St. John’s Antigua- The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Antigua & Barbuda has revealed that he is not opposed to the decriminalisation of buggery on the basis that adultery, which had been illegal, is no longer an offense against the state.
“The argument to decriminalise can be justified in the sense that adultery was on the books as a criminal act and it has been decriminalised. It is to the same extent that buggery can be decriminalized,” said Kenneth Richards, the Jamaican-born bishop.
He hastened to add, “but that does not make adultery or buggery right.”
Bishop Richards said in an interview with Observer Media that the decriminalisation would also help reduce discrimination against individuals perceived to be of the homosexual orientation.
He said the bigger issue which needs attention is irresponsible sexual behavior.
“Sometimes we highlight homosexual activity but I think it’s a continuum. It’s all part of the fact there is a lack on understanding of the sacredness of our body and sexual action. Persons who say that they are heterosexual and think it is ok to have as many women or men, that is what is driving the kind of crisis that we are facing,” Richards who took up the job here on January 5, 2012, said.
Observer asked His Lordship whether homosexuals were welcome in his congregation.
“I don’t give people that designation, people are welcome to my church,” he responded.
But the church leader said he would continue to “advocate abstinence, fidelity within marriage and chastity according to your state in life.”
“We need to promote virginity among our children. They must recognise that this free sex, operating on the pleasure principle and allowing lust to drive them is not the truth of their being. They are allowing lust to drive them when they allow themselves to be abused in this way,” he added.
Bishop Richards also said he was opposed to contraception and the distribution of condoms in schools.
“The church needs to speak more strongly about this,” he said.
Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago also ban the act of buggery.
Despite pressure from international interest groups, governments in the Caribbean have show little interest in repealing their buggery laws.
Sunday, 4 March 2012
Caribbean Catholic bishop not opposed to decriminalization of buggery
Brenton Henry of the Antigua Observer in a March 3rd 2012 article wrote the following: