I’m sorry Bishop Putney, but you are wrong

When people say silly things, they deserve to be called out for it. Especially if they are a bishop.

And Bishop Michael Putney has done just that. He’s the Bishop of Townsville.

Recently he went on ABC radio and said “there’s no family that doesn’t have gay members”. You can hear that little gem at the 3:50 mark of this interview.

That is a really silly thing to say. Especially because it is patently not true.

There are plenty of families that don’t have members who are homosexuals or lesbians. In fact, most of them don’t.

But when bishops start spreading the lie that all families have at least one person who engages in this type of behaviour then you can bet that they will broadcast other dangerous messages as well.

Just as Bishop Putney did a little later in his interview. Because he went on to say that homosexuals and lesbians must know that they are loved and accepted.

That’s all well and good for a throwaway line. It contains a little truth and is glossed over with a veneer of niceness that does nothing to change the error within.

Homosexuals and lesbians should be loved because they are made in the image of God and are called to overcome weakness and become perfect, just like their Creator. But they should not be accepted just because they engage in a little casual sodomy.

Instead, bishops have a responsibility to tell homosexuals that it is not acceptable to live sordid lives. It means telling them that perverted sexual activity is wrong.

It certainly does not mean giving them the impression that they are special precisely because they live a life that is directly opposed to the great dignity that they are called to by God Himself.

But that is exactly what Bishop Putney did. He went on ABC radio and said that they should be loved and accepted, without making any effort to highlight the very clear teaching of the Catholic Church that homosexual and lesbian behaviour is gravely immoral or that the inclination itself is intrinsically disordered.

Bishop Putney did homosexuals no favours at all by placing his desire to be nice above his responsibility as a Prince of the Church.

And it’s pretty hard for Bishop Putney to claim that he loves homosexuals while encouraging them as they skip merrily down a road that leads away from eternal happiness and onto eternal misery.

And the greater scandal than this was the lie he peddled that homosexuality is normal. Claiming that every family has a gay member is doing just that. It makes it sound like this lifestyle is perfectly ordinary. Bishop Putney is telling families that they should not just expect one of their children to be gay, but that they should be accepted for their way of life.

Homosexuality is not normal. And if our society has reached the point where every family does have a homosexual ready to leap out of the closet and into the welcoming arms of all and sundry then our society is not normal either, but headed for a very quick destruction.

And you don’t need to be Einstein to work that one out.

The average Australian woman bears 1.89 children. It’s been around that mark since the mid 1970s. Considering that it takes two people to make a baby, that statistic should have alarm bells ringing anyway. Even more so if every family has a gay or lesbian member.

Because if every family has a gay member, then mum and dad are being replaced by 0.89 of a person.

If maths is not your strong point, and if Bishop Putney is correct, then this means that it takes three couples today to make one future couple for tomorrow.

That’s not sustainable. Especially when you consider that the 1.89 future grandchildren will need to care for three elderly heterosexual couples and their six retired gay siblings, as well as their own parents and the three lesbian uncles who spend their time planning for the next Mardi Gras.

It doesn’t sound like much fun. Especially if you are the non-gay kid, because while you do that it’ll take time away from your pursuit of an increasingly rare heterosexual partner so you can raise the suburb’s only child.

But while things are not great, they’re not that bad either. It’s obvious that Bishop Putney is wrong and most families, if rather small, are not raising a homosexual son or lesbian daughter. It is actually an outrageous lie to say otherwise. It would be useful for Bishop Putney to correct the record on this score.

And in the interests of Australian society, we want to keep it that way. If it does change, you can say goodbye to the future.

As for Bishop Putney, he needs prayers to fulfil his vocation. It is not an easy one and I do not write this piece lightly, nor do I intend to undermine his authority. I would love nothing more than to see Bishop Putney became a great leader of the Church, like those examples before him, such as St John Fisher, who gave his life to defend marriage.

I can also suggest that he starts spending some time with real Catholic families. They are the future of the Catholic Church. Instead, his own words make it clear that his circle of friends contains many homosexuals – even, it seems, within the priesthood. If there is anything that highlights so clearly the fallen state of the Catholic Church hierarchy, it is this admission on ABC radio by one of its Australian princes.


