So, what are the bishops saying in the closed proceedings going on at the Vatican? In case you haven't been following these priestly doings, this is a gathering designed to reexamine the church's positions on prickly things like gay marriage and contraception. It seems there are some good vibrations emanating from the group, possibly because of this move by good ol' Francis:
Significantly, Francis decided at the end of last week to add six perceived progressives to the synod leadership to help prepare the final document after some conservatives were elected to leadership positions.
Looks like the pope wants to load the dice, and since he's loading them to lean toward my people, that's fine with me. Here are some echoes AP posted this morning:
The bishops said gays had "gifts and qualities" to offer and asked rhetorically if the church was ready to provide them a welcoming place, "accepting and valuing their sexual orientation without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony."For a 2,000-year-old institution that teaches that gay sex is "intrinsically disordered," even posing the question is significant.
I assume by "gifts and qualities", they mean the gays could be helpful in church redecoration, as well as with organ-playing. Seriously, what else could priests mean by this?
But it's not all flowers and confetti. The evil conservatives hate all this. Here's something from their side of the table:
Conservative groups rejected the report as a "betrayal" and even heresy."What will Catholics parents now have to tell their children about contraception, cohabiting with partners or living homosexual lifestyles?" asked Maria Madise, coordinator of the Voice of the Family, which counts pro-life and conservative groups as members."Will those parents now have to tell their children that the Vatican teaches that there are positive and constructive aspects to these mortal sins? This approach destroys grace in souls."
Aw, the poor conservatives. Who will these party-poopers hate if Francis has his way? Tch, tch, tch. My heart bleeds for them, doesn't yours? (Snork.)
But who knows what changes this event will produce, if any. I'm not holding my breath. On the other hand, it does seem somewhat hopeful, hearing these things. I didn't know bishops could say nice things. You learn something new every day.