Pope Francis sought to chart a merciful route when it comes to the Catholic Church’s acceptance of gays, but instead seems to have found his navigation compass somewhat impaired. At Vatican City it is apparent that the Catholic bishops scrapped their almost landmark welcome of gays, now revealing what some of us may not be so surprised to see, a deep division – a rift – as large as an ocean, dividing one continent of thought from another.
At the end of a two-week meeting the bishops failed to approve “even a watered-down section on ministering to homosexuals” and there is no longer the welcoming tone of acceptance contained in the draft document that was put forth earlier in the week. Associated Press:
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.
It wasn’t clear, though, if the 118-62 vote on the gay section was more a protest by progressive bishops who refused to back the watered-down wording. The revised paragraph had deleted the words of acceptance of gays’ sexual orientation and acknowledgement that gay unions can provide “precious support” to partners that had been contained in the draft.
Francis insisted in the name of transparency that the full document — including the paragraphs that failed to pass — be published along with the voting tally. The document will serve as the basis for future debate leading up to another meeting of bishops next October.
With regard to this very difficult to comprehend assumption by Associated Press :
“It wasn’t clear, though, if the 118-62 vote on the gay section was more a protest by progressive bishops who refused to back the watered-down wording.”
I do not have enough knowledge or insight into who in that group of 56 Bishops who voted against the declaration is progressive or not. Surely Associated Press should have done their homework before making such a sweeping assumption. How many could be progressive enough for that to yield a “progressive” statement – if you get my meaning. Surely a real analysis would be worthy endeavor from an organization of AP’s stature? I don’t have the resources or time to delve. But would love to hear from any of you if you can find a better analysis and the names of who voted for what – if such is indeed public information. Does the voting tally include the names of the Bishops – and which countries the are from? If there is further information on this please let me know via email or comment here.
I’m more inclined to believe that the Bishops are fervently anti-gay – please prove me wrong!
This may be an ongoing story, but in the meantime – LGBT people remain personanon grata in the eyes of the Catholic Church. While Pope Francis may be seen to be a Pope of change, he is certainly not yet influencing his bishops enough to have more cross the divide – onto the side of acceptance. It seems he will need much more than a broken moral compass. He will need to portray Pope-ish leadership, like no other. After all change is scary endeavor in the caged world of draconian context-dead dogma.
May almighty God have mercy on the souls of all those who would fail all of HIS children!