A new document from the Vatican signals a change in attitude towards gay people, saying they have “gifts and qualities” to offer the Catholic community.
The document was prepared after a week of discussions at the Vatican Synod, a meeting of 200 bishops called by Pope Francis, and focuses on the theme of ‘family’. The document asked if the church could accept same-sex couples, divorce and unmarried couples. The proposal is seen as a monumental shift in the churches stance on homosexuality.
“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,” read the document.
“Are our communities capable of proving that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?” it asked.
The new comments from the Vatican have been cautiously welcomed by LGBT advocacy groups worldwide. Kieran Rose, Chair of GLEN said, “The comments from the Vatican suggest a change in the tone of the Catholic Church’s approach to gay people, and are welcome. The Vatican document provides an opportunity for the Catholic Church to change the way it treats lesbian and gay people.
“The Vatican document also recognises that across the world lesbian and gay couples are parenting children and acknowledges that the ‘needs and rights’ of their children should be give priority. We hope that the Vatican and the Irish Catholic Church will take the opportunity to support current proposals by the Irish Government to bring legal certainty and security to these families,” said Rose.
© 2014 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.