An assembly of bishops at the Vatican
have scrapped language welcoming gays to the Roman Catholic faith in
a report on the family.
After meeting for two weeks at the
direction of Pope Francis, the bishops produced a report that failed
to include even a watered-down section on reaching out to gays.
The original draft suggested the church
should be more accepting of gay people.
“Homosexuals have gifts and qualities
to offer to the Christian community,” the draft report stated.
“Are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a
fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a
church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities
capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual
orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and
The new version replaced the title
“Welcoming homosexuals” with “Providing for homosexual persons”
and altered a reference to gay unions as constituting “precious
support in the life of the partners” to constituting “valuable
support in the life of these persons.”
According to the AP, the revised
language did not receive the two-thirds majority needed to pass.
HRC, the nation's largest LGBT rights
advocate, criticized the move.
“Once more members of the hierarchy
of the Roman Catholic Church have erred on the side of hypocrisy and
fear,” Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera, HRC Foundation's Director of
Latino/a and Catholic Initiatives, said
in a statement. “The deeply entrenched anti-LGBT forces within
the Church prevailed, ignoring Pope Francis' message of inclusion and
respect, and fundamentally rejecting the voices and lives of LGBT
Citing the need for transparency, Pope
Francis insisted that the paragraphs that failed to pass be included
in the full document along with the voting tally. Bishops will meet
again next year to produce a final report.