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UK Catholic Bishops Instruct Priests Not To Offend Gays

Jim Burroway

November 29th, 2008

New instructions from UK Roman Catholic Biships:

Roman Catholic priests have been banned from using ‘heterosexist’ language in their churches in case they offend gay worshipers. They have been told by their bishops not to assume that every churchgoer is a heterosexual and to reflect this ‘in language and conversation’. ‘Remember that homophobic jokes and asides can be cruel and hurtful – a careless word can mean another experience of rejection and pain,’ say the bishops in a leaflet advising priests and worshippers how to be more welcoming to gay people.

I think maybe they need to address these instructions to some of the guys at the top.



David Hearne
November 29th, 2008 | LINK

Don’t offend us? That’s a good one. Don’t offend the homosexuals, just relay Vatican directives to support anti-gay laws. The only reason I’m focussing on Mormons right now is because Catholics are statistically less likely to obey their bishops than Mormons do. But the Knights of Columbus can kiss my ass- the next time they have their carnival or some other time they come around begging, they will meet a new me.

November 29th, 2008 | LINK

Some of us happen to feel a bit more strongly about it than that. Instead of insulting those that decided to take you into consideration, you ought to respect those who have bothered to respect you.

Thanks for the update, Box Turtle.

Lynn David
November 30th, 2008 | LINK

Unless it was when I was very young of since the Papal letter following Lawrence v Texas, I don’t ever remember a pastor of mine mentioning any form of the words, gay, lesbian, or homosexual in our church.

I wonder if what is behind this is the political attitude in England towards gays, in particular. Certainly, we’ve heard some other hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Belgium, Mexico (but was that a European?), and even here in the US and Canada speak in terms which were more reminiscent of the playground than anything else.

November 30th, 2008 | LINK

While I agree with seeking to cut out homophobic jokes, though why this is a problem among Brit priests is a mystery to me, but “heterosexist language”? That screams PC nonsense to me and makes me cringe. Too vague and rife with potential for abuse.

November 30th, 2008 | LINK

It isn’t actually clear whether the words “heterosexist language” are those of the UK bishops or of the Daily Mail reporter.

Personally, I couldn’t care one way or the other about political correctness; I’m concerned about moral correctness, and I don’t expect to hear homophobic comments from priests, whether at Mass or at other times. To be fair, I have heard such comments in my parish only once, a great many years ago, when an elderly visiting priest, very much a pre-Vatican II type, preached a sermon on “sexual ethics”.

November 30th, 2008 | LINK

I went to the marriage of my niece in October. I don’t know what religion the person was who married her and her husband. They were married in a nondenominational chapel on the grounds of a military college. I was a bit dismayed by the service. It was if the pastor/priest had a political anti-gay marriage message.

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