Respect and compassion - Carmen and Carmel Conti, Stephanie Galea, Pat and Anthony Girard, Louisa and Philip Grech, Louise and Ivan Laferla, Joseph and Joseanne Peregin
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Respect and compassion - Carmen and Carmel Conti, Stephanie Galea, Pat and Anthony Girard, Louisa and Philip Grech, Louise and Ivan Laferla, Joseph and Joseanne Peregin

Recently there have been some sentiments aired, including Jacqueline Calleja’s piece ‘A chaste life’ (November 16), claiming that the teachings of the Catholic Church on homosexuality are clear, leaving no room for ambiguity.

Reading such assertions on local media portals, leaves us concerned with the lack of respect, compassion and sensitivity being expressed towards LGBTIQ+ people and their families, especially in the comments sections on social media. This, in spite of the teachings of respect, compassion and sensitivity being very clearly defined in the same teachings of the Catholic Church.

We wonder if the persons expressing such harsh sentiments have had the opportunity to engage with mature level-headed LGBTIQ+ people, who have genuinely worked at understanding their own sexual orientation and/or gender expression and identity.

We wonder if the persons expressing such harsh sentiments have had the opportunity to engage with mature level-headed LGBTIQ+ people

It is often a struggle for LGBTIQ+ people who seek professional advice, sincere companionship, prayer and other forms of support during their ‘coming out’, which thankfully nowadays is fortunately more readily available.

We wonder if the persons expressing such harsh sentiments have ever witnessed at first hand, the pain and suffering LGBTIQ+ people go through, especially when this is inflicted by members of their own family, close friends, acquaintances and the public at large. Pain, which in exceptional cases, has also driven them to having suicidal thoughts.

Have the persons expressing such harsh sentiments ever met and dialogued with intersex people? These are persons born with a combination of male and female biological characteristics, such as chromosomes or genitals that can make doctors unable to assign their sex as distinctly male or female.

Just for the record, if you ask experts at medical centres on how often a child is born so noticeably atypical in terms of genitalia, enough for a specialist in sex differentiation to be called in, the number comes out to about 1 in 1,500 to 1 in 2,000 births.

Have the persons expressing such harsh sentiments ever come in touch with same-sex couples who truly love each other such that they wish nothing less than to commit themselves to one another for the rest of their lives, through good times and bad and, in so doing, also dedicate their relationship productively to the service of the community.

We members of Drachma Parents have had the privilege and opportunity to engage with such wonderful people.  We therefore struggle to conclude that the teachings of the Catholic Church about homosexuality are clear, leaving no room for ambiguity.

In fact, we find ourselves on a journey, working to discover more of the unfathomable depth of the gospel message, seeking to understand better also unfathomable depth of the human person, including LGBTIQ+ persons.

What is ultimately a natural minority variant should not sideline people who are so full of potential and authenticity. A world that teaches us not to judge others; a reality which teaches us to seek out the beauty in each other instead of stereotyping and seeking to pigeon-hole complex realities, is a world and reality, so beautifully created by the same God who loves us equally.

In a recent document, Pope Francis confesses, there is an “immense variety of concrete situations” and situations that can be so vastly different, that cannot “provide a new set of rules, canonical in nature and applicable to all cases” (Amoris Laetitia, 300).

The only moral solution to any and every situation is a path of careful discernment accompanied by a spiritual director and a final judgement of personal conscience that commands us to do this or not to do that (Amoris Laetitia, 300-305).

Only such an informed conscience can make a moral judgement about the details of any and every particular situation.

This is a Times of Malta print opinion piece

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