Weighing A Catholic Change For LGBT And Divorcees

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The Catholic Church signals a new openness towards gays, the divorced, and more. We’ll ask American Catholics what they think.

Pope Francis leaves at the end of an afternoon session of a two-week synod on family issues, at the Vatican, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. (AP)
Pope Francis leaves at the end of an afternoon session of a two-week synod on family issues, at the Vatican, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. (AP)

It’s a working document.  The process isn’t over.  One-hundred-ninety bishops have to vote.  They’re still revising.  The Pope, Pope Francis, has the last word.  But the working papers already out of the Vatican this week and their message of more respect, more openness to the divorced, to the cohabiting, to gay Catholics have exploded in world headlines.  Bombshell, earthquake say advocates of change.  Heresy, “homoheresy,” say opponents.  The bishops say they have to meet people where they are to bring them to the church.  This hour On Point:  Catholics speak out on the changes on the table right now.
-- Tom Ashbrook


Joshua McElwee, Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter. (@joshjmac)

Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of the national LGBTQ Catholic group DignityUSA. (@MarianneDuddyBu)

Christopher Hale, senior fellow at Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Co-founder of the online journal, Millennial. (@chrisjollyhale)

Stefano Gennarini, director of the Center for Legal Studies at the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. (@prolifeadvocate)

From Tom's Reading List

National Catholic Reporter: Synod document an 'unbiased summary,' Spanish cardinal says — "Monday's document, which calls for the church to listen more and to apply mercy much more widely, was released as a summary of the synod's discussions so far and is known officially as a relatio post disceptationem."

NPR News: Vatican Report Expresses More Tolerance For Gays, Unmarried Couples -- "The report says gays have gifts and qualities to offer, and it asks rhetorically: 'Are we capable of welcoming these people? Are our communities capable of ... accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?' This is a far cry from official church teachings that homosexuality is 'intrinsically disordered.'"

TIME: The Bishops Are Catching Up To Pope Francis on Gay Rights — "The bishops are clearly getting the memo: leading with mercy is clearly the way forward for the Catholic Church. In his first Sunday homily as the Bishop of Rome, Francis said that Jesus’s strongest message in the Gospel is mercy. It too is the most effective means of Christian encounter in a world that — while still longing for a relationship with God — has increasingly become disillusioned with organized religion."

This program aired on October 16, 2014.


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