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Catholic inertia prompts disappointment

Mon 20 Oct 2014 In: International News View at Wayback

There’s disappointment Catholic Bishops have failed to back a report that would have eased the Church’s rhetoric towards gay people. A preliminary version of the document said that gay people have “gifts and talents to offer the Christian community,” and referred to lgbt couples as “partners” instead of sinners. The interim report also stated that while the Church did not view gay unions as equal, that "without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners." Although more than half of the bishops attending a synod on family issues voted in favour of the Pope's proposal for a greater openness towards gay people, it did not get the two thirds support it needed to be passed. The draft proposal remains live and is likely to continue to be debated until the next synod in a year's time. Pope Francis had called for the Church to take a more merciful approach to gay people, along with unmarried mothers and remarried divorcees. Catholic gay rights group New Ways Ministry says it’s disappointing, but says the synod's "openness to discussion provides hope for further development down the road". Human Rights Campaign’s Director of Latina and Catholic Initiatives Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera says the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church have erred on the side of hypocrisy and fear. “The deeply entrenched anti-LGBT forces within the Church prevailed, ignoring Pope Francis’ message of inclusion and respect, and fundamentally rejecting the voices and lives of LGBT Catholics.” Rivera says, however, it was the beginning of a discussion. “We will continue to pray for our brothers, the Bishops, to listen to our prayers, and to discern deeply about the exclusionary nature of this document based on the outdated idea that God spoke their final words a millennia ago.”    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Monday, 20th October 2014 - 8:09am

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