Bishop Gene Robinson writes in The Daily Beast:
This week’s working paper, released by the Synod on the Family taking place at the Vatican, is being hailed as an “earthquake” for the Roman Catholic Church. Hardly! It is only a tremor (albeit substantial), which may forewarn of a coming earthquake, or merely be relieving some of the tension that has been building over the past few decades.
Pope Francis is certainly a breath of fresh air, and I, for one, rejoice in his style, tone and early pronouncements. I pray for him every day. His is a decidedly different persona from his immediate predecessors. His tone is deeply pastoral, kind, and merciful. But that is all it is: tone. Nothing has changed in terms of the teaching and policies of his Church.
While the Synod says that the welfare of children is its highest priority, there is no admission of the pain caused by its teaching that homosexual persons are “intrinsically disordered”—either to young gay and lesbian Catholic children themselves, or to the children of partnered and/or married gay parents. The notion that there might be “fraternal space” (whatever that is!) within the Church for gay and lesbian members is posed as a question, not as a definitive statement. While there is no mention of homosexual “sin,” noting that there are “moral problems” with our relationships isn’t much better. Granted, our relationships may have moral issues, but sexual orientation is not one of them. Still, it’s a step forward to have the document refer to sexual orientation, rather than “preference,” as if it were merely a dinner entrée choice.
What are your observations about the synod?