(Photo by Angeli Mae S. Cantillana)

January 25, 2016, 10:44p.m. – CEBU CITY – THE FORMER master of the Order of Preachers has downplayed criticisms that he is contradicting the Church’s stance on same-sex marriage.

“[M]y position on the same-sex marriage is the Church’s. Like Pope Francis, we must be open to welcome anybody. But I never said I believe in gay marriage,” Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, O.P., consultant to Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, told the media at the sidelines of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress.

Radcliffe called on the Catholic community to be of help and not a hindrance to homosexuals.

“Everybody is on their journey. As Pope Francis said, ‘who am I to judge?’ I think all we do is help the people as they journey towards God,” Radcliffe said.

The Dominican friar has drawn criticism for praising same-sex unions. In the 2013 Pilling Report of the Church of England, titled “Working group on human sexuality,” Radcliffe said homosexual unions could be “expressive of Christ’s self-gift.”

“We cannot begin with the question whether it is permitted or forbidden. We must ask what it means and how far it is Eucharistic. Certainly it can be generous, vulnerable, tender, mutual, and non-violent… [I] would think that it can be expressive of Christ’s self-gift,” he said in the report.

Radcliffe was among the speakers on the second day of the congress at the IEC Pavilion in the Cebu archdiocese’s seminary complex.

Reflecting on the theme, “The Christian Virtue of Hope,” the English friar said hope could be found in children.

“We form children to do what we cannot do and to do what we cannot imagine. Teaching the young is one of the greatest signs of hope,” he said.

Radcliffe is director of Las Casas Institute, a research center in England. From 1992 to 2001, Radcliffe served as the master of the Dominican order, which is celebrating its 800th anniversary this year. As master, he served as chancellor of UST. Angeli Mae S. Cantillana


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