People parade with a pride flag. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Vatican bishops at synod struggle with what to call gay people 

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — As Catholic leaders from around the world rush to draft a document summarizing their monthlong deliberations on reaching out to young people, they have consistently struggled with what may seem like a simple question: how to refer to gay people.

The issue has come up repeatedly in briefings and interviews with the nearly 270 bishops and cardinals, as well as 72 nonvoting observers – including some 30 young adults – who have been debating a range of issues at this global summit, known as a synod, which is taking place under the aegis of Pope Francis, who wants to see open discussion of difficult topics.

Francis himself sparked the discussion about the church and homosexuality soon after his election in 2013 when he was asked whether gay men could be priests – something his predecessors sought to bar. Francis responded: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

That last phrase became a virtual meme of this papacy. But just as momentous was the fact that Francis was the first pope, and the rare Catholic leader, to use the term “gay.”

Church leaders and official church documents almost always use the more clinical word “homosexual,” or “same-sex attracted.”

The Rev. James Martin gives a talk titled "Showing Welcome and Respect in our parishes for LGBT people and their families" at the Pastoral Congress for the World Meeting of Families 2018 in Dublin on Aug. 23, 2018. Photo by Jonn McElroy on behalf of WMOF 2018

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

“If the church continues to use antiquated, outdated and overly clinical terms like ‘same-sex attracted’ rather than the name the group uses for itself, the church will simply make dialogue more difficult and make these Catholics feel even less welcome in what is, after all, their church too,” said the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of “Building a Bridge,” a book about how the institutional church and LGBT Catholics can promote a constructive relationship.

“Besides,” Martin added via email, “if Pope Francis can use the word ‘gay’ so can everyone else.”

For the synod, this debate over vocabulary is fraught because conservatives fear that using terms such as gay or LGBT could signal an official approval of homosexuality and could undermine church teaching and the church’s public policy stands against gay marriage, for example.

“There is no such thing as an ‘LGBTQ Catholic’ or a ‘transgender Catholic’ or a ‘heterosexual Catholic,’ as if our sexual appetites defined who we are,” Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, a U.S. delegate to the synod and a leader of the conservative camp, told the assembly in a speech to the floor earlier this month.

“It follows that ‘LGBTQ’ and similar language should not be used in church documents, because using it suggests that these are real, autonomous groups, and the church simply doesn’t categorize people that way,” he said.

The problem is that the working document that served as the blueprint for discussions in fact used the term LGBT (the acronym stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, and it often includes “Q” for queer) because it drew on input from young people and church leaders whose views were solicited by the Vatican over the previous year.

Communion is served in St. Peter’s Square at the Mass opening the Synod of Bishops on Young People on Oct. 3, 2018. RNS photo by Tom Reese

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

“The youth are talking about it freely and in the language they use, and they are encouraging us, ‘Call us, address us this (way) because this is who we are,’” Cardinal John Ribat, a synod delegate from Papua New Guinea, said at a press briefing on Saturday (Oct. 20).

The inclusion of LGBT in that document triggered anxiety in some quarters. Conservative media outlets have pressed cardinals and bishops at every turn to clarify whether the terms would be included in the final synod document, which is scheduled to be voted on this Saturday.

The spotlight has clearly left many synod fathers, as the cardinals and bishops are called, uncomfortable as they struggle to respond to questions without using terms like “same-sex attracted.”

They know that would alienate not only gays and lesbians but also young people who are increasingly accepting of LGBT people. Using the term “gay” at press briefings and in interviews could also be interpreted as pressuring their more conservative colleagues, who are already irked at what some refer to as a “gay lobby” they say is using the synod as a vehicle to change church teaching on homosexuality.

This dynamic strongly suggests that the final document will not use the terms gay or LGBT because each paragraph must receive a two-thirds approval vote to be included and that does not seem likely if the hot-button words are included.

Cardinal Luis Tagle smiles during a news conference on the synod at the Vatican on Oct. 23, 2018. Tagle, who is involved in the youth synod, said inclusiveness toward LGBT Catholics has been a frequent topic over the past month and is likely to make it into the final document. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Instead, bishops appear to be favoring terms such as “inclusive” and “welcoming” to describe a general attitude of openness not only to gays but to everyone. Others are stressing that everyone, gay or straight, is a sinner in need of God’s grace, and all are called to conversion – though what gay people, in particular, have to convert to is not always spelled out.

Even that compromise language, which would essentially leave each bishop free to decide what that means in his diocese when it comes to LGBT people, might not please conservatives. And just throwing out a broad-based “welcome” mat may not please gay advocates, either.

