This article originally appeared in the National Catholic Register.
By Msgr. Charles Pope
A steady march of the sexual revolution into deeper and deeper confusion has left many Catholics and fellow Christians confused themselves. But there should be no confusion nor is there permissible dissent by any Catholic (lay or cleric) from Church teaching on human sexuality. Both Scripture and Church doctrine are very clear that all forms of illicit sexual union, whether adultery, fornication, or homosexual acts, are sinful and cannot in any way be approved.
Some Catholics formally dissent due to a knowing and willful rejection of Church teaching, but the dissent of others is due more to the confusion brought on by a loud culture and a quiet pulpit.
Particularly culpable is any deacon, priest, or bishop who spreads error either by direct statements, intentional ambiguity, or questionable policies that offer mercy without reference to the necessary repentance. Caring for all sinners is a constant work of the Church. All sinners deserve love and careful, respectful pastoral care. But calling good or insignificant what God calls sinful, whether by direct statement or obfuscation, is not pastoral care; it is malpractice. All of us, clergy and lay, are called to be God’s prophets, spreading His teaching; we do well to remember that one day we will have to account to Him.
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