Amoris Laetitia: Reaction from the Catholic community

A response to Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation the Joy of Love

Martin Pendergast, campaigner for LGBT rights in the Catholic community

“Anybody who has been involved in the synod process for the last two years has come to realise that same-sex issues were not going to be a central part of the Pope’s exhortation. That said, even though it’s pretty light treatment of same-sex issues, in paragraphs 250 and 251 there’s some key points. First of all, no condemnations, no quoting of language of “intrinsic disorder”, a nuance around the use of language like same-sex attraction, which some of us find offensive, an actual recognition of homosexual orientation, which is very significant in a document of this status.One of the key debates in the Church has been: is there such a thing as a different sexual orientation and paragraph 250 refers to people who manifest homosexual orientation. So it’s actually acknowledging that homosexual orientation exists: that’s very important.I don’t see this document to be quite as flowing or coherent as the Joy of the Gospel or Laudato Si’ and I think it shows evidence of interventions from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith to insert more conservative references to teachings from John Paul II and Pope Benedict, to sweeten the pill for more conservative Catholics.The question that many of us will have is: how are you going to apply those very important principles about conscience, internal forum, not judging people, not throwing stones at people? How are you going to apply that to people in same-sex relationships, children in same-sex families, parents of lesbian, gay or trans people? Those are the kind of questions this document throws up.Doors remain open rather than closed and those of us working to welcome LGBT people into the Church will be wanting to run with those…I think it’s encouraging us along the path.”

Source: The Tablet 

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