Letter: Church taboo on tenderness

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The Independent Online
Sir: It is a pity that Cardinal Hume (report, 8 March) did not feel able to go a bit further in his otherwise welcome words about homosexuality. To affirm responsible, non-promiscuous, faithful same-sex relationships, and yet not to allow those involved actually to relate in the deepest sense seems strangely unreal.

The trouble is the whole issue is bedevilled by the obnoxious phrase "genital acts". If, however, we could instead use the word "tenderness", the matter would sound in a different key. "Love between two persons is to be treasured and respected," the Cardinal says, and the tenderness here implied is surely most deeply and sacredly expressed in the physical terms of love.

Why does the Christian church, of all bodies impose a taboo on tenderness?

Yours faithfully,



West Sussex

11 March