In another shift of direction that Pope Francis has been signalling since he became Pope, The Pontiff is opening up a dialogue with the Bishops and the Vatican that would call for the Church to be sympathetic to gays, unmarried couples, divorcees and children from less than traditional families. In other words, he's attempting to shift the tone of Catholicism away from social issues and deal with real issues that affect humanity like poverty and inequality around the world.
In a marked shift in tone likely to be discussed in parishes around the world, an assembly of Catholic bishops convened by Pope Francis at the Vatican released a preliminary document on Monday calling for the church to welcome and accept gay people, unmarried couples and those who have divorced, as well as the children of these less traditional families.
The bishops’ report, released midway through a landmark two-week meeting, does not change Roman Catholic doctrine or teaching, and will now be subjected to fierce debate and revision at the assembly.
The 12-page report, written by a committee picked by Francis, says that without abandoning church teaching on the sacrament of marriage, pastors should recognize that there are “positive aspects of civil unions and cohabitation.” That is a striking departure from traditional Catholic preaching that such couples are “living in sin.”
The report also says that gay people have “gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community,” and that some gay couples provide one another “mutual aid to the point of sacrifice” and “precious support in the life of the partners.”
I was joking with Howie at DownWithTyranny earlier today that the gay bashing Bill Donohues of Catholicism, have run the church for way too long might be angered enough that the Pope should be looking over his shoulder a bit more often these days.