The Catholic church hates you a wee bit less

A group of Catholic bishops hand-picked by Pope Francis has produced a new report that apparently hates gays (and unwed cohabiting straight people) just a wee bit less than before.

The preliminary report, while not change any church rules, is surprisingly sympathetic towards both gays and unwed couples who live in sin.

UPDDATE: Pope changed his mind under pressure from conservative Catholics. They still hate you. Good to know the word of God is subject to lobbying, and that the Pope is now apparently fallible.

Here’s the part dealing with the-gay:

Welcoming homosexual persons

50. 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? 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?

A homosexual gift, via Shutterstock.

A homosexual gift, via Shutterstock.

51. The question of homosexuality leads to a serious reflection on how to elaborate realistic paths of affective growth and human and evangelical maturity integrating the sexual dimension: it appears therefore as an important educative challenge. The Church furthermore affirms that unions between people of the same sex cannot be considered on the same footing as matrimony between man and woman. Nor is it acceptable that pressure be brought to bear on pastors or that international bodies make financial aid dependent on the introduction of regulations inspired by gender ideology.52. Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners. Furthermore, the Church pays special attention to the children who live with couples of the same sex, emphasizing that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority.

“Welcoming homosexual persons?” Sounds like the title of a 1950s etiquette book for what to do when a gay comes for dinner.

As for that last part that I italicized, the first portion is clear enough: Sometimes the gay gets the AIDS, and the other gay takes care of him, which means they must not be entirely evil. And I guess, considering the source, this counts as a step in the right direction.

The second part, however…

Furthermore, the Church pays special attention to the children who live with couples of the same sex, emphasizing that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority.

Yeah, I got nothing. Is that recognizing that gays are parents too? Or is it suggesting that the church is keeping a watchful eye on those gays who are cavorting with children?

Here’s the part of the report dealing with cohabitation:

Positive aspects of civil unions and cohabitation

36. A new sensitivity in today’s pastoral consists in grasping the positive reality of civil weddings and, having pointed out our differences, of cohabitation. It is necessary that in the ecclesial proposal, while clearly presenting the ideal, we also indicate the constructive elements in those situations that do not yet or no longer correspond to that ideal.

37. It was also noted that in many countries an “an increasing number live together ad experimentum, in unions which have not been religiously or civilly recognized” (Instrumentum Laboris, 81). In Africa this occurs especially in traditional marriages, agreed between families and often celebrated in different stages. Faced by these situations, the Church is called on to be “the house of the Father, with doors always wide open […] where there is a place for everyone, with all their problems” (Evangelii Gaudium, 47) and to move towards those who feel the need to take up again their path of faith, even if it is not possible to celebrate a religious marriage.

38. In the West as well there is an increasingly large number of those who, having lived together for a long period of time, ask to be married in the Church. Simple cohabitation is often a choice inspired by a general attitude, which is opposed to institutions and definitive undertakings, but also while waiting for a secure existence (a steady job and income). In other countries common-law marriages are very numerous, not because of a rejection of Christian values as regards the family and matrimony, but, above all, because getting married is a luxury, so that material poverty encourages people to live in common-law marriages. Furthermore in such unions it is possible to grasp authentic family values or at least the wish for them. Pastoral accompaniment should always start from these positive aspects.

39. All these situations have to be dealt with in a constructive manner, seeking to transform them into opportunities to walk towards the fullness of marriage and the family in the light of the Gospel. They need to be welcomed and accompanied with patience and delicacy. With a view to this, the attractive testimony of authentic Christian families is important, as subjects for the evangelization of the family.

I suppose in the grand scheme of things this is a step in the right direction. And for the Vatican, this counts as downright conciliatory.

Hey, we’ve got gifts!

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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24 Responses to “The Catholic church hates you a wee bit less”

  1. andrea952AndreaREliasandrea952 says:

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  3. Badgerite says:

    I think the operative words here are “considering the source”. It took the RCC several centuries to finally figure out that people who eat meat on Fridays are not going to hell. Seriously. It did.
    Think of ‘change’ in the RCC as something that moves at the pace of a glacier taking a nap.

  4. nicho says:

    Anyone who didn’t know that the extreme right wingers in the church would water this down to irrelevancy should be allowed to make decisions without a adult supervision.

  5. Silver_Witch says:

    well played jamesnimmo.

  6. Silver_Witch says:

    I gotta gift for the Catholic Church…and they are really gonna like it too…Okay I don’t have any stinking gifts…and neither does the church. Who cares who they welcome ….they are arcana and their God is full of hatred for his very own creation. In my world a God/Goddess creates and celebrates with its creation the beauty and joy of love and life.

    So they can piss off.

