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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Bishop demands church recognition of homosexual relationships

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And now the deluge!
Bonny with two stealth priestesses

The Bishop of Antwerp, Johan Bonny advocates an ecclesiastical recognition of homosexual relationships. The dogma that the Catholic Church can only accept male-female relationships, he put in question in an interview with this newspaper. "There should be a diversity of recognition forms."

With his plea Bonny, is one of the first church leaders who attacks the absolute monopoly of the male-female marriage. "We have to look inside the church for a formal recognition of the relationality which is also present in many gay couples. As a variety of legal frameworks in society exist for partners, he wants to instate a diversity of recognition forms in the church."

Bonny, the designated (in fact, for the time being, most likely) successor of Archbishop
André-Joseph Léonard, who will retire in 2015, believes that gay couples should be able to get a church blessing. Moreover, he argues that a homosexual relationship can also satify the criteria of a religious marriage. "The intrinsic values are more important to me than the institutional demand. The Christian ethic is based on lasting relationships where exclusivity, loyalty and care are central to each other.

Bringing up children
With a subtle formulation Bonny also puts the male-female Catholic monopoly for bringing up children in question. "Then there is the openness to new life, or at least the responsibility taken up by partners to be generous in what they provide to children."

In September, the Antwerp bishop wrote a letter to the Vatican on this matter. Among others, he include the idea that the church urgently needs to find a connection in modern society, explains why Bonny emphasises the matter. "Everyone gets to make his or her life with relationships, friendship, family and children's upbringing. We should not deny that this existed within the church injuries and traumas. Too many people were excluded for a long time."

Canon lawyer and the Rector of the (Cathcon-once) Catholic University of Leuven, Rik Torfs considers Bonny's message as a turning point: "Do not underestimate the significance of this.  Bonny advocates a  change in long-held unshakable principles, something that the dogmatic pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI no bishop could afford to do. "


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