An Australian Christian has come under fire after he argued that the Catholic church is not racist and that it is “very tolerant of homosexuals”.
Dr John Masefield, a professor of theology at the University of New South Wales, has made the controversial statement in a column for the Catholic Herald newspaper, saying that the church is “anti-racist” and “very progressive” and that “many people in the church are gay and have different ideas”.
“They’re not just anti-black, anti-Asian, anti the LGBT community,” he wrote.
“There are people who have a different view on that.
But that’s the way it is.”
Masefields comments are also being condemned by several prominent figures in the Catholic Church, including Pope Francis.
The Catholic Herald’s Peter Smith wrote that Maseford’s words “reveal the true nature of Catholic theology”.
“It is not a new and serious heresy, nor is it a new or serious heresy,” he said.
“It reveals the true character of Catholic teaching and is not an error or mistake, but a fundamental error of theology.”
The pontiff has previously defended the church’s position on homosexuality and has also defended it’s stance on abortion, euthanasia and euthanasia in general.
The cardinal, who is from Rome, said last year that it was a “moral sin” to be gay.
“When one is gay and has a sexual attraction for someone of the same sex, he or she is doing a sin,” he told the Pontifical Council for Bishops.
“For one to be homosexual does not mean one is immoral.”
He also said that homosexual acts were not sin.
The pontiffs statements on homosexuality came after a recent report by the Vatican found that the world is “more tolerant” of gay men than it was of women.
The report found that in 2015, more than 4.4 million people in Europe were identified as gay or lesbian, a figure that has risen by more than 500,000 in the past two years.
The findings also showed that about 1.3 million people, or 5 per cent, of people in those countries identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
The comments are likely to anger some in the Anglican Church, which has previously argued that homosexuality is a “sin” and should be shunned. “
I think that’s very tolerant.”
The comments are likely to anger some in the Anglican Church, which has previously argued that homosexuality is a “sin” and should be shunned.
In a statement to ABC News, Anglican Bishop of Sydney, the Archbishop of Sydney John Sentamu, said that Mosefield’s views were “offensive and wrong”.
“The Archbishop of Melbourne, who was a guest on a radio program, also made the same view and the Bishop of Perth has also made similar comments, so we know that they are not welcome in the Church of Australia,” he added.
“They have no place in the diocese of Perth.”
Mosefields comments come as Archbishop Peter Ball of Melbourne has also come under criticism for saying the church does not “hate or marginalise” anyone.
He has been accused of using a homophobic slur during a press conference in Sydney last week and has been criticised by some in his own flock for failing to condemn homophobia and violence against LGBT people.
The Anglican leader also sparked controversy last month when he said that the “biggest threat” facing society was “those who are gay”.
In a Facebook post, Ball wrote that the problem was not the sexual orientation of gay or trans people but the “savage way of life” which left them “sick and homeless”.
“That is why I do not believe in blaming people for their sexual orientation.
Rather, I want to say that we should look at what is happening to people in that community, and then make sure that we do not create problems for others in our society who are vulnerable and in need of our help,” he concluded.
“This is a huge challenge, and we need to get more compassionate in our approach to that problem.”