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Wijeysingha, Pink Dot differ on Archbishop’s letter




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Stop writing letters about the LGBT community because you are hurting us, wrote Vincent Wijeysingha on his Facebook post yeterday.

He was referring to the latest letter by Archbishop Goh from the Catholic Church of Singapore.

The social activist said that many young LGBT people are already struggling with “so much hatefulness as they try to grow to sexual maturity.” Goh’s message will hurt them further.

The Archbishop Goh wrote on Thursday that he intends to establish a pastoral group for LGBTQ Catholics to “journey together in faith, in support of one another, so as to live out God’s call to chastity”.

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Wijeysingha said: “These organisations can only propagate one outcome, that a homosexual person’s orientation is contrary to “God’s law” and that they must change.”

In his letter, Goh said he had seen many homosexuals who seek the Church for spiritual support, counselling and healing – many of whom commit to a life in chastity.

He also apologised for any “insensitivity” caused by his first statement on the LGBT community last week. But he reiteratedthat the Church does not disapprove of same-sex relationships that are chaste and faithful.

But Wijeysingha insisted that Goh wants the LGBT lifestyle to change, “Archbishop shows his own preference for this outcome when he says that ‘ex-gay’ therapies work.”

They don’t, said Wijeysingha.

The American Psychological Association has also come to a similar conclusion, and said such therapy could cause harm to individuals.

In Singapore, there is already one controversial organisation, Liberty League that claims to help people overcome same-sex attractions through professional counselling, among other things. Liberty League has received funding from the government and private donors.

Wijeysingha also said that Goh made “wildly speculative statements” about the LGBT family.

He said the church has no data to prove that same-sex parentage will result in dysfunctional children.

Goh claimed to have met children who face an identity crisis to their sexuality and find it difficult to relate to people of different sexes. Some are promiscuous or unfaithful.

For Wijeysingha, these accusations deal the most damage – from psychological problems to self-harm and suicide – to the LGBT people.

“The church cannot claim that its attitude has not abetted the bullying, queer bashings and murder that LGBT people have faced from time immemorial.”

Earlier on, Pink Dot said it welcomed Goh’s views. “We are heartened that this constructive debate is taking place within the Catholic Church under the leadership of Pope Francis, and we hope that this honest dialogue would inspire faith communities everywhere to do likewise.”

Pink Dot’s spokesperson, PaerinChoa, has also told The Independent Singapore that they have come to accept that the Church will always have to take a different stance on homosexuality.

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