Archbishop William Goh’s Pastoral Letter on the Catholic Church’s Position on Sexuality

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Some of you may have heard or read about the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Sexuality posted on the Health Promotion Board (HPB) website.

I want to assure you that our non-public engagement of the opposing groups on this issue is by no means evidence of our flight from our Christian calling to speak the truth and to defend the cause of the family and hence, of society and the future of humanity. My Consultors and I have chosen to take the path of constructive dialogue with the authorities, so as not to inflame the situation further and risk polarizing society.  As in all politically and socially sensitive issues, we believe that the best way forward is for all to calmly and purposefully engage in constructive dialogue in a spirit of patient understanding, mutual respect and compassion, always working towards the promotion of justice and dignity of the individual and for the greater good of society.

Accordingly, we have shared the Church’s concerns with the authorities and they have assured us that the government has not changed its position on the family (comprising heterosexual couples with children) as the indispensable, basic building block of society.  As Church, we will continue to engage and work with the relevant authorities to ensure that the marriage institution and family values are upheld so that our children can be formed in an environment that is holistic, nurturing, caring and loving. We also need to ensure that society does not become too individualistic in pursuing their needs at the expense of the greater good of society. Because the future of Singapore society and humanity at large passes by way of the family, every Catholic should endeavor to save and foster the values and requirements of the family.  This call is urgent and important because if the family is destroyed, then our society would become fragmented.

That said, I am also aware that some of our faithful are confused and are struggling to come to terms with their own sexuality, or that of their loved ones.  I wish to take this opportunity to assure you that the Church feels with you and views every individual as unique and precious in the eyes of God, regardless of his/her sexual inclination or state of life.  However, the Church’s position on the matter of LGBT relationships has always been consistent; that sexual activity outside of a heterosexual relationship is not in accordance with the laws of creation because such acts are not open to new life.  It is in this spirit of compassion that I am exploring the setting up of support groups to assist those who are struggling with same sex attraction and their loved ones who have difficulty accepting them.

Finally, I urge you, my dear faithful, to continue to pray with me for all those who are confused, fearful and struggling with their sexuality, that the Lord will guide, protect and strengthen them, especially in their most vulnerable moments and bring them healing and peace of mind. May the Lord, who created all things and proclaimed that ‘it is good’, renew the face of the earth.


+ Archbishop William Goh