An international group of LGBT Catholics, their families and their allies, sees reason for hope in the final report from the Bishops’ Synod Assembly on Marriage and Family. Acknowledging that there are some disappointments in the text, the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics nevertheless expects that the proceedings of this assembly will lead to a fresh, more sensitive approach to pastoral care.
The Network notes that the process has not yet been concluded, and we are still waiting for Pope Francis’ own response. However, it is encouraged by his closing address to the assembly. It further believes that the sole paragraph of the final report dealing directly with lesbian and gay Catholics, promises the hope of a new era of improved pastoral care.
There is disappointment that the bishops were unable to agree on a rejection of the hurtful terminology used up to now. They reject the implication in the report that the “best interests of the child” can be served only with two parents of the opposite sex, a claim which is not substantiated by empirical research, and reject also the report’s use of the term “gender ideology”.
While noting these and other disappointments in the final report, the GNRC takes encouragement from much of what has been published of Pope Francis’ own interventions, the statements by individual participants, and in the small group discussions, in particular the apology for past hurtful and destructive language, and hints that more intensive study and discussions will follow.
The GNRC concludes from the evidence, that a door has been opened, which cannot be closed, for a more sensitive attentiveness to LGBT issues in the Church.
(Read the full text of the GNRC statement at their website)