Synod on the Family 55-56: Pastoral Attention towards Persons with Homosexual Tendencies

window from insideRead the full synod document here.

The last of the three most controversial paragraphs:

55. Some families have members who have a homosexual tendency. In this regard, the synod fathers asked themselves what pastoral attention might be appropriate for them in accordance with the Church’s teaching: “There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.” Nevertheless, men and women with a homosexual tendency ought to be received with respect and sensitivity. “Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, 4).

For merely stating the current understanding, sixty-two out of 180 bishops declined to approve this section–just enough to tip it to the category of “unofficial” text.

56. Exerting pressure in this regard on the Pastors of the Church is totally unacceptable: this is equally so for international organizations who link their financial assistance to poorer countries with the introduction of laws which establish “marriage” between persons of the same sex.

159 bishops agreed with this short statement in support of clergy who have felt “pressured” in the culturewar. 21 did not. Three abstained.

My own sense of the legal movement is that it is something of a pushback against the piecemeal discrimination I’ve heard my gay and lesbian friends describe. Why fight battles on several fronts when everything might be accomplished in one?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in evangelization, Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Synod on the Family 55-56: Pastoral Attention towards Persons with Homosexual Tendencies

  1. crystal says:

    I guess this is supposed to be positive but it’s filled with so much implied negativity. “A homosexual tendency” … is there such a thing as a heterosexual tendency? “There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.” … somehow other Christian churches have found those grounds. “Unjust discrimination” … a phrase meant to allow the church to discriminate against people without taking responsibility for it?

  2. FrMichael says:

    Crystal, actually no Christian “church” as we Catholics account them have found grounds to consider homosexual unions akin to marriage. There are a number of man-made “ecclesiastical communities” that have found such grounds such as The Episcopalian Church, PCUSA, some of the Lutherans, et al., but none of the apostolic churches have apostatized on this matter.

    There is such a thing as “just discrimination.” In my diocese, nobody with a sexual offense in his criminal record may work with or around minors. That is an example of just discrimination.

  3. FrMichael says:

    “My own sense of the legal movement is that it is something of a pushback against the piecemeal discrimination I’ve heard my gay and lesbian friends describe.” I disagree. If that were the case, then the LBGT activists would be out of jobs as legal sanctions are rare in most of the US thanks to the corrupt judiciary. Instead, they are busy imposing their perverse sexuality in the schools and public sector and do their best to intimidate the private sector.

    • Todd says:

      Of course you disagree. You push back on this issue with what seems to be a personal vehemence. LGBT persons are not facing legal sanctions, as we know. Most people I listen to complain about the insistent nibbling and barriers at key moments: hospital visits, power-of-attorney, child supervision–things that are part of the routine of life and have nothing to do with sexual conduct. And it is sexual conduct the Church identifies as gravely sinful. And yet nobody in the Church is suggesting criminalization of what the Church says it finds gravely sinful.

      For my part, if two friended adults decide they want civil benefits of marriage, it would seem the Church could accept that, especially if they were celibate. And the eyes of the law are blind if they were not.

      As long as two people aren’t having sex in front of children, be it in the home or at a California school, I don’t see the concern.

  4. Chris Sullivan says:

    I think it’s time to rethink the SCDF’s “even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family”. Of course same sex unions are analogous to marriage when stable loving unions are formed which raise families.

    God bless

    • FrMichael says:

      Sir:

      Three ends of Christian marriage:

      1) unity– probably the only end for which one could feasibly make some sort of argument for a same-sex coupling.

      2) procreative– no way. Man can’t make another man pregnant by putting his thingy up the garbage chute of another man. Lesbians likewise bumping in the night are an exercise in futility.

      3) sacramental– marriage is for holiness. Homosexual activity being one of those grave sins for which God will send the unrepentant for all eternity into Hell, it seems strange that a Catholic would try to argue that a relationship based on this wicked behavior would somehow mimic the sacramental end. I know one could argue that a same-sex pairing doesn’t necessarily require homosexual acts, but the cultural mores are strongly against such a chaste ideal. I have had one such male pairing (by their own self-admission to me as their pastor) in a former parish, so I treated them as any other situation with male roommates chastely living together.

  5. FrMichael says:

    Yes, the Belgian bishop and his wicked scheme. The Lavender Mafia, already emboldened by our strange pope, it starting to raise its Satanic head above the parapets.

    Todd, if I am vehement it is because the CA public schools are already full of this nonsense and contaminating children with the idea that homosexual activity is good and wholesome, as it once did in my youth to promote the idea that heterosexual activity outside marriage was good and wholesome. The Golden State floats on an immense sea of wickedness and the enabling propaganda is intentionally aimed at the young.

    • Todd says:

      The Lavender Mafia, yes. I suppose the quick ejection of Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano and his welcome of the SSJ from Ciudad del Este counts as just a public misdirection on the part of Pope Francis. Honestly, FrMichael, sometimes you are just hilarious. You realize the bread is just buttered on one side … right?

      I comment on the vehemence because it is usually attributable to being close to the issue. I could get vehement about my wife or daughter’s concerns, certainly.

      However, you are a clergyman. Your calling is much wider, more general, covering your entire flock. You are not really in a position to have pet issues. Your pet issue should be what concerns everybody in your parish, not just those afraid of homosexuality. Does your tack get much traction with your spiritual director? Or is she or he afraid of gays too?

      Pardon my getting personal in public, but one, you don’t provide a real email address so I can’t do this privately, as I would prefer. I actually have to take your word for being a priest. I don’t know for certain that you are. I’m a skeptic where pseudonymity is concerned. And two, you have very strong words about people not part of this conversation. And perhaps my pet issue is defending the wronged.

      One person’s propaganda is another’s good citizenship.

  6. Jim McCrea says:

    “The Golden State floats on an immense sea of wickedness and the enabling propaganda is intentionally aimed at the young.”

    I suggest that you would find South Carolina, Uganda or any of these countries more to your liking as a comfortable non-wicked place to float your boat: http://76crimes.com/76-countries-where-homosexuality-is-illegal/

    • Jim McCrea says:

      btw, Padre: all churches as we know them are “man-made ecclesiastical communities.”

      Do not mistake pious myth for reality.

  7. FrMichael says:

    “Your pet issue should be what concerns everybody in your parish, not just those afraid of homosexuality.”

    There are quite a few issues in my parish that I deal with. When you happen to cover any of the following that are some of the common topics of conversation here, I will feel free to interject with my usual forcefulness:

    1) gangs
    2) overwhelmed police force
    3) mediocre public schools
    4) unaffordable parochial school and Catholic high schools
    5) disgust with the local and state policos (some: national policos)
    6) disgust with catch-and-decline-to-charge DA’s office
    7) high taxes
    8) in some quarters, concern about the current Holy Father
    9) upcoming renovation project at the parish
    10) concerns about the parochial school
    11) grumbling against the bishop
    12) gentrification of and ethnic change in the neighborhood
    13) loss of Catholic identification among the youth and young adults
    14) disgust with the local metropolitan newspaper

    I’m not blaming you for not covering these topics. Your forte, the reason why I read and sometimes comment at this blog, is the systematic paragraph-by-paragraph examination of Church documents. AFAIK yours is the only Catholic blog to do this. It just so happens that this synod document touches two hot topics in my parish: the homosexual issue and divorce. The former primarily because of the insidious propaganda going on in these parts, the latter because a notable percentage of my parishioners are divorced.

    Happy New Year!

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