The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has voted overwhelmingly to back the Vatican’s stand against gay sex, marriage and adoption. The group also renewed its opposition to contraception, though only 4 percent of Catholic Americans abide by the ban.

New York Times:

The guidelines welcome gay people, but they also affirm church teachings that “homosexual inclinations” are inherently disordered. While having such inclinations is not sinful, gay sexual activity is, according to the core teachings. The guidelines, called “Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination,” passed by a vote of 194 to 37. They also speak out against same-sex marriage and adoptions by gay men and lesbians.

DignityUSA, an advocacy group for gay Catholics, said the new guidelines would further alienate gay people from the church. Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., chairman of the doctrine committee, which developed the guidelines, acknowledged Monday that the committee did not consult with gay men and lesbians on the document.

“It’s really disappointing,” Sam Sinnett, president of DignityUSA, said of the new guidelines. “At some point, the bishops have to realize that they speak in willful ignorance about what homosexuality is and about sexuality in general. They have to decide if they are moral teachers or simply employees of the Vatican.”

The bishops also adopted “Married Love and the Gift of Life,” which is meant to explain church teachings about contraception for engaged and young married couples.

The document, approved by a vote of 220 to 11, asserts that artificial contraception introduces a “false note” into a marriage and has led to a decline in respect for life in society. Catholics use birth control to the same extent as other Americans; only 4 percent, according to the document, use natural family planning, the type of birth control backed by the church.


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