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Catholic Bishops fail to welcome gays, divorced Christians

Catholic Bishops fail to welcome gays, divorced Christians

On Saturday at the Vatican Extraordinary Synod on the Family, efforts to welcome LGBT and divorced Catholics failed:

Catholic bishops scrapped their landmark welcome to gays Saturday, 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.


The bishops failed to approve even a watered-down section on ministering to homosexuals that stripped away the welcoming tone of acceptance contained in a draft document earlier in the week.

Rather than considering gays as individuals who had gifts to offer the church, the revised paragraph referred to homosexuality as one of the problems Catholic families have to confront. It said “people with homosexual tendencies must be welcomed with respect and delicacy,” but repeated church teaching that marriage is only between man and woman. The paragraph failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

Two other paragraphs concerning the other hot-button issue at the synod of bishops – whether divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can receive Communion – also failed to pass.

For the full article please visit the Huffington Post here.

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Rod Gillis

Appreciate comments by both Gary Paul Gilbert and Mary Davis. Re Gary Paul and being ex-R.C. I am as well, raised a practicing R.C. but became an Anglican as a young adult. Left in order to get married and raise a family . Left because, despite V2, Rome’s ecumenical project was not/is not egalitarian with respect to we “separated brethren”.

My wife and I have raised four children, and of course, we have peers in the R.C. Church who have done the same. They ain’t happy. Some have dropped out, or choose selectively at Cafeteria Catholic.

Therefore,notwithstanding input from couples into the R.C. synod working paper, when all of the “deciders” are older celibate males, outcomes are what they are. Make no mistake, it is a patriarchal institution as we sometimes are.

A large cohort of the quiet revolution in Quebec in the 60s were women who were not going to be dictated to by “father” re the use of artificial birth control.

Mary noted, “can we just not be snarky about [ Roman] Catholics?”. I would argue, its not that simple. Besides, the divide is not so much R.C. v. Anglicanism but patriarchal decision making v.egalitarian decision making.Many bishops in our Communion would be very much at home with the conservative Roman Bishops meeting last week in Rome.

I have been as vocal about hierarchy creep in my own church as i have been about someone else’s way of doing business.

Finally, regarding human rights, there is a very interesting book titled, The Global Face of Public Faith: Politics, Human Rights, and Christian Ethics; by David Hollenbach, S.J.

Gary Paul Gilbert

Oh, yes, Rod, the ideology of human rights mantra, as if religion exempts one from supporting equality before the law, is a weak argument conservatives in different denominations use.

Mary, as an ex-Roman and gay, I surely have the right to resent that the Roman church lobbies against my full rights as a person under the law. As an Anglican, I have the right to point out that the Vatican does not recognize us as a church. They call us an “ecclesial body.” This is a winter of ecumenism, no matter what hype the new Pope puts out.

Gary Paul Gilbert

Mary Davis

(Forgot to sign my name to that last comment–Mary Davenport Davis.)

My perspective on this is fed heavily by the ongoing commentary of James Martin, S.J. (@JamesMartinSJ); see also Dan Horan’s recent blog post (http://datinggod.org/2014/10/20/fear-not-the-synods-are-proceeding-exactly-as-intended/).

Mary Davis

As Rod noted, news stories choose their focus. The Relatio represents the official statement of the first part of a Synod whose purpose has largely been to hold frank and loving conversations. It’s not the final word, and the fact that these conversations have been happening at all (and have included the contributions of married couples, contra Rod’s initial comment) is a major step forward.

Also, can we just not be snarky about Catholics? Please? This is my least favorite part about being Episcopalian–the stunning lack of charity we seem to be okay with showing toward our sister churches.

Rod Gillis

@ Gary Paul Gilbert, Indeed, the interesting thing is that opponents of same sex marriage in the church are using human rights as a reason not (underline not)to move forward. The motion which called for the preparation of an amendment to our Marriage Canon also asks that dissenting conservatives be protected from human rights commissions. One submission actually refers to the “ideology” of human rights.

I’m wondering if the social conservatives make enough noise, will the process end up with cold feet? There would appear to be some similarities with the politics of the Roman synod of bishops. Some Canadian bishops appear very afraid of the issue getting to the floor of our next GS for consideration.

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