“Francis said ‘welcome’ five years ago. The synod is supposed to be a time of discussion, to move things forward. I think we have to move forward from welcome. The fact they are using that term is not bad, it’s just not specific enough,” said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, which advocates for LGBT Catholics.

“What are you going to do with LGBT people after you welcome them?” added DeBernardo, who is in Rome for the month reporting on the synod and the approach to LGBT issues. He noted that gay Catholics continue to face discrimination — a church worker in San Diego resigned last week after months of abuse — and others are routinely fired when bishops or church leaders discover they are gay.

DeBernardo did feel the fact that the synod was trying to discuss the issue openly was a positive development.

Previous popes, he said, “painted themselves into such a corner on LGBT issues."

“I think Francis and meetings like this are at least allowing them a way out of that corner,” he said. “It’s the first step out of that corner. But it can’t be the last step because it’s not answering the problem.”

(David Gibson, a former national reporter for Religion News Service, is director of Fordham University’s Center on Religion and Culture.)


  1. St Paul had no problem with such terminology. 1 Cor 6. “boy prostitutes”, “sodomites”.

  2. For those who don’t know, the word “gay” used in reference to homosexuals began as code language among a persecuted group back during the bad old days when homosexuality was widely considered to be “the love that dare not speak its name.” Not only did no one ever speak of it in polite society, but even gay people themselves when out in public had to be very careful what was said and to whom, lest someone end up being hauled off in a paddy wagon for public indecency.

    Generally speaking, it is considered polite to ask groups of people what they like being called. African-Americans didn’t like being called the N-word, which was derived from many European words for “black” or the country of Niger where many slaves were born, and had become a pejorative word, so they decided they would rather be called African-American or black.

    Speaking as a gay person, I would rather be called gay than “same-sex attracted” since that was specifically devised by a group of people (conservative Catholics) in order to make it seem as though being gay is not an immutable trait like hair or skin color but rather something that can be changed, which of course it isn’t, any more than left-handedness can be changed into right-handedness. I’m not going to pretend to be an official spokesperson for all gay people, but I suspect a majority of gay people, men and women, would agree with me on this.

  3. I believe the entire quote includes an even longer list of sinners, of which the current POTUS is guilty on several counts.

    “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.”

  4. Since this synod is supposed to be all about listening, maybe the bishops should listen to what gays call themselves.

  5. Sure it does, but it does include those disordered sexual sinners too, which is what this article is about.

  6. I hope your state of orderedness makes you feel very happy – and superior.

  7. How about we call them brothers in Christ…

    Or, how about “just Catholic”.

    Why do we have to separate ourselves into little boxes of who “we think” we are?

  8. “We” (meaning gay people) aren’t the ones separating ourselves into little boxes – we’re being sent off to our little box by the people in charge of the little boxes – that would be the people at the top of the food chain. Gay people are always at the bottom of the food chain.

  9. If you are not, it is difficult to understand the relevance of what Catholics call same sex attracted Catholics is to you.

    That is sort of an in-the-family discussion.

  10. Elag, this is the new disguise for Ed Hu/Redemptionis Donuts/Bob Arnzen and God knows what else.

  11. Happiness comes from a willing closeness to God and His will…and it’s always an asymptotic movement until we take our last breath.

    As children of God, we should have a superiority complex! We are the sons and daughters of a loving Father God!

    But because of a diminished understanding of what is called our “divine filiation”, you will misunderstand what this point of superiority really means and you will use your own misunderstanding to try to dismiss, diminish and distort the point.

  12. “That is sort of an in-the-family discussion”

    Since RNS is not an in-the-family website, perhaps you would prefer Crisis. That is a hog-heaven site for RC Trads.

  13. Not sure how old you are…. but I think the concept of little boxes began on college campuses in the early 90’s with the inception of the hyphenated-American.
    After that, it began a race to the bottom to self-identity ourselves to the world by our differences; instead of our commonalities.
    I’m an African-American; not an American. I’m a Jewish-American; not an American. I’m an XYZ-American; not an American.
    I think is it bottom up; not vice versa.

  14. Perhaps you’re misunderstanding me.

    The point was that the article deals with what Catholic bishops should call “gay” Catholics.

    Obviously “gay” Catholics have an interest in this.

    Also Catholics in general have an interest in it.

    It is difficult to understand the relevance of this internal matter to a non-Catholic.

    I do understand that bashing Catholics, mocking Catholicism, and so on are very popular at RNS.

    Except for those activities, it is difficult to understand the relevance of what Catholics call same sex attracted Catholics is to him or to you for that matter.

    This has nothing at all to do with “RC Trads”, however you define that.

