Pope Francis and others in the Catholic Church seem to be trying to show more acceptance for gay and lesbian people while at the same time saving face for past discrimination.
Reuters and others are reporting: “In a dramatic shift in tone, a Vatican document said on Monday that homosexuals had “gifts and qualities to offer” and asked if Catholicism could accept gays and recognize positive aspects of same-sex couples. Roman Catholic gay rights groups around the world hailed the paper as a breakthrough, but Church conservatives called it a betrayal of traditional family values.”
One John Smeaton, co-founder of the conservative group Voice of the Family, is reported by Reuters to have 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.” ”
Indeed, there are Catholic Church conservatives whose bigotry overrides their own leader, the pope, even if they supposedly consider him to be God’s right-hand man. In fact, I bet the conservatives wouldn’t accept gay people even if God Itself manifested before them and told them to.
The aforementioned document will be “the basis for discussion in the second and final week of the bishops’ assembly, known as a synod. It will also serve for further reflection among Catholics around the world ahead of another, definitive synod next year,” Reuters is reporting.
But I suspect Pope Francis and his more liberal colleagues, including God, will be no match for the conservatives, who seem determined to keep the Church in the 14th century. I think the Catholic Church will continue on the road to obsolescence, empty pews and, finally, extinction — exactly what the pope is trying to avoid by being more compassionate and, basically, making the Church more relevant in the modern age.
Too little, too late, though. We are witnessing its last gasps now.