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RCC and Homosexuality/Cohabitation/Divorce

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  • RCC and Homosexuality/Cohabitation/Divorce

    So, has anyone else heard the news from the latest RCC synod?

    Catholic bishops voted Saturday to water down a report earlier this week that advocated a significant shift in the church’s approach to gays and divorced Catholics, reflecting a deep split within the church’s leadership.

    In a vote Saturday evening, an assembly of nearly 200 bishops, who have been discussing issues concerning the family at a special meeting known as a synod, took their final vote on a working document released Monday. That document, released halfway through the two-week synod, proposed a far more open approach to gays and suggested a path back to the church for divorced Catholics who have remarried to receive communion.
    As a result of the vote, both portions were revised. The section originally applauding the “precious support” sometimes found in same-sex unions was dropped, replaced by language simply saying that gays must be “welcomed with respect and delicacy.”
    At the same time, the report suggested that remarried Catholics could receive communion after a period of penance. Currently, the church denies communion to Catholics who have remarried, unless their first marriage is annulled.

    Of course, from the secular media, the RCC stance towards gays was watered down a bit from the start of the synod to the end, but it still seems a lot more open than in past years. I understand loving those in sin, such as homosexuals, and cohabiting couples, but is that what the synod really means? What did Pope Francis mean earlier this year (or was it last year?) when he said, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” Does he mean that it is ok to have homosexual desires or that it is ok to live a homosexual lifestyle and seek God? According to Christianity Today, it seems like a fight between the "progressive" Pope and the conservative global south.

    Some of the strongest opposition to offering a more welcoming stance to homosexuals came from bishops from the Global South. Homosexuality is illegal in 37 African countries and merits the death sentence in Mauritania, Sudan and northern Nigeria.

    Although they have simmered under the surface for years, in laying bare the depth of divisions in the Catholic Church for the first time, Pope Francis' extraordinary synod has shown the Anglican Communion that it is not alone in its own struggles in these areas. Even though the Pope's mission for reform did not meet with the success he hoped, the strong support he got was greater than many expected, given the centuries of tradition and the face that most of the cardinals were appointed by his predecessor, the conservative Pope Benedict, who as Cardinal Ratzinger authored the "intrinsic moral evil" text on homosexuals. omosexuality.or.divorcees/41887.htm
    Do you think that the RCC will continue to open up or is this only a nicer public face on what the church already teaches?

    Disclosure: I'm an evangelical, but I'm very interested in what the RCC decides.
    Open and liberal, like the Anglican Communion
    Continuing on a conservative path
    Middle ground

  • #2
    I'm one of this site's resident Catholics, and I voted "other"-- I think it ought to be pretty clear that the way in which Church teachings are commonly articulated is not particularly compelling and needs to be re-thought.

    Basically, I (would like to) believe that the policies will remain the same or similar, but they will be articulated in a way that demonstrates a collective rediscovery of the foundations of sexual morality and the family, which is something both the Right and Left desperately need. The Church needs to be able to account for the good things that have come out of "alternative family structures," and I think it's possible to do that without endorsing those structures or ignoring the problems they create. It's a matter of showing people that the good things they're looking for in these alternative sexual practices and family structures can be found more easily or to a greater degree in a society that also holds marriage and sexuality in proper reverence.

    Also, it's worth noting the Pope Francis is from the Global South. The "who am I to judge" comment was in response to a question about potentially reversing Pope Benedict's prudential decision to exclude gay men from seminaries. He doesn't say, in my understanding, that bishops or seminary rectors can't make judgments about whether a person is fit for the priesthood, but simply that it wasn't his place to make that judgment about an entire group of people. In any case, I think the fact that he was talking about the celibate priesthood should make it clear he wasn't thereby endorsing gay marriage or gay sex.
    Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.


    • #3
      Originally posted by heartablaze View Post omosexuality.or.divorcees/41887.htm
      Do you think that the RCC will continue to open up or is this only a nicer public face on what the church already teaches?
      That homosexuality merits the death sentence in Mauritania, Sudan, and northern Nigeria is entirely irrelevant to this discussion, as those are Muslim-controlled areas.

      I expect that the RCC will shift toward the Anglican Communion, only more slowly; the RCC has been liberalizing since Vatican II.
      Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

      Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
      I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist


      • #4
        My rule #1: do not trust anything in the main stream media regarding religion. As I expected a few days later, the exaggerated claims were walked back.

        This is a change in style not doctrine.
        "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

        "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom


        • #5
          Is there anything to read in to the "reassignment" of Cardinal Burke?

          (I will say that at the risk of transforming into a human lightning rod, I was not impressed by his controversial interview for Life Site News.)
          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill


          • #6
            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
            Is there anything to read in to the "reassignment" of Cardinal Burke?

            (I will say that at the risk of transforming into a human lightning rod, I was not impressed by his controversial interview for Life Site News.)
            He's no Ottaviani.
            Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
              He's no Ottaviani.
              I'm glad we have Burke. It was sad to see him let down from the position he had.


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