  15. I assume you’re referring to the fact “monicadeangelis” is not Monica Deangelis:

    monicadeangelis > John Keenan

    “The use of one’s real name is an invitation for crazies to search until they find you and can make your life miserable in person. And they do it. They probably don’t pick on your comments because they can’t figure out what they mean. (You’re so Eastern!) But I had some guy calling my house when we lived in L.A. and only the specter of my husband’s size-twelve boot up his comment box shut him up.”

    and that her current handle is at least her third different one.

    Your real name is not actually Elagabalus, is it?

  16. Good point.

    The Catechism doesn’t use a term. It uses “men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies”.

    “2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”

    Handles are generally bad ideas as inherently dehumanizing.

  17. The Church is of general interest because for centuries it has been one of the truly great “Do as I say, not as I do” cultural institutions. Also, it has Swiss Guards.

  18. “her current handle is at least her third different one”

    Then she is a Trinity. I knew she was special. Have you notified Cardinal Ladaria?

  19. So your “Since this synod is supposed to be all about listening, maybe the bishops should listen to what gays call themselves.” is aimed at the Church as a cultural institution and/or the Swiss Guards.

    And “truly great ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ cultural institutions” falls under the “bashing Catholics, mocking Catholicism” rubric.

  20. Which I also take to fall under the “bashing Catholics, mocking Catholicism” rubric.

  21. Engaging with fascist theocrats like you is never wise.

  22. Stop lynching LGBTQ+ people for attention.

  23. Why isn’t Mark Silk dealing with the rampant homophobia on this forum? Must I do his job for him every single day? Because I will.

  24. “He noted that gay Catholics continue to face discrimination — a church worker in San Diego resigned last week after months of abuse — and others are routinely fired when bishops or church leaders discover they are gay.”

    Are you one of the contributors to who contributed to that case of organized abuse?

  25. And what happened to St. Paul, pray tell?

  26. Attn, Mark Silk:
    This is what fascist theocracy looks like.

  27. Because people like you lynch LGBTQ+ people for attention.

  28. Stop lynching LGBTQ+ people for attention.

  29. Stop lynching LGBTQ+ people for attention, Bob Arnzen. And use your real name.

  30. Attn, Mark Silk:
    This is what pathological narcissism looks like.

  31. Good on you to admit your own flaws. Now, stop lynching LGBTQ+ people for attention. Tell that to your pope.

  32. I love running across people who have 3 tapes to play, and over-play them every day.

    They bore themselves to a virtual death…the body, such as it is, is still functioning, sort of, but the brain is flatlined.

    They’re all alone in one way or another…they’ve bored the people in their lives to a state where these other people are essentially repulsed in their presence.

    No one calls, no one writes, no one drops by…because they’re angry and lonely people.

  33. He lived a glorious and generous life, and died heroically.

    He lived, he died (he was martyred), and it was a full life given to God for the good of others.

    He lived and died a full and heroic life, unlike you. Not too late.

  34. Maybe we could just lump them in with the rest of us and call them “sinners”.

  35. Abortion is a pregnant person’s choice, not yours. Stop lynching alive people for attention.

  36. Get your fascist theocracy off this forum and also off the planet entirely.

  37. Describe yourself and Bob Arnzen AKA Mark Connelly some more.

  38. It’s not just the bishops who are struggling with this, or who should have been struggling with this. Bisexual and Transgender actually describe something quite specific. Gay and Lesbian don’t really. We need better nomenclature from these communities themselves. From a positive messaging standpoint, and for the purpose of fostering wide acceptance, I wish we had better names. Something describing a type of love, a type of commitment, would be nice.

  39. Well Charlotte, since THIS thread comes from a **David Gibson** article instead of a Mark Silk gig, there IS an outside chance that Silk isn’t trying to moderate this discussion at all.

    (Which means I get to say MORE inflammatory Christian invitations to Gay Goliath’s hypnotized minions!! )

  40. There is no such thing as “Gay Goliath”, FYI. Stop lynching LGBTQ+ people for attention.

  41. So, you believe it is possible to tell in the womb that a fetus is LGBTQ now? How, pray tell?

  42. Why are they more special, or worse than any other sinner? Call them what they are – unrepentant sinners. Why the need to categorize them at all? If you give them special terms over other sinners – it’s catering to their fantasies (non-sinner) and not to reality.

  43. Well, there is the murders community – wait, no there isn’t.
    Ok, then there is the thief community – that one may be true, huh?
    Then we have the pedophile committee – oh wait, they don’t want to be special yet….yet
    Why don’t we just call them what they are, – unrepentant sinners. That way, no one is singled out.

