Church synod LGBT slap in the face?

By Mark Segal

For the LGBT community to simply ignore what happened at the Vatican a couple of weeks ago when Pope Francis convened a synod on issues facing the Catholic Church would be a major mistake.  Even those of us who are not Catholic are effected by a church that has an estimated 1.2 billion members worldwide.  Here in the U.S. it's influence effects the way some elected officials vote and some Judges rule.  And then their are the issues that effect our brother and sister believers and their families.  We can not turn our backs on them.

A little history is in order.  Pope Francis becomes Pope in a time of scandal in the Church.  He tries to bring about a new openness in the church.  The 2014 synod of Bishops on the family called by Pope Francis was an attempt to find ways in which the church might change it's past messages on family, same sex marriage, catholic's living together without marriage, and other related issues.

Early reports had language that looked as though the Church would take a giant leap towards healing the many rifts inside the church.  One such phrase which gave hope to LGBT catholics was that Gay and lesbians have special gifts to offer the church.  Another suggested that the church while still against same sex marriage was ready to move towards acceptance of civil unions.  This brought about excitement with in the LGBT community only to be dashed by all that positive language being watered downed by the final report. 

The LGBT community saw the loss of the synod as a defeat, but the surprise is it wasn't.  Here's how David Gibson of Religious News Service wrote in the National Catholic Reporter.  The Hard Liners won the battle, the reformers may win the war.  he goes on to state that the church is slow to change, and all the pro LGBT statements when voted on received a strong majority but not the two thirds necessary to be accepted.  This is good news since Pope Francis made it clear in his closing remarks that he wants the church to be open to new ideas and that will happen as he appoints new like minded cardinals. 

New Ways Ministry which has led the battle with in the catholic church for reform on LGBT issues responded to the synod categorized the final draft as a disappoint

Connect with us