Catholic Church may set up support groups for those "struggling with same sex attraction"

The Catholic Archbishop William Goh has reassured believers of the Church's position that family - comprising heterosexual couples with children - remains the "indispensable, basic building block of society". -- ST FILE PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
The Catholic Archbishop William Goh has reassured believers of the Church's position that family - comprising heterosexual couples with children - remains the "indispensable, basic building block of society". -- ST FILE PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The Catholic Archbishop William Goh has reassured believers of the Church's position that family - comprising heterosexual couples with children - remains the "indispensable, basic building block of society".

But he is also exploring the setting up of support groups for those "struggling with same sex attraction", which would also help their loved ones who have difficulty accepting them.

In a statement on Monday, the Archbishop explained that the Church's non-public engagement of opposing groups on the issue of the Health Promotion Board's (HPB) controversial Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on sexuality is by no means evidence of its "flight" from its "Christian calling to speak the truth and defend the cause of the family", he said.

Uploaded on the board's website last November, the list of 28 questions, which address issues like gender orientation, homosexuality and sexually transmitted infections, first created buzz online early this month.

Last Thursday, the Church called for constructive dialogue on the matter. Its statement came a day after the National Council of Churches of Singapore criticised the HPB's advisory, for coming across as "normalising" same-sex relationships.

So as to not risk polarising society, Archbishop Goh reiterated that constructive dialogue with the authorities is the best path to take. "As in all politically and socially sensitive issues, we believe that the best way forward is for all to calmly and purposefully engage in constructive dialogue in a spirit of patient understanding, mutual respect and compassion, always working towards the promotion of justice and dignity of the individual and for the greater good of society."

He said he is aware that some of the Church's "faithful are confused and are struggling to come to terms with their own sexuality, or that of their loved ones".

"I wish to take this opportunity to assure you that the Church feels with you and views every individual as unique and precious in the eyes of God, regardless of his or her sexual inclination or state of life," said Archbishop Goh.