Saturday, October 18, 2014

A stunning rebuke

I've been reporting on the Catholic Synod being held at the Vatican. The final, approved statement has been released. This is the version the bishops vote on. Various paragraphs must pass with a 2/3 majority.

The outcome: all that wonderful language about gay people was not approved, losing by only six votes. Also not approved were paragraphs on divorce and remarriage.

The interim report had nice words about the "gifts and talents" that gay people can offer. There were words of welcome. And there was that wonderful phrase about being willing to sacrifice for a spouse. Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin says:
The new statement has none of that. It recognizes nothing about gay people or their children. In fact, it doesn’t recognize gays and lesbians at all, but rather restricts itself to addressing families who “live the experience of having members who are of homosexual orientation.” Which means it’s not even meant to address us. This is not just a full reversal from Monday’s statement, it’s not even as minimally positive as the mysteriously revised English mistranslation that was issued Thursday. This is more than just a backtrack. It’s a doubling down on the part of John Paul II’s and Benedict XVI’s appointed English-speaking bishops, and stunning rebuke of Pope Francis’s attempts to inject a small dose of humanity into the operation of the Church.
From The Economist

Even with all that the conservative National Catholic Register laments that the whole process has put out "weak and ambiguous" signals about where the church is headed.

What's next? Lots of discussion and a reconvening of the Synod next October. Between now and then one conservative cardinal will be sidelined and Francis will likely select new cardinals in February. The vote tally next fall may be different.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Rome officiated at 16 same-sex marriages. They won't be legal, but they are highly symbolic. And an overwhelming majority of young Catholics in America say homosexuality should be socially acceptable. Even a majority of Catholics over 65 agree.

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