Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury ‘clarifies’ claim that it would be the ‘ultimate failure’ to accept gays

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The Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury, who claimed it would be an ‘ultimate failure’ for the Church to accept gays, has attempted to clarify his comments.

The Bishop Mark Davies made the claim last week, in a letter to his diocese.

He said of the Church’s recent discussions of homosexuality: “I want to dispel any misleading impression that the Church will abandon her witness to the truth and change her teaching in the face of the hostile trends in public opinion or the destructive ideologies of our time.

“It would be the ultimate failure in pastoral care or charity, to mislead people by encouraging them to remain in sin, or fail to call them to repentance and renewal.”

However, he has since attempted to walk back his comments, telling the Shropshire Star today that gay people “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity”.

He added that “every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided”.

However, he added that marriage was an “exclusive and life-long union between one man and one woman”.

The Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury is not to be confused with the Anglican Bishop of Shrewsbury within the Church of England.

The Pope will next week hold an interfaith conference dedicated to keeping “traditional marriage” between a man and a woman.

Members of the US Southern Baptist Convention and from the Mormon church – both of which fiercely oppose same-sex marriage – are slated to attend, as part of a united front against marriage equality.