Below are some words from St Thomas Aquinas regarding principles that lay faithful should adhere to when dealing with superiors who publicly stray from clear Catholic teaching:

St. Thomas Aquinas, in many passages of his works, upholds the principle that the faithful can question and admonish Prelates. For example: “There being an imminent danger for the Faith, Prelates must be questioned, even publicly, by their subjects. Thus, St. Paul, who was a subject of St. Peter, questioned him publicly on account of an imminent danger of scandal in a matter of Faith. And, as the Glosa of St. Augustine puts it (Ad Galatas 2, 14), ‘St. Peter himself gave the example to those who govern so that if sometimes they stray from the right way, they will not reject a correction as unworthy even if it comes from their subjects.” 1

Referring to the same episode, in which St. Paul resisted St. Peter “to his face,” St. Thomas teaches: “The reprehension was just and useful, and the reason for it was not trivial: there was a danger for the preservation of evangelical truth… The way it took place was appropriate, since it was public and open. For this reason, St. Paul writes: ‘I spoke to Cephas,’ that is, Peter, ‘before everyone,’ since the simulation practiced by St. Peter was fraught with danger to everyone.” 2

The Angelic Doctor also shows how this passage of the Scriptures contains teachings not only for Hierarchs, but for the faithful as well: “To the Prelates [was given an example] of humility so that they do not refuse to accept reprehensions from their inferiors and subjects; and to the subjects, an example of zeal and liberty so they will not fear to correct their Prelates, above all when the crime is public and entails a danger for many.” 3

In his Comments on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, St. Thomas teaches how respectfully correcting a Prelate who sins is a work of mercy all the greater as the Prelate’s position is higher: “Eccl. XVII: 12 says that God ‘imposed on each one duties toward his neighbour.’ Now, a Prelate is our neighbour. Therefore, we must correct him when he sins. …… Some say that fraternal correction does not extend to the Prelates either because a man should not raise his voice against heaven, or because the Prelates are easily scandalized if corrected by their subjects. However, this does not happen, since when they sin, the Prelates do not represent heaven and, therefore, must be corrected. And those who correct them charitably do not raise their voices against them, but in their favour, since the admonishment is for their own sake. … For this reason, … the precept of fraternal correction extends also to the Prelates, so that they may be corrected by their subjects.

1. Summa Theologiae (Taurini/Rome: Marietti), 1948, II.II, q. 33, a. 4.

2. Super Epistulas S. Pauli, Ad Galatas, 2, 11-14 (TauriniRome: Marietti, 1953), lec. III, nn. 83f.

3. Ibid., n. 77.

4. IV Sententiarum, d. 19, q. 2, a. 2.


Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of nine children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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  1. The bishop’s claim that “there’s no family that doesn’t have gay members” is specious, unproven and inconsistent with the census data that suggests less than one or two percent of people are homosexual. Furthermore, he might as well say that “there’s no family that doesn’t have adulterous members” or drunken members or lying members or covetous or thieving etc.

    As the Word of God says: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23 NIV).

    Bishop Putney, instead of encouraging and advocating for sin and rebellion against God our Creator and Lord, I implore you to tell people the whole truth: “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. ” (Rom 6:23 NIV)

    The bishop’s duty as a leader of the Church is to call sinners to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. And remind them that God requires them to stop sinning (ie: bear the fruits of being saved).

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  2. Most recent research is on the Bishop’s side…

    Published in the Lancet, a study conducted every ten years shows that 16% of women aged 16-44 had some type of same-sex encounter (8% were full contact) and that 5 per cent had had a same-sex partner. Phil will be relieved to know the figures were less for men – 7% full contact and 3% same-sex partners:


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  3. You make some good points Webboy42, however I was not trying to make a broad generalization.
    There are families who have tried there best as you say, however in two cases I know in this category the contributing factor was social engeneering by the gay lobby agenda through peer pressure. When one becomes an adult they make their own choices, but in a society were it is “ok” to engage in homosexual acts it can become somewhat difficult for that person to find the reason why they have homosexual tendency. Yes we are all different and unique but that does not eliminate what is right or wrong. In Holland they have legalised “gay marriage” drug use, blatent prostitution Euthanasia, Abortion, Infanticide and pretty much anything else morally wrong and they have one of the highest depression rate in Europe. The family unit has been severely damaged in Holland, they stand for nothing and fall for everything.

