Cardinals oppose Pope Francis reforms on gays, divorces

Cardinals oppose Pope Francis reforms on gays, divorces

Thursday, October 16, 2014 5:27 pm

Catholic bishops have spoken out against a landmark Vatican report calling for a more open approach to gay believers, presenting a series of strongly-worded changes bound to disappoint progressives.

A preliminary report on Monday for a special synod of bishops in the Vatican on family matters made waves around the world by suggesting the Church should reach out to homosexuals, who have “gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community”.

Pope Francis at the taboo breaking weddings at the Vatican on 14 September

Pope Francis at the taboo breaking weddings at the Vatican on 14 September

But the Vatican on Thursday published a fresh report summing up the reactions of 10 working groups of bishops, which smacked in places of panic among conservatives determined to derail Pope Francis’s push for reform.

South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier moderated a group of bishops from Africa, Asia and Oceania which said the initial report placed “too much emphasis on the problems facing the family”, and wanted “the Word of God, and the beauty of the Gospel of Marriage” to take centre stage.

The Church “must continue to promote the revealed nature of marriage as always between one man and one woman united in lifelong, life-giving, and faithful communion,” they said.

A group led by Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn said they “respect and welcome homosexual people” but warned that “this does not mean that the Church should legitimise homosexual practices.”

Other groups protested over proposals to be more open towards unmarried couples who live together, or divorced people living with new partners.

– Tensions rife –

Ultra-conservative American cardinal Raymond Leo Burke’s group said that where the report “appeared to be suggesting that sex outside of marriage may be permissible, or that cohabitation may be permissible, we have attempted to show why such lifestyles do not lead to human fulfilment.”

“We believe that if we imply that certain lifestyles are acceptable, then concerned and worried parents could very easily say ‘Why are we trying so hard to encourage our sons and daughters to live the Gospel and embrace Church teaching?'” it said.

The group also said it was against allowing divorced and re-married people to take communion — just one of several hot-button issues that appeared to have received positive backing in the initial report.

Francis has called for the Church to take a more merciful approach to sinners, famously saying of homosexual people, “Who am I to judge?”

It remains to be seen whether the final document, which will be released on Saturday, will reflect his hopes to make the centuries-old institution a more welcoming place.

While the working groups of bishops were largely headed by conservatives, the drafting committee charged with writing Saturday’s closing document is made up of perceived progressives appointed by Francis himself.

The document will be put to a vote, and with tension rife in the Vatican, religious experts will be watching to see just how close the final result may be.

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One Comment

  • Tarsus says:

    Francis, as with most progressives, are deceivers of the truth. Just as America and the world has been deceived by Obama, so has Francis showed his true colors and wants to relieve The Church of it’s true doctrines. He feels these are too rigid. My goodness in my life time would I have ever thought a Roman Catholic Pope would try such demonizing tactics. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that marriage is between one man and one women. That the homosexual act is “intrinsically evil.” That divorced Catholics can not take communion, but are welcome to participate and receive Grace by attending Mass. Our next Pope will have to be vetted better than Francis was. The south American Catholics have for many years promoted social justice over holiness. Just as Mexico is a corrupt country, so follows South America. This Pope is a deceiver and he needs our prayers for his own atonement. I pray that the Bishops and Cardinals continue to oppose Francis’ reckless and demonic campaign.
    Another word for “progressive” should be “demonic.”

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