  7. Hue-Man says:

    Ignoring the priests who’ve broken their vows and have male partners or wives and children, this group of old, mostly white men are uniquely incapable of understanding the subject matter – it’s like a collection of medieval history researchers from Oxford writing a definitive analysis of American football!

    Data on family issues was supposed to be gathered from each country’s lay members, with the exception of the U.S. which, if I recall correctly, refused to. Even so, I can see these extremely conservative leaders appointed by the two predecessor popes rejecting the surveys with something akin to “I’ll beat this sinful misinformation out of them!”

    Bergoglio will be 78 in a couple of months. If the conservatives hold out for a few years, they’ll get the chance to elect one of their own and put an end to further attempts at liberalization. Stall, study, debate…elect. I wouldn’t be surprised if denial of communion is escalated to ex-communication and dissent-stifling retribution.

    I’m not being unnecessarily negative – the church has demonstrated over the past 4 decades that it is not about its congregation but to satisfy the wants and needs of its clerics. The vast gulf between the congregation’s practices and the leadership’s dictates will only continue to grow.

  8. 2patricius2 says:

    Cardinal Raymond Burke was too preoccupied with what young men he could enlist to carry his long red train down the aisle of the next service at which he puts on his lace and red robes and big hat.

  9. 2patricius2 says:

    Yes, creepy. Especially these words: “the Church pays special attention to the children…” Whatever kind of attention could that be?

  10. 2patricius2 says:

    I love the pink toaster. I want someone to give one of those for a gift.

    But as for this little tidbit: “the Church pays special attention to the children who live with couples of the same sex, emphasizing that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority…” I take issue and laugh. If the Church really did pay special attention to the children, they would support marriage equality so the children would have the advantage of the stability that the marriage of their parents brings to them. And do the bishops really want to draw attention to their history of “paying attention” to children?

    These bishops could learn a lot about love and maturity and marriage from lesbian and gay couples. They could learn a lot about caring for children from those same sex couples who are raising children – oftentimes children who were rejected by their biological parents and were languishing in foster care. In fact I would go on to say that they would do better to listen and observe and learn from people who have experience, rather than babbling on nonsensically with pre-packaged moral doctrines that have less value than the paper on which they are written and the wastebaskets into which they are dumped.

  11. Thom Allen says:

    Maybe “sprinted” it back is more accurate.

  12. UncleBucky says:

    John Paul 1. Just remember what happened to him. The RCC murdered the Fraticelli… They still have it in them.

  13. Indigo says:

    What creepy wording they use. I can see the rack in the background, gathering dust perhaps, and the iron maiden . . . wait! is that a robed brother oiling the hinges?

  14. jamesnimmo says:

    When the Pope turns over his squadron of child rapists to civil authorities I’ll re-consider his legitimacy to even voice an opinion about LEGAL conduct.

  15. nicho says:

    If the chikd rapers really wanted to do penance for their sins and crimes, they would take a self-imposed vow of silence and STFU for 100 years.

  16. nicho says:

    That leapt right off the page at me too. That and insisting on calling us “homosexuals.” Bullshit document.

  17. Don Chandler says:

    The Catholic Church is in denial. It’s a maze they have contrived and they are truly masters of contortionistic rationales. Holy Moly:

    “They need to be welcomed and accompanied with patience and delicacy. With a view to this, the attractive testimony of authentic Christian families is important, as subjects for the evangelization of the family.”–frightening stuff. Civil marriage, please.

  18. BeccaM says:

    I also worry about the kids living in those Catholic orphanages and work-houses. Y’know, the ones “living with” clergy as their guardian adults.

  19. Bill_Perdue says:

    There’s already a reactionary backlash and things are back to normal for the baby raper cult.

    Their liberal period lasted a day or two and now its back to Opus Dei and the steady din of violence inducing hate.

    Same old, same old.

  20. Gindy51 says:

    Of course they walked it back.

  21. SkippyFlipjack says:

    Church representatives are already backtracking on the report, calling it a “working” report and not a final document, and trying to ferret out whomever put the friendly language in there.

  22. Blogvader says:

    You’re right, Becca.

    Personally, I’ll give a [email protected]#$ what Catholics have to say on morality when they turn out the estimated 8,000 sexual predators they’re protecting in the clergy. (That’s the Pope’s own estimate, so we can assume the number is much higher.)

    Until then, they can kiss my ass.

  23. Indigo says:

    Sounds like a creative dodge to me. I wonder . . . did they ever pay Michelangelo for the paint job?

  24. BeccaM says:

    children who live with couples of the same sex

    This part really bugs me. Can they not acknowledge the adults those children are “living with” are, in fact, their parents?

    Meanwhile, it would seem Cardinal Raymond Burke still won’t back down from his position that LGBTs should be shunned by everybody, including their own families.

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