An Auckland bishop is under fire for promoting a controversial American Catholic documentary about gay and lesbian worshippers, which some say is offensive and outdated.
The Third Way features gay and lesbian worshippers describing how their anguish ended when they abstained from sex and embraced the Catholic religion.
Trevor Easton, a gay community advocate, says he finds the church's message offensive in this day and age.
"I saw it as making people feel uncomfortable, unloved, not able to be themselves."
Auckland's Catholic bishop, Patrick Dunn, says the film is thought-provoking and reportedly wants to use it as part of church teaching here.
"Jesus holds up the ideal of a relationship between a man and a woman," he says in a statement.
"I believe the film The Third Way is thought-provoking for all of us and I suggest those who are interested view it."
The Catholic Church encourages abstinence for all unmarried couples, but it doesn't recognise gay marriages, even though the law does.
Catholics spoken to outside mass today defended the church.
"That is the teaching of the bible. These are the rules and we need to abide by them," says one worshipper.
"It is a high standard for sure and it is definitely not an easy thing," says another.
But opponents of the film say it's a damaging throwback to outdated prejudices.
"The focus on this is all on gay people and lesbian people - its not on the spectrum - and that means they're trying to get at one particular group," says Mr Easton.
source: newshub archive