Writing for the Washington Post, Jonathan Capehart has argued that although conservative bishops may have won a battle last week when they voted against language that spoke of “welcoming homosexual persons” into the Catholic church, they have not won the bigger battle with Pope Francis.
However, according to Capehart, although headlines called it a “setback,” “the pope let the genie out of the bottle. And, as we all know, it’s difficult to put him back in once released.”
“What the synod did at the outset on paper, Pope Francis has been doing since ascending to the papacy. He’s been talking about gays and lesbians in the Catholic Church with an unheard-of humanity and care.
“I found it interesting that Francis insisted not only on publicizing the vote tallies for each paragraph, but also which paragraphs failed to pass. The pope said he was doing it for transparency. And that’s great. The added benefit to such openness is the signal it sends the entire church. If the pope and the bishops can engage in a rational and respectful discussion about same-sex relationships, so can the rest of the flock. That’s the genie that is out of the bottle.
“As Francis said [on October 19th] during his homily, ‘God is not afraid of new things! That is why he is continually surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways.’ By the time the bishops reconvene next October to finalize the synod document, we might be looking at a very different outcome.
“I’m not saying the church or the pope will become a champion of LGBT rights. And I’m definitely not saying they are going to support marriage equality. What I am saying is that by talking about the humanity of gay and lesbian Catholics and worrying about their place in the church, Pope Francis is openly recognizing them as children of God. After centuries of demonization, that’s a revolutionary act that can’t be undone.”
Watch a CBS report on the failure of the synod to adopt pro-gay language, AFTER THE JUMP...