Vatican Says Catholic Church Must Become More Inclusive Towards Gays and Their Families

A newly released Vatican document calls on the Catholic Church to be less judgmental towards gays and encourages dioceses to welcome children of gay couples into the faith with equal dignity – further signaling the Church’s shifting tone on LGBT issues.

VaticanThe 75-page document, based on responses to a questionnaire sent to dioceses around the world, will be discussed at a Vatican meeting of the bishops this October.

Reuters reports:

While the new document did not signal any immediate change in the Church's condemnation of homosexual acts and its opposition to gay marriage and to the adoption of children by gay people, it used language that was remarkably less judgmental and more compassionate than past Vatican statements.

It said that while bishops remained opposed to governments "redefining" marriage by permitting same-sex unions, the Church had to find a balance between its teachings on the traditional family "and a respectful, non-judgmental attitude towards people living in such unions."

Pope FrancisWhile ex-Pope Benedict called homosexuality “intrinsically disordered,” and an obstacle to world peace, Pope Francis has led the effort to "rebrand" the Church in a more LGBT-inclusive direction, saying last July "If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?"  

Reuters continues:

The document noted that a number of Catholics who responded to the questionnaire felt "a certain unease at the challenge of accepting these people with a merciful spirit and, at the same time, holding to the moral teaching of the Church …"

"However, when people living in such unions request a child's baptism, almost all the responses emphasize that the child must be received with the same care, tenderness and concern which is given to other children," it said.


  1. emjayay says

    it’s an odd situation that the United States, where the modern gay liberation movement started and eventually led the world, is also home to a lot of reactionary Bishops. And some of the worst in San Francisco (most worst) and New York City of all places.

    This is of course because after Pope John XXIII there have been a string of reactionary and even more reactionary Popes appointing them. It’s gonna be a while, but I would expect Francis’ message to sink in eventually even on this crop. Maybe he will crack the whip a bit after a while.

  2. simon says

    “will be discussed at a Vatican meeting of the bishops this October.”
    No “discussion” is required. We all know what the American and most church leaders around the world think. Nothing has changed except a few words here and there.
    Like saying to black folks. We love you but you still have to sit in the back of the bus where you belong.
    They are still under the illusion there is something to be done other than getting on the bandwagon.

  3. says

    Well, if they kick people out for marrying, (and fire them), how’s the kid going to get to baptism? And, how awkward would that be that when communion is served, the priest denies the parents while administering it to all the other attendees, including Cousin Harold who has been having an affair with his wife’s best friend for the last 10 years and everyone knows it. Nice try. C for effort. Maybe they will do better on their next paper.

  4. simon says

    Their tone is condescending and disgusting. They still think they are the boss and this is the fifth century. Wake up girls, no one needs your “acceptance”. What one can say is : “Who cares?”

  5. David From Canada says

    Times they are a changin’. Religion is always the last institution to change in society. The new Pope, Francis, is taking the Catholic Church in the right direction. Good man!

  6. Steve says

    Don’t be fooled by one second by this. This all about polishing the way they say it but keeping the message intact. They very explicitly say that the real problem isn’t their ridiculous teachings about families, reproduction medicine and sexual morality, but they way they present those to the people. And if only they communicated better, those ideas would be accepted.

  7. Paul B. says

    I would lay an egg if anything meaningful came out of this for LGBT’s. This is the catholic church we’re talking about…right? I’m not saying Francis is not the best of a bad batch…but reverting back to my “egg” theme …a rotten egg is a rotten egg is a rotten egg.

  8. Mike says

    Their cardinals, archbishops and bishops already have problems with obeying the ten commandments, so they won’t be in the least fazed by more recent instructions.

  9. Alter Boy says

    I cannot relate to gay parents who would subject their children to being “brought up” within any religion, but particularly Catholicism. The denial and sense of low self-esteem is just simply staggering.

  10. says

    We need to shut down and abolish the Catholic, Mormon and Baptist churches in America. Push them out of this country entirely. Deny them any and all tax exemptions. Until that happens Americans will be held captive by their false religions.

  11. pete n sfo says

    They can think and proclaim whatever they want… Even my family members are ashamed of their participation in the Katholic Khurch Kulture & move further and further away from it.

