The release of a Synog document by the Vatican has caused quite a stir in the media this week.
With headlines like Vatican Softens Stance on Gays, Vatican Proposes Dramatic Shift In Attitude Towards Gays, and Vatican releases ‘breakthrough’ document embracing gay church-goers, it is clear that many see this as a signal that the Roman Catholic Church is possibly moving toward a “progressive” change in their position on homosexuality and gay marriage. The church, however, maintains that its official stance remains unchanged, that homosexuality is a sin and does not support gay marriage.
The take-away is not surprising as this was also seen following Pope Francis’ statement last July when he said, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge? We shouldn’t marginalize people for this. They must be integrated into society.” Regardless if this and many other comments were taken out of context as some have argued, the Advocate magazine, a leading LGBT news source, went as far as to put Pope Francis on its cover, proclaiming him the Person of the Year. But how do the rest of the church clergy and Catholics feel about this apparent outreach and compromise of traditional Biblical understanding and teaching to appease a growing populist opinion? The immediate reaction from the majority of Catholic Bishops who attended the summit tells the story.
Bishops Rally to Refute Ambiguous, Gay-Friendly Document
After a hastily written Vatican text affirming the “positive aspects” of co-habitation and “valuing” the homosexual orientation stunned bishops with its release on Monday, a significant number have stepped forward to disassociate themselves from the document.
The bishops meeting in the Vatican for a marriage summit were supposedly on board with the text, but revealed afterward that they had never seen the document prior to its being read aloud to them in the synod hall on Monday, a Vatican official told Breitbart.
The 11-page text was billed as a summary of the bishops’ discussions but some were quick to say it was nothing of the sort.
On Wednesday, Australian Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s financial czar and a close advisor of Pope Francis, called the document “tendentious and incomplete.”
Pell called the report an “incomplete résumé” of the bishops’ discussions and said that it needed to be “enhanced and corrected.”
South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier had said Tuesday that the interim summary “is not what we’re saying at all.”
A 2013 survey commissioned by Univision and conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International shows that the majority of Catholics worldwide still oppose gay marriage, 66%, although the results vary greatly by region. In this survey American Catholics who support gay marriage is 54%, while a new Pew survey puts it at 57%. According to Pew this number has jumped significantly since 2001 when only 40% of American Catholics supported gay marriage. This is consistent with growing acceptance across all demographics, but for now most Christians still know that popular opinion has no place guiding Biblical doctrine.