SAN JOSE, Calif. (ChurchMilitant.com) - The diocese of San Jose is saying its LGBT ministry will not "elaborate" on Church teaching on "sexual morality, conscience, and personal sin," while claiming that gay people can't change their sexual orientation.
The document "Guidelines for the Catholic LGBT Ministry Council" bears the name of Bp. Patrick J. McGrath and is the guide by which Catholic parishes are to deal with LGBT people.
It maintains from the outset that the guidelines "do not presume any particular social or psychological analysis of sexuality in our society, except for a generally accepted premise that individuals do not choose and cannot change their sexual orientation but must understand it and integrate it into their life of faith and conscience."
It continues, "The guidelines accept, without elaborating, the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church on sexual morality, conscience, and personal sin."
In several locations it cautions against discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or violence against LGBT people, even accusing the Church of having made "homosexual orientation the basis for discrimination and rejection or isolation of individuals and groups."
The document then calls for ministers to "respond without prejudice or condition to all who turn to the Church for support, counsel, reconciliation, solace or sacraments," claiming that anybody who is baptized is entitled to the sacraments — without mention of whether a person is repentant of his sins. Instead, according to the guidelines, "the sacramental forum is above all a place of encounter," and gays should "foster the wholesome integration of their sexuality into their human and Christian growth."
The document makes no mention of Church teaching on homosexual acts "as acts of grave depravity," "intrinsically disordered," and "contrary to the natural law."
Bishop McGrath spoke recently in a press release, calling for the end of the death penalty in California, citing the Catechism of the Catholic Church as the basis of his rationale.
ChurchMilitant.com asked the diocese for comment as to why Bp. McGrath chooses to use the Catechism of the Catholic Church to argue against the death penalty while ignoring the Catechism in his diocese's LGBT ministry. As of press time, the diocese has not responded.