Gay rights groups are cautiously cheering a shift in tone from the Catholic Church toward homosexuals, encouraged that Pope Francis' famous "Who am I to judge?" position has filtered down to bishops debating family issues at a Vatican meeting this week, the Newsmax website reports today (October 10, 2014).
There is no discussion that church doctrine on homosexuality will change or that the Vatican will soon endorse gay marriage or even gay unions. It will not, as the Vatican's top canon lawyer made clear today.
But for the first time, a Vatican meeting is discussing gay and lesbian issues and how to provide better spiritual care to Catholic homosexuals. The bishops have spoken amply of the need to change the church's language about gays from words of moral condemnation and judgment to words of welcome and respect.
Church teaching holds that gay acts are "intrinsically disordered," sinful, and a "serious depravity," and that homosexual inclination is "objectively disordered." At the same time, it says homosexuals themselves must be treated with respect and compassion and not suffer discrimination.