The new bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Springfield, Mass., provides a reminder that despite Pope Francis’s conciliatory words toward LGBT people, the church’s doctrine isn’t likely to change anytime soon.
Bishop Mitchell Rozanski, who will be installed Tuesday as leader of the diocese, said in a wide-ranging interview with a Springfield newspaper last week that many social problems are due to “the disintegration of family life” — and healthy family life, as he sees it, is rooted in heterosexual marriage.
“As a church, what we are saying is that God made us male and female, and that the institution of marriage is so crucial,” Rozanski told The Republican. “It is a sacrament of the church, if the sacrament is well lived, then the children and future generations will benefit.”
Rozanski, 55, was formerly auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Baltimore. In Springfield, he succeeds Bishop Timothy McDonnell, who has retired. The Springfield diocese covers four counties in western Massachusetts. There are 81 parishes in the diocese and approximately 230,000 Roman Catholics, according to The Republican.
Pope Francis has called for the church to emphasize issues other than its opposition to homosexuality, contraception, and abortion, and last year he famously said, “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?” But he has also said church doctrine on those matters is clear, and the rest of the church hierarchy continues to underline that.