Morning Widdershins: So Let It Be Written
Posted October 13, 2014on:
Good Monday, Widdershins. Glad tidings from the Vatican today for all who claim humanity, but especially so for all of our Rainbow Widdershins.
After much soul-searching, an enclave of bishops has published a document outlining the need to find a place within the Church for gays and same-sex couples. This is a tall order for an institution which asserts that sex is solely for procreation, but on the bright side, neither birth control nor abortion will be an issue.
The Huffington Post notes that the document did not relax the basic RC attitudes, the author called its language “less judgemental” and “more compassionate”.
The document will be the basis for discussion for the second and final week of the assembly, known as a synod, which was called by Pope Francis and focuses on the theme of the family.
It will also serve for further reflection among Catholics around the world ahead of another, definitive synod next year.
“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,” said the document, known by its Latin name “relatio”.
“Are our communities capable of proving that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?” it asked.
It said that the 1.2 billion-member Church should see the development of its position on homosexuals as “an important educational challenge” for the global institution.
While the Church continued to affirm that gay unions “cannot be considered on the same footing as matrimony between man and woman”, it should recognize that there could be positive aspects to relationships in same-sex couples.
“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,” the document said.
Pope Francis has said the Church must be more compassionate with homosexuals, saying last year: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge.”
The Church teaches that while homosexual tendencies are not sinful, homosexual acts are.
The document also showed considerable opening to heterosexual couples who were married only in civil services or who were living together, mentioning “positive aspects” of such unions, especially if the couple saw them as a prelude to marriage in the Church.
No doubt, this represents a sea change in the Holy See. Whether it is an actual invitation to the gay community or just part of the time-honored “hate the sin, love the sinner” principle remains to be seen.
This is an open thread.
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