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Catholic spokesman hits out at Anglican support for gay relationships

The Anglican Primate's call for a softer church stance on lesbians and gay relationships is at odds with mainstream Christianity, according to Sydney Catholic archdiocesan spokesman Fr Brian Lucas.

Dr Peter Carnley, head of the Anglican Church in Australia, questioned the church's attitude towards long-term homosexual couples in an article in The Bulletin magazine. He stopped short of condoning gay marriages but suggested committed homosexual relationships could be recognised as friendships.

Fr Lucas said there is a wide gulf between marriage and friendship, and one could not be dressed up as the other.

"You're either married or you're not," Fr Lucas said.

"If he's saying that the church should regard homosexual relationships and activity as legitimate, I think he's at variance with mainstream Christianity. That point of view is not one shared universally at all."

Fr Lucas said the Catholic Church was opposed to accepting same sex relationships.

But Catholic priest Claude Mostowik, who heads Acceptance, a gay support organisation, said he did not believe in gay marriages but homosexual relationships were a reality.

"I think if they are committed and long term, then why not bless them," he said. "We've blessed tanks and aeroplanes that kill. Blessing a couple who want to commit to each other in a relationship, that can't be less than blessing a car or a house or an animal."