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India’s Catholic Church responds to Supreme Court ruling decriminalizing homosexual acts

“[F]or the Catholic Church, the homosexual act between consenting adults remains morally unacceptable” spokesman says

N.b. The executive synods of the Church of North India and the Church of South India report they are studying the decision and have no comment at this time.

New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) – The Supreme Court has decriminalized the homosexual act between consenting adults. “First of all I would like to remind you that the homosexual act between an adult and a minor is always illegal and criminal. In addition for the Catholic Church, the homosexual act between consenting adults remains morally unacceptable”, says Fr. Stephen Fernandes, Secretary of the Office for Justice, Peace and Development in the Indian Bishops Conference to Fides.

“The critical point for clarification is: homosexuality is not a crime, but that does not mean that homosexual acts or homosexual behavior are morally acceptable or justified. The Catholic Church asserts that homosexual behavior (between consenting adults) is morally unacceptable because it violates the aim of human sexuality which is the procreation and the union of love, which is accomplished in the union between man and woman in marriage. In the Catholic perspective, homosexual acts or behavior are morally unacceptable”, recalls Fr. Fernandes.
The priest also draws a distinction between “homosexuality of psychogenic origin and homosexuality acquired through deliberate choice and practice”, noting that “even when there is a particular inclination to homosexual acts, the person maintains his intrinsic human dignity and his absolute value “, recalls Fr. Fernandes.

The Church respects the dignity of homosexuals as persons “without exclusion or discrimination and “condemns all kinds of violence and hatred against them”, hoping that they will be treated “with understanding, compassion and sensitivity “.

Fr. Fernandes goes on to say: “Many may conclude that decriminalization means moral justification and acceptability. This is a mistake. Today adequate formation is needed on the moral implications of human sexuality. The formation of consciences is essential in this field, and it is a challenging task for the Church and society”, he notes.

The CBCI affirms that the Church “promotes the fundamental value of marriage as a union between a woman and the family generated by this conjugal union”. The priest notes: “The decriminalization of homosexual acts is likely to induce the legalization of homosexual unions, to consider them on par with marriage or to give homosexual couples the right to adopt children”; but, as the Church teaches, “the common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage between men and women as the basis of the family, the primary cell of society”, without placing homosexual unions at the same level of marriage in any way, concludes the Secretary. 

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