Temptation is not a sin, and being gay is not a sin. Being gay and engaging in sexual contact is a sin. If the gay guy on the council is not a "practicing homosexual" then more power to him. If he is, then he should not be on the council.
Some things are assumed, whether correct or incorrect.
You know what "they" say about when you assume something, right? You risk making an "ass" out of "u" and "me". (Not that I've *ever* assumed anything, myself --yeah...right !)
Regarding this assumption business, I think "u" make a bigger "ass" out of yourself by assuming that all possible arrangements are equally likely. "Domestic partnership", presented as it is as a legal equivalent to marriage, are considered as essentially marriages in all but name. So it is appropriate to reflect on the incidence of marriages without physical contact, as a way of assessing just how likely it is that there would be tons and tons of civil partnerships without contact. No doubt there are some marriages (and civil partnerships) that are this way, but if they are rare enough to make those living chastely in marriage examples of especially noteworthy piety (which they are), then how likely do you think they are among those who are essentially married? Probably just as likely, or at least not more
likely than in actual marriages.
And another thing: The RC church, as far as I understand, does not recognize these civil partnerships as being valid, either as alternatives to recognized marriage or as their own category. Given that, how likely do you think it is that this man and his partner would disobey the rules in a very serious way in order to get a registered partnership, but then stop short of further actions against their faith, such as homosexual activity? It doesn't seem very likely, and it seems as though an argument could be made (if the cardinal were more traditional) that being in the civil partnership in the first place should disqualify this man, even without sexual activity.
If I have not been fasting and praying during this time, and yet I present myself for holy communion, the priest is right to withhold it from me if he feels that my (in)actions show a frivolous attitude toward the faith and the sacrament. Even if I have kept every other rule of the church, he may decide against me due to the serious nature of my disobedience and laxity. I would think that the same principle should hold in the case of the original priest who thought it best to not have the man on the council. Yet the cardinal overruled him using other logic.
I don't know. It's not my church. Perhaps that's how things are meant to work in the RC. It just doesn't make any sense to me.