What was supposed to be commitment for the care of the LGBT turned out to be a condemnation of homosexual acts.
In a statement on Aug. 31, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas stated the church’s position on same sex marriage, calling it a “sin to chastity.”
The prelate said homosexual union is a violation of the natural law of marriage between man and woman.
“Because they are not unitive and procreative – the distinct qualities of a complementary union of man and woman in marriage – homosexual acts or practices are ‘contrary to the natural law.’ Hence, they are, from the perspective of natural law, gravely disordered and considered “sins gravely contrary to chastity,” Villegas said.
The leader of the Catholic Church urged Filipinos not to tolerate the legalization of rights for homosexual couples which is becoming the trend in other countries.
“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,” Villegas said.
He made the reaction after the Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
Villegas also told Filipinos not to attend homosexual unions in the Philippines being presided by the Metropolitan Community Church of the Philippines.
He said homosexual union “can never be a marriage as properly understood and so-called.”
“Homosexual acts or practices that may arise from such attraction, although they may proceed from and be motivated by genuine affection between two persons of the same sex, are similarly not ordered to the union of the two persons and to the procreation of children,” Villegas said.
At a national convention on family life in Cebu city on July 17, Villegas had said Jesus Christ does not judge the LGBT community, which he said has played a major role in the church.
“The first thing we should call to mind is that Jesus died for all. At the cross, there were only seven words attributed to Jesus, and at the cross, He did not ask ‘Are you a homosexual? If you are, I’m not dying for you.’ No. There was no such thing,” Villegas said in the convention according to a Cebu Daily News report.
“Jesus wants everybody to be saved, and come to a degree of sanctity while here on earth. So if the heterosexual person is called to holiness, homosexual persons are also called to be saints. And it is possible for a homosexual person to become a saint, not only in heaven, but already here on earth,” he added.
During the open forum, according to the report, Villegas was asked about same-sex marriage and said the Catholic Church does not judge the LGBT community.
“We do not judge. We constantly bring to them God’s invitation ‘Come follow me. Come and be holy. Come and be a saint.’ That is a call given to all of us,” Villegas said in the report.
But when asked at the sidelines of the convention, Villegas reportedly said of same-sex marriage: “It’s an error, a tragic error of humanity,” adding that in the Bible, God only created man and woman.
Now that the CBCP has released its position on same sex marriage, it is expected to release a pastoral letter on the care of the homosexual person.