Catholic leaders sometimes downplay or even disregard Church teachings about homosexuality when speaking to audiences that might respond angrily.

But not Coadjutor Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, Calif.

Bishop Soto “courageously but gently gave a clear presentation of Church teaching on sexuality,” the California Catholic Daily reported, during a Sept. 18 appearance as the keynote speaker at a conference of the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries in Long Beach, Calif.

“Sexual relations between people of the same sex can be alluring for homosexuals, but it deviates from the true meaning of the act and distracts them from the true nature of love to which God has called us all,” Bishop Soto said. “For this reason, it is sinful.”

Added Bishop Soto, “Married love is a beautiful, heroic expression of faithful, life-giving, life-creating love. It should not be accommodated and manipulated for those who would believe that they can and have a right to mimic its unique expression.”

Most of the audience appeared displeased by the bishop’s remarks.

“On behalf of the board, I apologize,” one of the association’s board members commented afterward. “We had no idea Bishop Soto was going to say what he said.”

— Tom McFeely