You knew it was too good to be true — in the gilded halls of the Vatican, nobody has “gifts” to offer that don’t fit in the offering plate.
Earlier this week, a report issued from the annual Catholic synod (council meeting) of Bishops stood as perhaps the first real beacon of hope from Rome in the modern era. The report, hailed as “groundbreaking,” “loving” and “incredible” was essentially an open invitation to gays the world over. The preliminary report said that the church should consider the positive aspects of homosexual relationships and civil unions, and the “gifts and qualities they have to offer.” It also said those with homosexual tendencies should be “welcomed with respect and delicacy.” Said Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign:
“For the LGBT Catholics in the United States and around the world, this new document is a light in the darkness – a dramatic new tone from a church hierarchy that has long denied the very existence of committed and loving gay and lesbian partnerships.”
A light in the darkness. That’s really nice. Oh, wait…preliminary report, you say? What did they finally decide on?
GOD HATES F*GS.
There’s the Church we know.
Yes, despite the fact that more than 85 percent of young, American Catholics (70 percent total) welcome gay members and couples, the stirrings of dissent among the higher-ups in the Church was evident from Day One. Turns out the report represented what was according to the bishops in attendance a “minority of views,” (“one or two people”) and that there was no way homos would be welcomed into the Vatican without having previously molested little boys.
Even after “watering down” the “welcome” significantly for “damage control” of the previous release, the conservative Bishops in attendance couldn’t bring themselves to let in non-robe-wearing gays. They also held to the previously established doctrine that homosexual sex (with those over 12) was “intrinsically disordered,” “irregular,” and that homosexuality was a “problem” that faced “Catholic families.”
Speaking of families, they also concluded that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics wouldn’t be allowed to receive communion, and were thus still damned to Hell.
Whoo…now we’re getting REALLY Catholic!
But, there’s still some hope here. Pope Francis delivered a blistering, four-minute follow-up after those vote, chastising those who clung to “hostile rigidity,” and “destructive goody-goodness.” His speech got a standing ovation. Which is surprising, considering it was “only the view of one or two people,” as claimed by conservative bishops earlier.
And then there’s always next year’s synod, which officials expect will be “much larger and more diverse.” So, there’s still some help for the Gilded Halls yet.
But, as it stands…the church has still rescinded the only remotely praiseworthy thing it’s said in the last 500 years. Maybe 50, if you’re feeling generous. But, mercy and patience are as godly traits as love and kindness — so maybe we should accept their faults and shortcomings, and give them another year to work on them.
It’s what Jesus would do.
H/T: Huffington Post