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Belgian bishop seeks Church recognition of same-sex unions

December 29, 2014

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A Belgian bishop has called for Church recognition of same-sex unions.

Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp told the daily De Morgen that he favored “formal recognition” of homosexual and bisexual couples. Stopping short of an endorsement for same-sex marriage, he observed that governments have offered different types of recognition for different unions, and suggested that the Church too could have “a diversity of forms of recognition” for various relationships.


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  • Posted by: R. Spanier (Catholic Canadian) - Jan. 05, 2015 8:15 PM ET USA

    "... persons need to be reminded that the approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil. In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws...." CDF 'Considerations...' document approved by Pope John Paul II

  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - Dec. 31, 2014 7:42 AM ET USA

    "Stopping short of an endorsement for same-sex marriage..." Softly, softly, catchee monkey. That will come later when the Church has been cajoled into "endorsing" sodomy. Patience, folks, we mustn't rush these things, you know!

  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Dec. 29, 2014 11:13 PM ET USA

    Amazing!!!!! An Archbishop!!!!! Wonder who had the watch when this fellow got aboard the ship.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Dec. 29, 2014 10:36 PM ET USA

    This is what happens when the Pope and Synod, in a spirit of openness and transparency, let the camel's nose into the tent. Isn't this one of the topics that St. Paul said we shouldn't even talk about? Now people want to let it into the sanctuary?

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Dec. 29, 2014 9:42 PM ET USA

    The Holy Father has already commented on homosexuality. It may be that the church will eventually recognize (but not officiate in) gay "unions." On the other hand, marriage has been between a man and a woman for thousands of years -- it is an institution and a sacrament, and gays are wrong to insist that marriage be expanded to include their kind of union. The Dutch archbishop is treading on dangerous ground if he has in mind eventual same-sex marriages, which would destroy the sanctity of life.

  • Posted by: MAG - Dec. 29, 2014 7:52 PM ET USA

    He is yet another one ordained in the 1980s. At 59 years of age, he has 16 more years before he's scheduled to retire. Perhaps he can put some of those days to good use by studying the catechism or reading St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body.

  • Posted by: rjbennett1294 - Dec. 29, 2014 5:33 PM ET USA

    In 1967, 63 per cent of Dutch Catholics attended Sunday Mass, in rural areas the figure was 84 per cent. In 2006, the most recent year for which figures are available, 1.2 per cent of Dutch Catholics attended Sunday Mass. That is what "the spirit of the Council" did to the Church in the Netherlands. Will the bishops at the Synod in October 2015 continue this marvelous work? A little more "mercy" like this, and the Church will be finished in the Netherlands, and in most other places as well.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 29, 2014 5:05 PM ET USA

    Unfortunately for the good Archbishop, the Bible's examples of God's tolerance for same sex relations are Sodom and Gomorrah.

  • Posted by: unum - Dec. 29, 2014 5:00 PM ET USA

    Abp. Bonny has his politics and his faith mixed up. He is not alone in our hierarchy. I recommend some basic Scripture study as the first step to recovery.

  • Posted by: Defender - Dec. 29, 2014 4:41 PM ET USA

    Formal recognition isn't endorsement? The internal rot inside the Church is self-evident when we have a bishop openly wanting to throw out Church teaching. How he, and others, became bishops, one can only wonder.