Pope Francis speaking at the synod about non-traditional relationships
ROME, ITALY- “Who am I to judge?” asks Pope Francis when he recently baptized a child of a gay couple in Argentina. No Pope has done that the history of the papacy.
Pope Francis is also the first Pope to use the terminology “gay” instead of “homosexuals” as well, according to BBC News.
This past Monday, Francis called a meeting which will last two weeks in Vatican City with 200 cardinals, bishops, priests, to discuss widely controversial topics in the eyes of the Church. These items include: gay and lesbian unions, pre-marital sex, divorce, contraception, etc.
In this synod, especially about the family, a statement was released that said gay people have “gifts to offer the world” and further on that these couples living together can provide “precious support to each other” as on UPI.
“The meeting highlights the need to openly discuss homosexuality, which is a first for the Church” as stated on Latinos Post.
This small step to address/talk about homosexuality is definitely a milestone. Although, these statements were quickly explained by the Vatican the next day.
On Tuesday the Vatican released a statement that the report “was merely a non-binding ‘working document’ not intended to offer ‘the impression of a positive evaluation of non-traditional relationships” as said on UPI. They made quick to interject that his is in no way a new policy of the Catholic Church.
Many Catholics worldwide have had opposing and mixed reactions to these words released by the Vatican. Conservative Catholic groups like Voice of the Family called the Vatican’s statement “one of the worst official documents drafted in Church history” as reported on BBC News.
Although the results from a survey sent out by the Pope to every diocese worldwide says something different about Catholic thinking.
200 cardinals, bishops and priests gather at the Vatican behind closed doors
The 39- question survey regarding sex and relationships confirmed that majority of the Catholics who participated in this survey do not follow the Church teachings regarding sex and contraception according to the Associated Press.
The heterosexual Catholics who are living a lifestyle which the Church would call sinful are met with less hostility than gay Catholics, according to the New York Times. There is definitely a divide in the formal teachings of the Church verse real-world practices.
So, who are they to judge?
Clare is the Copy Editor of Zap-Ed-News. She is studying Media and Society and English at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and is part of the William Smith Class of 2015.