Statement of Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry, in response to Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on marriage and family life.
While Pope Francis’ latest document, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), contains some hopeful passages, it does not inspire joy in LGBT Catholics and their supporters. As far as sexual orientation and gender identity issues are concerned, the pope’s latest apostolic exhortation reiterates church formulas which show that the Vatican has yet to learn from the experiences and faith lives of so many LGBT Church members or their supporters.
Though the pope calls for church leaders and ministers to be less judgmental and to respect individuals’ consciences, he has not provided a new pastoral approach to LGBT issues or people.
On other family topics such as divorce and co-habitation, Amoris Laetitia, offers some hopeful advice—and if this advice were simply applied to LGBT issues, which would not be incompatible to do, this document would have been much more positive. Pope Francis calls for non-judgmental pastoral care, assisting people in developing their consciences, encouraging diverse pastoral responses based on local culture, and calling church leaders to be more self-critical. All these things, if applied to LGBT people and issues, could produce enormous positive change in the church.
Source: Bondings 2.0