The Vatican is more accepting toward the LGBT community

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Recent comments from Pope Francis regarding the Catholic Church’s view on gay marriage came as a shock to many people.

According to a New York Times article, last year Pope Francis said, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” This statement has received quite a buzz, and was widely discussed on many social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

This year, the Vatican report used a more open choice of words, saying the church should welcome and appreciate the LGBT community.

“I think it’s brilliant for the church to be able to take these socially progressive steps,” sophomore Fergus Scott said. “It sends a really fabulous message out to the gay community across the globe who may have felt previously conflicted about this situation,” said Dr. Thasiah, a religion professor at CLU.

“It’s hard to say. Some will grow in hope, others in despair. While many appreciate the emerging openness, many others repudiate even the question.

These new statements from the head of the Catholic Church may allude that the church is taking a less harsh view toward homosexuality, although it is up for debate on whether or not there will be any change to their beliefs.

“I’m hopeful, but sober. The undoing of Catholic teaching is no small thing,” said Dr. Thasiah

“The question of homosexuality requires serious reflection on how to devise realistic approaches to affective grown, human development and maturation in the Gospel,” said the New York Times article. “The Church affirms that unions between people of the same sex cannot be considered on the same level as marriage between man and woman.”

According to Time Magazine, there is a document called “Relatio post disceptationem,” which translates to “Report After Debate.” This document discusses the condition of the modern world in relation to the church. It is important to note that this document does not state any new rules or set beliefs of the church, but instead contains snippets of conversations between Catholic leaders regarding wold issues.

Out of the 58 sections of this document, the one that led to the most discussion was named “Welcoming homosexual persons.”

The section discusses their goal of “accepting and valuing their sexual orientation without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony,” according to the document.

The Catholic Church has a known history of linking the words “homosexual” and “sin,” therefore any idea from the church on welcoming gays may come off as a dramatic shift to some people.

A CNN article said Pope Francis is using a gentler approach to accepting the LGBT community to the church and acknowledge gifts and qualities they could offer to the Christian community.

“Pope Francis is bringing back a sense of dignity and respect to the Catholic Church,” senior Graham Jameson said in an email interview. “I hope this will open the flood gates to more faiths following Pope Francis and welcoming with open arms anyone who wishes to believe.”

This change in the way the Catholic Church is speaking about the gay community is an apparent difference than in the past, and the messages that the Pope sends out of the church’s acceptance is spreading.

“I think it’s really great,” junior Andrew Turley said. “I feel like when I go to church there’s going to be more sense of acceptance.”

However, the document that was previously mentioned still states that the Catholic Church’s stance is marriage is for a man and a woman and does not recognize same sex marriage on the same level as heterosexual marriage.

Still, Pope Francis’ words of acceptance of gays in the Catholic Church has spread and have gained him popularity among those who do not fully agree with many of the beliefs of the church.

*The quote regarding homosexuality requiring reflection on how to draw up realistic approaches to “affective growth, human development, and maturation” was misattributed. This was taken from the Vatican report and not Dr. Thasiah, assistant professor of religion at California Lutheran University. The Echo regrets this error. (11/3)

Dianna Rohrer

Staff Writer

Published October 29, 2014