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  4. i would have to disagree with Bishop putney on saying every family has a gay person. within my immediate family there is not one, and my extended family there is not one either, and that is including all 70+ cousins. However on my husbands side of the family he has one cousin who lives the lesbian lifestyle, she looks unhealthy and is into gothic witchcraft and emo stuff and struggles with depression. The reason I believe she is like this is because of her parents marriage breakdown and her mother poisoning her mind with feminist agenda against men by calling them bastards and chauvinists, as well as women not really needing men at all, She has a strained relationship with both her mother and father, including resentment toward them both. One of the reason why we are seeing more people presenting with homosexual tendency is because of the family unit breakdown. Divorce, abortion and high use of contraception, pre-nup agreements (just incase it does not work out, sighting lack of commitment) causing rift between husband and wife causing anger hatred and resentment of their own children. When one sees a breakdown of harmony within marriage, the children are often left confused and torn, and often not having the parent of the same sex around to confirm their identity as masculine and feminine in the right manner. Another reason is because of the push from Gay lobby groups to present homosexual tendency as normal, confusing kids even more, I cannot stand activists, they are not searching for logical answers to help those who struggle with homosexaul tendencies but rather try push their agenda onto the majority and anyone who opposes their view are called bigots and people promoting hate speech and then after criticizing Christianity go on to be experts at saying “not to judge cause that what the bible says”. If anything Marriage needs to be strengthened in society to set example to those who are coming from broken homes with burden so great they find everyday a struggle. To legalize “gay marriage” would be contributing to broken relationships and more confusion as these relationships rarely last long. Maybe the Bishop Putney could focus on encouraging married couples living in committed relationships and raising thier children in the proper enviroment instead of making unfounded statements, and while he is at it stop trying to blend black and white into grey and start being a Bishop, sending prayers his way so he may gain courage to do so.

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    • I would be careful about making such a broad generalization, it’s not fair to families that are normal except that they happen to have a gay family member. It’s not fair that parents should feel guilty because one of their children turns out gay even if they did the best they could. I am no fan of the gay brigade, but I don’t subscribe to the “not normal is not acceptable” school of thought either. What is “normal”? Normal is commonality, and in that sense homosexuality isn’t normal. But, should they be shamed for it? Badgered? Bullied? Forcefully persuaded to fall in line with heterosexuals? I don’t think so. Offering assistance is a commendable thing to do, but in the end, they have to be willing to change, and shouldn’t be forced into it. I have to say before I finish, I don’t like this obsession with normality everyone has. Normal doesn’t matter, we’re not all the same, and life would be boring if we were.

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  5. He may as well say there’s no family that doesn’t have problems. What’s his point? What is a homosexual anyway? At the end of the day it is a person who engages in homosexual behaviour – a form of behaviour that deviates from the norm. Some people, particularly those like Bob and Jimbo who loiter around this forum, think homosexuality is a different category of human being. They like to divide people into categories such as heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual. Bad approach and entirely wrong. Heterosexuality is the normal, natural human sexual orientation. Homosexuality is merely a disordered behaviour and bi-sexuality simply defines a person who engages in normal male-female activity and same sex behaviour. The Bishop is right about one thing. People who are inclined to homosexual behaviour are no less worthy of love than anyone else. That, however, doesn’t mean that the rest of society has to indulge the behaviour and assent to treating it as normal and equating with heterosexuality. When Putney says every family has a “gay member” he’s wrong. Not everyone who has participated in homosexual behaviour is “gay.” That’s a lifestyle – the kind of lifestyle celebrated and promoted at the Gay Mardi Gras. Surely Bishop Putney doesn’t think every family has members that parade around in leather pants with the bums cut out of them, or wave placards saying “Jesus is gay” or dance down the street in a g string?” It may be that somewhere in every very very extended family there is a person inlined to homosexual behaviour. However, there is certainly not one in every immediate family and if that is what the bishop means he’s a fool.

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    • “Bad approach and entirely wrong.” What do you base that on, Philip? I’m curious.

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      • I base it on the fact that neither homosexuality nor bi-sexuality are sexual orientations.

      • Says who?

      • The fact you consider homosexuality and bisexuality abhorrent doesn’t in anyway affect the fact that homosexuality and bisexuality are in fact sexualities and therefore sexual orientations. It would be like a catholic saying another denomination of christianity isn’t christianity because they don’t follow catholic teachings to the letter. Homosexuality and bisexuality are sexual orientations, they’re just not sexual orientations that everyone supports.

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