LGBT Catholics disappointed by new church document on family


little_new_for_gays_catholic_family_synod_documentLGBT Catholics say that a new working document on the family issued by the Vatican on Tuesday shows little progress when it comes to LGBT issues.

The document, which has been released ahead of the church’s Synod on the Family, taking place in October, will be used as the framework for this global conference of bishops.

It does reiterate that, “Every person, regardless of their sexual orientation, must be treated with respect, and welcomed with sensitivity and politeness, both in the church as well as in society.”

However, it remains fiercely conservative on issues such as the acceptance of same-sex relationships, abortion and the use of condoms.

The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics said in a statement that the document’s positions “hardly reflect the rich discussions which have taken place, internationally and at all levels in the Church, on the welcome, respect, and value which should be afforded to lesbian and gay people in the Catholic community.”

The group also slammed a statement in the document claiming that aid groups are threatening developing countries with holding back support if they do not accept same-sex marriage as being “unfounded.”

It instead urged the church to explicitly condemn the criminalisation of homosexuality and called for it to “renew its theological reflections on human sexuality and gender identity.”

Last year, the Archbishop of Durban, Cardinal Wilfred Napier, was among a group of conservative Catholic leaders who scuppered efforts to include ground-breaking acceptance of LGBT people in a Synod on the Family interim report.

It stated that “homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community” and called for flexibility when dealing with divorce, homosexuality, and civil unions. This was removed from the final document at the October 2014 synod in Rome.

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