Roman Catholic Church urges end to sexual discrimination

The Roman Catholic Church wants an end to sexual discrimination of persons, even as the religious body contemplates the pros and cons of scrapping colonial laws against buggery.

President of the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC) Archbishop Patrick Pinder of Nassau, Bahamas has highlighted “the Catholic Social Tradition which urges us to challenge laws which discriminate against persons for whatever reason including sexual orientation.”

“We need to do so in a way that does not attract criticism, even ridicule and claims of being biased or divisive,” he said in his inaugural address to the 56th annual AEC meeting  in Georgetown, Guyana from April 22- 27, 2012.

Speaking with Demerara Waves Online News on Tuesday, Guyana’s Roman Catholic Bishop, Francis Alleyne said the colonial laws against buggery should be reviewed.

“You are stepping into an area that has all  kinds of ramifications and strong emotional considerations. There are laws that need to be reviewed to deal with certain things that are presently described as crimes,” he said.

Alleyne, emphasising the importance of human dignity and integrity, said adults should not be punished for consensual activities.

“What two people decide to do in private it is their and their conscience and to seek to label that a crime….a crime is when one person is imposing or preying on the vulnerable,” the Roman Catholic Bishop added.

He said the church would not support same-sex unions although psychologists have been studying the behaviours of certain persons and arriving at unconventional conclusions about relationships.

The Roman Catholic Bishop said the church is wary about the behavioural impacts of some on the wider society to the extent that it “becomes a prevailing thing so a young person can be pressured by a certain group to behave in one or the other way.”

He is in favour of a thorough discussion and hearing of all sides to determine how it can impact on the wider sphere of life.

Against the background of decades-old accusations, some proven, that countless young boys across the globe have been sexually abused by priests, Alleyne acknowledged that “the credibility is at stake” for the church in going forward.

At the same time, the Roman Catholic Bishop in Guyana said existing laws have been resulting in discrimination against persons because of their sexuality. “They could not come to the law givers because they would be judged a certain way and are often treated differently because the law says something about them, because the law does not see them as people.”

by Denis Scott Chabrol
Source – Demerara Waves