This weekend, Catholic bishops rejected the Pope’s draft proposal that suggested taking a more accepting stance towards gay people.
At the end of a two week synod in Rome, which saw 200 bishops discussing issues around the family, the Vatican failed to get the required two-thirds majority to back the draft document. The document asked if the church could accept same-sex couples and added that gay people have “gifts and qualities” to offer the Catholic community. It was seen as a monumental shift in the churches stance on homosexuality.
The initial document, which was released last Monday read, “Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a further space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home.”
Gay rights groups say that the rejection of the proposal is “very disappointing”.
Kieran Rose, chair of GLEN said, “This Synod of Bishops has missed the opportunity to reflect and embrace the very positive changes in attitude towards lesbian and gay people that have come about over the last 20 years.
“Most gay and lesbian people and their loving relationships are fully included within their wider family and community circles in Ireland. It is disappointing that the majority of the Synod chose not to reflect that reality, and that elements within the Catholic Church continue to say to lesbian and gay people, and to their parents and families, that they are not welcome” said Rose.
“However, the discussion and the votes supporting change at the Synod show that there is an appetite within the Catholic Church to move away from the harsh approach towards lesbian and gay people. We hope that ongoing discussions will lead to change within the Church, building on the non-judgmental approach and leadership of Pope Francis,” concluded Rose.
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