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Synod official discusses reference to homosexuality in synod document

October 14, 2014

A key synod official has discussed the references to homosexuality in the synod’s “post-discussion report” (relatio post disceptationem).

Asked at a Vatican press conference to comment on the paragraphs on homosexuality, Cardinal Peter Erdo, the synod’s relator general, said that “he who wrote the text must know what it is talking about” and turned the microphone over to Archbishop Bruno Forte, the synod’s special secretary, according to La Stampa’s Vatican Insider.

Queried about the statement that “homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community,” Archbishop Forte said that “we must respect the dignity of every person.”

“The fact to be homosexual does not mean that this dignity must be not recognized and promoted,” Archbishop Forte added, in the exact words of a Vatican Radio report. “So the fundamental idea is the centrality of the person independently of the sexual orientation.”

According to Vatican Insider, Archbishop Forte was also asked to reflect further on the “positive elements” in cohabitation and same-sex unions.

“I think the document intends to find positive aspects wherever these are to be found and they do exist of course,” he said, according to Vatican Insider. “Rejecting something is easy but recognizing and giving value to all that is positive, even when dealing with these kinds of experiences, I think is an exercise in intellectual honesty and spiritual charity.”

“We need to use a language that is easy to understand and although ‘natural law’ expresses a crucial idea, it is the kind of term most people would not understand,” he added.

 


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Show 13 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: John J Plick - Oct. 15, 2014 12:46 PM ET USA

    A person who defines himself as "homosexual" has in fact made a judgment on himself, not only on acts that they may have committed but also on the way, "a priori," they relate sexually, & even further, by implication, on God Himself with respect on how they believe they were created to be. This is necessarily an act of outright defiance with respect to the Church & its teaching. It is not merely an act;rather it is an attitude, a posture, which obviously must be recanted before communion resumes

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Oct. 15, 2014 12:46 AM ET USA

    "They" refuse to admit that anyone who is a "self-proclaimed" homosexual has in fact ratified his or her surrender to the sin. There are reasons for the curtain, the sliding panel and the seriousness of "the seal of the confessional..." which Catholic priests have defended heroically through the centuries. Mother Church has NEVER desired as a first response to the sinner that he or she be socially ostracized. And to imply that "essentially" She ever did is to give serious scandal.

  • Posted by: jpthegr82109 - Oct. 14, 2014 9:45 PM ET USA

    In my experience, I have learned from my sinfulness that none of it drew me closer to God, except for the bitter fruit that should come from sin. That drove me back to God and the Church. So now is the Church going to protect us from the bitter fruit of sin and tell us we are all really just fine the way we are. The new bible will have to read: "Then neither do I condemn you. Now go and be content as the gifted adulteress that you are."

  • Posted by: florentine - Oct. 14, 2014 8:48 PM ET USA

    Christ gave us all guidelines for how to follow HIM. It did not include giving into to weakness and temptation, but rather rising above temptations ... that we might offer our very selves, like HE did, as a pure sacrifice. If the Church is open to unrepentant sinners, with no intent to repent, correct, strive in HIS Way, then isn't the original reason for founding the Church undermined all together. We've spent way to much time saying "we are all sinners," forgetting we must aspire to holiness.

  • Posted by: feedback - Oct. 14, 2014 7:07 PM ET USA

    Is this supposed to be an "exercise in intellectual honesty and spiritual charity"? I beg to differ, on both points. And strongly so.

  • Posted by: trini - Oct. 14, 2014 6:08 PM ET USA

    I am sure that the above news item contains a catastrophic misprint. It says: "“The fact to be homosexual does not mean that this dignity must be not recognized and promoted,” Archbishop Forte added". The error is this: it should not be 'this dignity', meaning 'homosexual dignity', which must be respected. It should be 'his dignity' (dropping the 't' from 'this'), the dignity of the homosexual person as a human being, which has value, not 'this' dignity', not homosexuality. Please correct!!

  • Posted by: Jason C. - Oct. 14, 2014 4:10 PM ET USA

    “Rejecting something is easy but recognizing and giving value to all that is positive, even when dealing with these kinds of experiences, I think is an exercise in intellectual honesty and spiritual charity.” Hm. Would it pass the third element of "the [Fr. John] Hunwicke test for diagnosing clever but shoddy dodges"---"Does it apply to murderers and paedophiles?" Abp. Forte's "intellectual honesty" will have to be Fort-issimo on this one....

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Oct. 14, 2014 3:51 PM ET USA

    Oh, I get it now. Dumb the document down to the lowest common denominator. Reminds of the "common core standards." Official Church documents were previously written for Church officials, e.g., bishops, priests, religious; i.e., for those trained in theological terminology and thinking. Sometimes theologians would interpret the official documents in popular publications that non-theologians would understand, but the official documents were articulated in precise theological terms. What a mess.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 14, 2014 1:26 PM ET USA

    Trying to look on the bright side, perhaps Pope Francis is rope a doping the homosexual lobby. Later on, these pro-homosexual prelates will not be able to hide nor obfuscate when the broom comes along to sweep them aside. They will have publicly outed themselves, they will be hoisted on their own petards, they wiill be finally cast out of the Church. It could happen.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Oct. 14, 2014 10:46 AM ET USA

    If Bishop Forte meant, "we must respect the dignity of every person," why didn't he just write that? To write, "homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community," implies that the gifts and qualities of homosexuals are somehow different than those of other people. He should be asked to explain his provocative statement. And, if "natural law" is not "the kind of term most people would understand," perhaps bishops and priests need to start explaining it in homilies.

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Oct. 14, 2014 10:18 AM ET USA

    Well, there you have it - the gay lobby that Pope Francis acknowledged existed within the Vatican, inserting their viewpoint into a document that the secular media is claiming to come from the bishops. We have been here before, in 1968 the secular media prepped the world for a change in Catholic teaching on contraception, which never happened but which created an enormous upheaval in the church. Here we go again.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Oct. 14, 2014 9:26 AM ET USA

    This intellectual fiasco continues and widens. Would it ever occur to anyone to find "positive elements" in embezzlement or serial murders? But, according to this Vatican official, "they do exist of course." And naturally, “[r]ejecting something is easy but recognizing and giving value to all that is positive, even when dealing with these kinds of experiences, I think is an exercise in intellectual honesty and spiritual charity.” Yesterday was a black day in the history of the Church.

  • Posted by: shrink - Oct. 14, 2014 7:46 AM ET USA

    I say that Phil's Rule #2 applies: "If Catholic priests never preach on sexual morality, be suspicious" http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/the-city-gates.cfm?id=893