“Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp, Belgium, suggested that homosexual couples, divorced and remarried Catholics, and cohabiting pairs should be given some sort of Church blessing as part of a ‘diversity of rituals’ that would recognize the ‘exclusiveness and stability’ of their unions.
Since the two Synods on the Family and the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, this is probably one of the most radical viewpoints to have been expressed to date in the name of ‘pastoral care’ and ‘mercy’ by a Catholic prelate.
Bishop Bonny offers his thoughts in a book to be published October 11 by Flemish editor Lannoo under the title May I? Thank you. Sorry, an obvious quote from Pope Francis’ frequent talks to married couples.
While Bonny offers an open dialogue about relationships, marriage and family, his most shocking proposals in the book have already been presented to the Dutch-speaking public by the Catholic Church’s official weekly in Flanders, Kerk & Leven. The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Luc Vanmaercke, described the book as a response to the Pope’s call during the two Synods for the Church to take a more contemporary view of society.
The book is a presentation of conversations between Bishop Bonny and Belgian moral theologian Roger Burgraeve, who favors recognition of homosexual identity and unions, as well as Kerk & Leven journalist Ilse Van Halst.
That the book is promoting what amounts to formal recognition of unmarried, remarried, and even homosexual couples should come as no surprise. Vanmaercke hailed the legalization of same-sex ‘marriage’ by governments and parliaments as proof that they do not ‘consider marriage as an outdated institution, but as still having value, and in which they are prepared to invest … Good news for all those who appreciate marriage.'”