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Durham University

Department of Theology and Religion


Publication details for Professor Gerard Loughlin

Loughlin, Gerard (2004). "Gathered at the Altar: Homosexuals and Human Rights". Theology and Sexuality 10(2): 73-82.

Author(s) from Durham


The Catholic Church affirms a double standard regarding homosexuals inside and outside the Church. As evidenced in the teaching of the Bishops' Conference for England and Wales, the (employment) rights of homosexuals are to be defended outside the Church, but not within. This teaching bespeaks a more general ambivalence regarding human rights discourse, which, though it can be used to express what is needed for human flourishing, can tempt us to forget that we are first and last creatures, entirely dependent on others. The Church's teaching on homosexuality is not so much an affront to human rights as the denial of those whom Christ has been gathering at the altar; the queer folk whom he loves in their loving of one another.