    If it shuts those blowhards like the idiots in SFO & NYC, I’m all for it.

  12. Bill says

    @pete n sfo : that’s why “acceptance” is important to them. If they lose your family members due to their attitude towards you, and that gets replicated enough, it starts impacting the all important bottom line significantly.

    If some of those cardinals want to maintain their lavish lifestyle, they better keep the church’s revenue up.

  13. Randy says

    Your headline is missing the word “NOT”. Did you read your own article? The tone changed, the inclusiveness did not.

    “…when people living in such unions request a child’s baptism, almost all the responses emphasize that the child must be received …”

    That’s the real truth — expand the organization at any cost, whether it’s bending (but not breaking) their own principles, or violating the religious rights of minors.

    I don’t care how “nice” the Catholic church wants to be. Catholicism is wrong. It is fundamentally immoral and I will continue to oppose it (among most other religions as well).

    They recently excommunicated the mafia, but not Hitler. Doesn’t that say it all? (If not, there are a few hundred other concise statements that should do the trick)

  14. says

    The Catholic Church moves- historically- by inches or half-inches. This is a leap. Is it enough? Of course not. But if ground your comments in a historical context it is clear that Pope Francis is moving the Church forward at warp-speed. Let us not forget that affluent and middle-class gay people in the USA inhabit this planet with billions of people living in extreme poverty; Pope Francis has made them his flock. Bishops across the globe are shedding their bling and Prada and mansions eschewed by this humble man.

    I respect him tremendously. His words and actions matter to hundreds of millions of Catholics living in nations where gay people are scorned and worse.

    Let not perfection be the enemy of progress.

  15. MaryM says

    Pope Francis is an evil pig who hates women, children and gay people.

    Cosmetic changes don’t alter this fact.

    ‘God’ does not exist by the way, so it’s slightly irrelevant.

    Anyone who believes in ‘God’ needs therapy to overcome this troubling mental illness.

  16. says

    “Inclusive” is one of those descriptors that is either true or not. When I read that a church or religious organization is trying to be “more” inclusive of gay families, my interpretation is: trying to appear more politically correct without actually making changes which would give those families equal respect or protection.

    Humanity would be so much better off without organized religion of any kind.

  17. Bob K says

    Francis is an improvement — now that church has gotten up to 1960 or so.


    It was the Larry Kramers and the Act Up folks who got more freedom for Gays, and the bus boycotters and sitters in who got more freedom for Blacks.

    — oh, it’s like somebody told me, “I like my parish and my church so much”

  18. simon says

    “Bishops across the globe are shedding their bling and Prada and mansions eschewed by this humble man.”
    Biggest joke ever heard.
    I am not going to repost the links of Bill about the “humble lifestyle” of Newark archbishop or the crummy apartments of Vatican bishops. And the Atlanta archbishop etc etc etc. Saint Francis may have moved out of the Papal palace to live in a refurbished luxury hotel as a publicity stunt. Who knows?
    To quote Richard Dawkins again:
    “He is an enemy of the poorest people on the planet condemning them to inflated families they cannot feed and so keeping them in their bondage to perpetual poverty. A poverty which sits ill beside the obscene wealth of the Vatican. “

  19. Steve says

    This isn’t just about Catholics. There are tons of non-Catholics who work in Catholic hospitals and schools and are subjected to their insane rules. The church also has a massive amount of influence on politicians in many countries.

  20. james street james says

    It’s a charade. Just another desperate attempt to fill the pews. Like replacing Latin with English, turning the altar around and having guitar playing nuns.

    At its core the Catholic Church is hollow. All show and no substance.

    Most people who attend go for the social aspects, bingo anyone?, and not the theology.

  21. Des Moines says

    My new step-dad only beats me with an open hand! Much better than the closed fist approach of my last step dad. My new dad is practically a saint.

  22. says

    why would i want the approval of, and care about the opinions of, an Entity that believes that the more than 6 million Jews exterminated in the Holocaust are in “hell” for not “accepting Jesus Christ as their personal lord and saviour?”

    news like this is like when some republican politician is like ‘at long last! i’ve decided that maybe my gay son DOES deserve equal rights!”

    it’s only impressive if you REALLY lower your standards of expectation.

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