Bishops Scrap Friendlier Views on Gay Catholics
They vote down revision to draft document
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 18, 2014 2:33 PM CDT
Pope Francis attends a morning session of a two-week synod on family issues at the Vatican, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014.   (Andrew Medichini)
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(Newser) – Catholic bishops scrapped their landmark welcome to gays today, 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. The revised paragraph had said "people with homosexual tendencies must be welcomed with respect and delicacy." But the paragraph failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

The original draft had said gays had gifts to offer the church and their partnerships, while morally problematic, provided gay couples with "precious" support. It appeared that the 118-62 vote on the gay section might have been a protest by progressive bishops who refused to back the watered-down wording. 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. The document will serve as the basis for future debate leading up to another meeting of bishops next October that will produce a final report to be sent to Francis. His take:

  • "Personally, I would have been very worried and saddened if there hadn't been these ... animated discussions ... or if everyone had been in agreement or silent in a false and acquiescent peace," Francis told the synod hall after the vote.

 

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