June 24, 2015 at 10:26 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Catholic bishops reaffirm opposition to same-sex marriage

Pope, gay news, Washington Blade

The Vatican on June 23, 2015, released a “working document” in which Catholic bishops reiterate their opposition to same-sex marriage. (Photo by Jean-Pol Grandmont; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

The Vatican on Tuesday released a “working document” in which Catholic bishops criticize efforts to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in developing countries.

The document, which has only been released in Italian, criticizes unspecified “international organizations” that “condition financial aid to poor countries to the introduction of laws that establish ‘marriage’ between people of the same sex.”

“It is completely unacceptable that pastors of the church suffer pressure in this matter,” it reads.

The statements are contained within a document titled “The Vatican and the Mission of the Family in the Church and the Contemporary World” on which the bishops will vote in October during a three-week synod.

The document states there is “no basis whatsoever to assimilate or establish analogies, even remote, between homosexual unions and God’s plan for marriage and the family.” It goes on to say that those “with homosexual tendencies must be accepted with respect and sensitivity.”

“Each person, regardless of their sexual tendency, must be respected in their dignity and met with sensitivity and delicacy, both in the church and in society,” reads the document. “It would be desirable that diocesan pastoral plans reserve special attention to the accompaniment of families in which a homosexual person lives.”

The document reflects the Vatican’s more moderate tone towards gays and lesbians since Pope Francis became pontiff in 2013. It also reaffirms the church’s vocal opposition to marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Esteban Paulón, president of the LGBT Federation of Argentina, on Tuesday blasted Francis.

The advocate in a statement noted the Argentine-born pontiff — former Buenos Aires Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio — described the South American country’s same-sex marriage law that took effect in 2010 as a “war against God.”

“Francis once again shows that he is still Bergoglio, that of the ‘war against God’ against marriage equality,” said Paulón. “Today’s statement clearly casts doubt that the church would stop obsessing on topics such as sexuality when he (became pope.)”

New Ways Ministry, an LGBT-friendly Catholic group based in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and other organizations also criticized the statements contained within the draft document.

“We strongly regret the inclusion of the unfounded statement that international organizations are pressuring poorer countries to introduce same-sex marriage as a condition of receiving financial aid,” said the groups in a statement. “Far better for the church to show its commitment to social justice through the condemnation of global criminalization of LGBT people, including torture and the death penalty.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

  • When you openly state that you oppose my very existence then you are my sworn enemy. I will fight this ignorance and hate to the death. Amazing how welcoming the church is to pedophiles and rapists but my humble existence threatens them. The RCC is evil.

  • My My let us all feel sorry for the poor little Bishops who are forced into being kind, warm hearted, accepting of ALL GODS CHILDREN! Would that they were so ‘fragile’ as they threaten those who sue for damages for years of abuse.

    • I totally agree with you!! I’m Catholic and I’m absolutely sick and tired of the hatred from the corrupt Catholic Church and the most hateful U.S. Archbishops.

  • I totally agree with you!! I’m Catholic and absolutely sick and tired of the hatred from the corrupt catholic church.

  • I never thought when I was just an 18 year old boy that my sexual orientation would be a reason for people including the evil catholic church to want to kill me. I’m Much older now and the biggest and most powerful advocate against gays is the catholic church. The catholic church is in every corner possible to leash it’s wrath against gays.

  • An old man in a red dress is telling ME how to live?

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