Cardinal Robert Sarah has some harsh words for Catholic Church leaders who fail to preach chastity to those struggling with same-sex desires.
On numerous occasions, the African cleric and Vatican liturgy chief has taught the Church’s teaching on homosexual acts, which is that those who experience same-sex attraction are called to never act on those inclinations.
In a foreword to the recently published book, “Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay” by Daniel Mattson, Cardinal Sarah explains that failing to uphold Jesus’ “hard sayings” is not charitable.
"Why I don't call myself gay" of Daniel C. Mattson, foreword by Robert Cardinal Sarah pic.twitter.com/e32bXomOmV
— Francesco Grana (@FrancescoGrana) June 14, 2017
Calling chastity “a virtue for all disciples,” Sarah argues that clergy mask the fullness of the Gospel when they fail to admonish gay people to live chastely.
Since the Church teaches that sexual activity is only permissible within the confines of marriage between one man and one woman, chastity for gay people often translates to lifelong celibacy. That’s a hard pill for many to swallow, but Cardinal Sarah insists, “we demean [gay people] if we think they cannot attain this virtue.”
“Indeed, it is a disservice to the Lord and to those created in His image and likeness and redeemed by the Precious Blood,” he writes. “We cannot be more compassionate or merciful than Jesus, who told the woman caught in adultery two equally important messages: ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again’ (Jn 8:11).”
In October of 2015, Cardinal Sarah attended a conference at the Pontifical University of St Thomas in Rome titled “The Ways of True Love: Pastoral Approaches to Welcome and Accompany those Living with Homosexual Tendencies.” There, faithful Catholics struggling with homosexual desires shared their testimonies in a panel discussion.
“I came to learn how these four souls suffered, sometimes because of circumstances beyond their control, and sometimes because of their own choices,” Sarah writes. “I sensed the loneliness, pain, and unhappiness they endured as a result of pursuing a life contrary to the true identity of God’s children.”
“Only when they lived in keeping with Christ’s teaching were they able to find the peace and joy for which they had been searching,” he recalls.
Sarah concludes his forward by urging clergymen to read Mattson’s book in order to “deepen their conviction that the wisdom of the Church” when it comes to difficult and sensitive subjects like same-sex attraction “expresses genuine love and compassion.”
“Only the Church has the answers to man’s deepest questions and deepest needs for love and friendship,” he writes.
(H/T: Catholic Herald)