bishop Harvey said marriage is between a man and a woman and marriage will never be, from a catholic perspective, between two people of the same sex or gender.  

However, he noted that the church stands with those who say regardless of their sexual orientation, their rights under the law must be protected.  

Harvey said where people seek to establish laws to do that, the church reserves the right to say yes to those laws.  

The rights which Harvey is speaking about are the rights of human beings under the law.  

This is an excerpt from what pope Francis said in the documentary 'Francesco' which was shown at the Rome Film Festival: “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God.”  

Francis says in the film: “You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.” 

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