Catholic students denounce bishop for advocating homosexual unions

 Catholic students in Antwerp have issued a statement denouncing the bishop of the Belgian city for having crossed beyond the “border of decency and morality.” The Flemish Catholic Students Association of Antwerp stated “No, monsignor. What you propose is not Catholic."

 This came in response to a proposal by Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp that would have the Catholic Church recognize homosexual and bisexual relations. The students said that statements by the bishop would lead one “to understand that homosexuals have no place in the Church. This is erroneous, since the Church is open to all people, apart of their homosexual orientation.”

The students' statement came in response to a widely reported interview Bishop Bonny had in De Morgen. He said "We have to look inside the church for a formal recognition of the kind of interpersonal relationship that is also present in many gay couples,” the bishop said, according to The National Catholic Reporter. “The intrinsic values are more important to me than the institutional question. The Christian ethic is based on lasting relationships where exclusivity, loyalty, and care are central to each other."

The students’ statement not only denounced the bishop for overstepping the boundaries of morality, but also said “The sacrament of marriage instituted by Jesus is open to men and women who join together freely. Sexuality within marriage has human reproduction among its purposes…and cannot be discontexualised from its purpose.”

Moreover, the statement said “Monsignor Bonny, as a successor of the apostles, wishes to alter the form in which the faith has revealed it (marriage). As a Catholic association headquartered in Antwerp, the Association of Flemish Catholic Students of Antwerp raises its voice to say clearly: ‘No, Monsignor. What you are proposing is not Catholic.”

However, the Young Socialists of Antwerp subsequently denounced the Catholic students as “homophobic.”

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