Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Vatican Document to Prepare for Synod on Family: How to Care for "Persons with Homosexual Tendencies"?

Joshua McElwee comments at National Catholic Reporter on a document released today by the Vatican's office for the synod of bishops, calling on bishops' conferences to provide input as the Vatican prepares for the next stage of the synod on the family in 2015:

Tuesday's document also addresses a question to the bishops about pastoral care for gay people, but calls them "persons with homosexual tendencies." 
"The pastoral care of persons with homosexual tendencies poses new challenges today, due to the manner in which their rights are proposed in society," the document states. 
"How can the Christian community give pastoral attention to families with persons with homosexual tendencies?" the document asks. "What are the responses that, in light of cultural sensitivities, are considered to be most appropriate?" 
"While avoiding any unjust discrimination, how can such persons receive pastoral care in these situations in light of the Gospel?" it continues. "How can God's will be proposed to them in their situation?"

The Vatican document "addresses a question to the bishops about pastoral care for gay people," but, in doing so, calls them "persons with homosexual tendencies." That says a lot, doesn't it? It says a lot about the deliberate refusal of the top leaders of the Catholic church to see gay human beings.

As they are. Qua human beings. And not as some complicated category of the "unusual" other.

As Jane Hubbard says in response to McElwee's report, 

I am glad that science and medicine are being used as resources for issues such as Birth control methods - But they were conveniently ignored when referring to gay people - who are called "people with homosexual tendencies" - Stop right there 
Sexual orientation is a fact of life --- not a tendency --- The Church cannot address pastoral care for LGBT people without first recognizing that sexual orientation is not a choice but a fact of life and that to call someone "intrinsically disordered" based on this untrue and very harmful assessment is harmful and in many cases lethal to gay youth . . . .

And she's right. 

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