British Dominican denies supporting same-sex marriage

Filed under: Headlines |

CEBU City (Jan. 25, 2016) – Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, O.P. continues to generate buzz even if he has retired as master-general of the 800-year-old Dominican Order. This is partly because of the controversial preacher’s calls for the Church to be more welcoming of gay people.

Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, former master of the Dominicans

Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, former master of the Dominicans

So journalists asked the 70-year-old British Dominican, one of the headline speakers of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), if he supported gay marriage. Radcliffe said the Church’s position was also his.

“In fact my position on gay marriage is the Church’s. People like to try to find scandal. They love to be shocked. Some people are never so happy as when they are shocked,” Radcliffe told reporters following his concurrent session on “The Christian Virtue of Hope” at the IEC Pavilion.

“If you look at what I said, I never approved of gay marriage. I only said the community must be open to gay people as Pope Francis said, as my own cardinal-archbishop in England (Vincent Nichols) says,” he said.

“We must be open to welcome anybody but I never said I believe in gay marriage. But you see some people like to sniff out (a person) and usually it’s their own invention,” Radcliffe added.

Vatican consultor

Radcliffe’s profile is again rising in the Church, after Pope Francis appointed him consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in March last year. In England, where the Dominicans are known as the Blackfriars, he is the director of the Las Casas Institute, a research center named after Bartolome de las Casas, who fought Spanish colonizers on behalf of oppressed native Americans in the 16th century.

The Dominicans are marking the eight centenary of their foundation this year, and the Vatican has proclaimed a jubilee to mark the historic occasion. As Dominican master-general from 1992-2001, Radcliffe travelled extensively, and helped obtain NGO status for his order at the United Nations.

What disappoints Radcliffe, who has been criticized for celebrating Masses for London’s gay community, on how gay people are treated?

“I think people always want to know what they’re doing in bed. What’s in it for me to go around asking what they’re doing in bed? I don’t do that,” he said.

“Everybody’s on their journey and Pope Francis said, who am I to judge? So I think all we do is we help people as they journey towards God, each person in their own way. I must be a help, I mustn’t be a hindrance.”

‘Poverty a death penalty’

In his IEC talk, Radcliffe said hope could be found in children. “Teaching the young is one of the greatest signs of hope,” he said.

He lamented efforts to curb population, citing the problems brought by aging societies. The bigger problem for him, however, is growing inequality between the rich and the poor. Poverty is a death penalty, he said.

“The Eucharist is our great sign of hope, the sacraments are signs – they express hope that are beyond words. Sometimes its difficult to stay in the Church, but we abide, because God abides with us.” (CBCP News)

A word from the editor:

Intelligent discussions and exchange of views on issues are encouraged among our readers. Anyone can post comments or feedback about the news, features or stories uploaded in this site. However, the editorial board reserves the right to edit comments for clarity and brevity. The use of foul language, personal attacks or hate campaign on a person or an institution is not tolerated in this site. Likewise, promoting one's own agenda or interests (such as those that are commercial or political) through this site is discouraged, hence will be deleted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>