Hume advises against strict moral line
In a statement which continued the Cardinal's delicate balancing act between condemnation of homosexuality in principle and toleration of homosexuals in practice, he said: 'The Church teaches that being a homosexual person is neither morally good nor morally bad; but, like heterosexual genital acts outside marriage, homosexual genital acts, even between consenting adults, are always wrong.' However, his statement is very clear on criminality, saying: 'The Church does not expect that acts that are morally wrong should, by that fact alone, be made criminal offences.'
Dr Elizabeth Stuart, a lesbian Roman Catholic theologian, gave it a cautious welcome. 'I think it's his attempt to make sure that no one thinks that the bishops' silence on this issue means they are approving of homosexual acts; but it is helpful and hopeful for those of us who are working for equality. It is the best kind of statement we could have expected from him.'
The Anglican bishops seem prepared to settle for an age of consent at 18, though some argue for 21 and the Bishop of Durham argues for 16 on grounds of equality. But the Cardinal is careful to avoid this line of reasoning in his statement.
'As a group that has suffered more than its share of oppression and contempt, the homosexual community has a particular claim upon the concern of the Church. But it does not follow that the Church would have to advocate an equivalence in law between the age of consent for heterosexual and homosexual genital activity. That is a question for the legislature.
'The law should always seek to protect young people and to promote moral values which society regards as wholesome. I urge parliament to be cautious,' he said.
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Hilary Swank: Million Dollar Baby star says she turns down roles to care for elderly father
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Donald Trump to Jeb Bush: Your wife likes ‘Mexican illegals’
Isis flag: What do the words mean and what are its origins?
The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£16000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for individual...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...
£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Pu...