Leaving aside any change in doctrine, what a difference a change of tone makes. Included in James Martin’s piece, a citation from the synod document:
Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners.
“Astonishing” is how Fr Martin described that “praise.”
Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: 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 matrimony?
Some communities are capable. Others, perhaps not.
What do you make of John Allen’s term lifestyle ecumenism?
Fr Martin’s tweet today was incisive as well:
If I had said that “mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the [gay] partners” five years ago I would have probably been silenced. Now it’s the Synod of Bishops who is saying that. The Holy Spirit is afoot.
I think he’s right. Is Roman Catholicism better off for having people able to say such things? And what of this change in the quality in enthusiasm? Select conservatives seem to be in a tailspin, but most other Catholics seem full of a headiness we haven’t seen in decades. When the verve fades, will we be ready for the hard work of actually welcoming people and helping to inspire them?