Pope Francis loses as Catholic leaders at synod backtrack on welcoming gays

Pope Francis loses as Catholic leaders at synod backtrack on welcoming gays
Pope Francis loses as Catholic leaders at synod backtrack on welcoming gays
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The News Minute| October 19, 2014| 7.00 am IST

Participants in the Vatican synod of bishops have approved a final document that proposes acceptance of gays and compassion for divorced persons "with respect and delicacy."

Titled “Pastoral attention towards persons with homosexual orientations," two paragraphs on homosexualty however has been watered down from the previous version that had been called “Welcoming homosexuals.” 

The earlier version spoke of “accepting and valuing their (homosexuals’) sexual orientations” and giving gays “a welcoming home," according to the Washington Post.

But these phrases were not there on the final version. The new version repeats old phrases that gays “should be welcomed with respect and sensitivity” and that discrimination “is to be avoided.” 

Relatio Synodi, the final document approved on Saturday point by point by bishops and cardinals with the right to vote, was made public at the request of Pope Francis, who also authorised the publication of the number of votes for and against each paragraph.

On the point about whether divorced and remarried individuals may receive Holy Communion, the synod's participants said they will go more deeply into the matter in the future.

The Vatican press office said the document approved Saturday contains a series of proposals by the bishops that they will continue working on during the year, in order to have it ready for further discussion at the next synod in October 2015, which will also ponder the subject of the family.

The majority approved the item stating that "men and women with homosexual tendencies must be accepted with respect and delicacy" and that "any sign of discrimination will be avoided."

Nonetheless, the bishops emphasised "that no analogies can be made, however remote, between homosexual unions and God's design for marriage and the family."

The document dedicates considerable space to praising "the beauty" of the traditional, faithful family, while saying that the church, "like an attentive mother" must accompany "with compassion and patience" families that are fragile or wounded.


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