Conservative bishops angered by outreach report

The initial report outraged conservative bishops.
By Ed Adamczyk  |  Oct. 16, 2014 at 12:47 PM
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VATICAN CITY, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A draft document recommending greater outreach by the Catholic Church to gays and non-traditional families is being rewritten.

Some of the more conservative bishops of the 191 who have gathered in Vatican City for a two-week conference to discuss the church's relationship with modern families are angered not by the inclusive tone of the document, but the separation of sin from homosexuality, remarriage after a divorce and cohabitation without marriage.

The report, known as a relatio, was written by a committee of bishops chosen by Pope Francis, and released Monday after a week of deliberation. It contains no mention of sin.

An unidentified participant said the welcome of gay people into the church should be done "so as not to leave the impression that the church has a positive evaluation of this orientation."

Of particular concern is a passage reading "Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community. Are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities?"

Cardinal Stanislaw Gadecki, bishop of Poznan, Poland, called the report unacceptable and a deviation from the teachings of the church. Cardinal Raymond Burke, an American and head of the Vatican Supreme Court, noted defiance on the part of the bishops in their reaction to the report, referring to the document, in an interview with the Catholic News Agency, as "confused" and "erroneous."

"There's a confusion with regard to the question of people who are living in de facto unions, or people who are attracted to the same sex and are living together, and an inadequate explanation of the relationship of the church to the person."

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, told CBS News it "needs some major reworking." He added the bishops were working to revise the report.

The final document will be used at a 2015 synod, after which the pope could change church rules.

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