In a dramatic shift in tone, the Vatican has asked for gay men and women to be given a chance in the catholic faith as they have gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community. This call was made in a document released yesterday October 13th by the Vatican after a week-long Synod (Council of a church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine,) attended by about 200 bishops, who deliberated and came up with the resolution contained in a document which is known by its latino name “relatio”,
In a passage entitled “welcoming homosexual persons”, the bishops said that although the church could not support gay marriage, it needed to explore ways of making gay people feel included. “Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities?” the document says.
“Often they wish to encounter a church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?”
New Ways Ministry, a leading U.S. Catholic gay rights group, called it a “major step forward”, praising it for being devoid of the “major gloom and doom and apocalyptic horror” that accompanied past Vatican pronouncements on homosexuals.
But John Smeaton, co-founder of the conservative group Voice of the Family, said: “Those who are controlling the synod have betrayed Catholic parents worldwide.” He called it “one of the worst official documents drafted in Church history”.