Christians will continue to adhere to biblical standards on marriage and sexual morality despite the society's more compassionate approach towards the LGBT community, England and Wales' most senior Catholic cleric has said.
After speaking at St. Ethelburga's Centre in London, Cardinal Vincent Nichols was asked how the Catholic Church responds to homophobia. He answered by appreciating society's more empathetic treatment of LGBT individuals but maintained the Church's stance on the traditional definition of marriage, the Catholic Herald relays.
Nichols said for Catholics, marriage should be exclusively between a man and a woman. In addition, the Catholic cleric insisted that Christians will continue being "awkward" on matters concerning sexual morality and marriage.
"There has never been a time when Christian sexual morality has been totally accepted in any society," Cardinal Nichols noted.
In October 2014, Cardinal Nichols said the Catholic Church did not go "far enough" to highlight the need to respect and welcome people who are in same-sex relationships. His comments came after traditional bishops rejected a declaration to talk about family issues, The Telegraph reports.
"I didn't think it went far enough, there were three key words as far as I was concerned ... 'respect,' 'welcome' and 'value.' I was looking for those words and they weren't there and so I didn't think that was a good paragraph," Nichols told BBC Radio 4. "I didn't think it was a good text because it didn't include those words strongly enough so I wasn't satisfied with it."
Back then, Cardinal Nichols urged the Church to do more to make the gay community feel more welcome. He also said Pope Francis' efforts to do so will not be stopped just because conservative bishops disagree with the move.
An earlier draft of the declaration welcomed gay people and spoke about giving value for their "gifts and qualities" in the Catholic Church. The final declaration notably contained a more cautious version of the statement.