Remember I said something about bishops in favor of changing Church teaching on sexuality?
Retired Bishop Geofrey Robinson urges change in Church teaching...
BALTIMORE -- At the Seventh National Symposium on Catholicism and Homosexuality, retired Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson called Friday for "a new study of everything to do with sexuality" -- a kind of study that he predicted "would have a profound influence on church teaching concerning all sexual relationships, both heterosexual and homosexual."I know he's old, I know he's retired. I know he's Australian. I know New Ways Ministry is not approved by the Church. But - these are not isolated theories, unknown, nor automatically dismissed, amongst sitting bishops and clergy and religious educators. To be fair, Robinson's teaching is much more complex and is not a blanket affirmation of homosexual acts. As the Bishop makes clear, that would require a change in Church teaching regarding heterosexual acts. A conversation far too complex for me to get involved in here and now - but it connects to a lot of other discussions on sexuality floating around these days, from the Westian version of TOB, to the incarnational spirituality retreat at St. John's, and so on.
"If [church] teaching on homosexual acts is ever to change, the basic teaching governing all sexual acts must change," he said.
Robinson, a priest since 1960 and auxiliary bishop of Sydney from 1984 until his retirement for health reasons in 2004, told the Baltimore symposium, sponsored by New Ways Ministry, that "because sex is so vital a way of expressing love, sex is always serious."
That view, espoused by the church, stands in contrast to the general perception of modern society, which "appears to be saying more and more that sex is not in itself serious," he said.
For the church to deal with sex seriously, however, does not in itself mean that the church must continue to accept uncritically its traditional understandings of sexual morality, he said.
Robinson was a featured speaker at the March 15-17 symposium, which drew about 400 gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning Catholics and church personnel ministering to them. The gathering's first day was devoted to a spiritual retreat guided by the bishop. - NCR
The agents for change are at work, in the Church...