The Vatican appears to have backtracked on their unprecedented positive comments on homosexuality after a furious reaction from conservative Catholics.
A major meeting Pope Francis convened to help the Catholic Church improve its outreach to diverse modern families ended Saturday with a summary paper that removed earlier, revolutionary language that cited the value of same-sex and divorced families.
Critics of the pope were celebrating Saturday, with conservative Catholics cheering the reaffirmation that God prefers the traditional family.
The two-week meeting in Rome hadn’t been expected to result in changes to traditional doctrine, but the rare sight of cardinals from around the world debating matters such as whether same-sex couples can be called “partners” floored many Catholics. More liberal Catholics said Saturday that it was a victory for the church to even have such conversations, though many expressed disappointment with the paper.
Pope Francis has suffered a setback as proposals for wider acceptance of gay people failed to win a two-thirds majority at a Catholic Church synod.
A draft report issued halfway through the meeting had called for greater openness towards homosexuals and divorced Catholics who have remarried.
But those paragraphs were not approved, and were stripped from the final text.
The report will inform further debate before the synod reconvenes in larger numbers in a year’s time.
A closely watched Vatican assembly on the family ended on Saturday without consensus among the bishops in attendance on what to say about gays, and whether to give communion to divorced and remarried Catholics.
The bishops’ final report watered down the warm and welcoming language about gays and divorced couples that appeared in a preliminary report released on Monday, midway through the two-week assembly. Conservative bishops had expressed alarm that the Roman Catholic Church was sending a mixed message on marriage and homosexuality.
Pope Francis addressed the bishops in the final session, issuing a double-barreled warning against “hostile rigidity” by “so-called traditionalists,” but also cautioning “progressives” who would “bandage a wound before treating it.” The bishops responded with a four-minute standing ovation in the closed-door meeting, Vatican spokesmen said afterward.
A half-century after the historic changes of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Francis is showing his intent to drive a comparably ambitious agenda for the Roman Catholic Church in the 21st century.
The current synod of bishops in Rome, called by Francis to encourage reform and modernization, set a ringing tone of compassion this week with an opening call for a more welcoming attitude toward gay people, unmarried couples, divorced Catholics who remarry, and children in these unions.
Beyond specific issues, a welcome tone of conciliation and outreach defined the synod report, as in the recognition that gay Catholics yearn for “a welcoming home” in the church. In this and other ways, the synod marks a hopeful beginning of what undoubtedly will be a difficult but fascinating worldwide debate on the future of the modern church.
The Vatican appears to be backing down on its conciliatory tone adopted for gay relationships, virtually ensuring that some of the goodwill built up between the Church and gays only a few days ago will evaporate.
A new translation of the Synod of Bishops’ interim document discussing the role of the family made some curious changes that, at minimum, muddled the message of friendship and understanding that had been extended toward gays.
Rome (CNN) — Under furious assault from conservative Catholics, the Vatican backtracked Tuesday on its surprisingly positive assessment of gays and same-sex relationships.
In a report Monday, the Vatican had said that gays and lesbians have “gifts to offer” the Christian community and acknowledged that same-sex couples can give “precious support” to one other.
The statement, an interim report from a closely watched meeting of Catholic clergy here, was widely praised by liberals. It is believed to be the first time the Vatican has said anything positive about gay relationships.
Catholic bishops have scrapped their landmark welcome to gays, showing deep divisions at the end of a two-week meeting sought by Pope Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families.
Okay, that’s enough of a look at the collateral damage of that mid-term relatio from the synod.