  44. Try this, ‘yo:

    If you’re LGBT and the Catholic church where you are is, as this article mentions 8x, “welcoming” yet unaffirming LGBT, LEAVE!

    If you’re Catholic and the Catholic church where you are is, as this article mentions 8x, “welcoming” yet affirming LGBT, LEAVE!

    The Great Catholic Schism Is Coming.

  45. Despite the RCC backwardness…at least it’s good for a laugh as Catholics trip over themselves tying to describe LGBT people. They have sex too…that really drives the conservatives in the RCC crazy!

    The know what they mean but they can’t bring themselves to easily say Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual or Transgender…as if just saying it will make it acceptable. Like a bunch of dweebs who say Heck instead of Hell…they just “Say no Gay” !!

  46. OK fine…either nobody is disordered, or everybody is disordered…no matter who or how they have sex !!

  47. Do fetuses wear clothes? Do you believe that LGBTQ+ people are born that way now?

  48. So, which of your chronic “sins” do you want to be known for?

  49. Quite repugnant, and unsupported by evidence, equating LGBQT with murderers, thieves, and pedophiles. But, not surprising from you.

  50. Disordered or not; we are all brothers in Christ – correct?

  51. We live happy lives for the most part. Especially as our human rights are respected more and more. The trials of our lives are dealing with the folks who, for some unknown reason, can’t live and let live. Fortunately, the trials in my life are almost nonexistant.

    A mini-trial is LGBTQ folks such as Charlotte, who embarrases herself and the rest of us, with her incessant childish behavior.

  52. Watch out for the timber obscuring your vision before attempting to remove the tiny speck from the eye of your sibling.

  53. The whole Abrahamic god thing is a fantasy. Why the Catholic Church is even still a thing is amazing. Multiple popes acted as Joe Paterno.

  54. Does it contain anything about popes acting like Joe Paterno?

  55. Religion is largely backwards. The CC isn’t that different from the Muslims, the CC just got dragged kicking and screaming by Modernity.

  56. We can call religious people “backwards” as well, just what they are.

  57. “we are all brothers in Christ – correct?”

    So we all have access to all of the Sacraments?

  58. Wanna know what you, “Mike”, spell, “backwards”?


    “Backwards … Mike” stll spells ewe.

    Not eww.

    Just ewe.

  59. My guess would be jealousy… She’s so upset that gay people live happy lives. She wants a happy life, too.

  60. We are just gay. This is not very complicated.

  61. If you’re in Communion with the church. If you are in an appropriate state of grace.
    Not all people are able to receive all sacraments.

  62. Is the good Catholic boy you are, you know that doesn’t make sense.

  63. “Vatican bishops at synod struggle with what to call gay people “

    On the flip side, I struggle with what to call churches. I’m leaning toward calling them Superstition Indoctrination Centers.

  64. So, we are not all brothers in Christ. Or there at two types of brothers, worthy and unworthy? Then what is the point of using the phrase “brothers in Christ”? It implies something that is not actually the case.

  65. We are all brothers as followers of Christ.
    We are all unworthy.

  66. Platitudes do not change reality. The Church does not treat everyone the same. How hard is it to be accurate about what the Church actually does?

  67. So you are the poster formerly known as Bob Armzen and Jose Carioca?

    It’s a yes or no question.

  68. My sins are video chess and Mellocreme Pumpkins. I love playing against the computer (always killing myself on Level 3), while eating Brach’s Autumn Mix.

    But that’s just my view. Charlotte has a MUCH different list of my sins.

  69. You noticed it too? Almost word for word. I called him out for it a couple of days ago.

  70. Hey, mark/bob/Jose.

    Block me too. Please please please.

  71. I started eating fire 7 years ago, because I felt like it. Let me guess, it goes against your religion?

  72. Already the bishops and priests have done too much reaching out at young people even the very young boys. This causes their problems.

  73. What about “people created by God to love someone of the same sex”?

  74. No. Just never knew anyone first hand who did. Cool.

  75. I never knew anyone who thought they could tell if a fetus is LGBTQ+ in the womb by their “choice of clothes”. Do fetuses wear clothes? Are LGBTQ+ people born that way, or not?

  76. They call call them homosexuals. Or Gay, or LGBT or whatever.

  77. Some of them, could be but telling homosexuals how they are displeasing the Lord, isn’t one of them

  78. Perhaps we are in some respects, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

  79. I’m not RCC – you need to take that up with them

  80. Ah, I really suggest you learn about those verses. The cop-out that you use them for is wrong.

  81. Hon……all sins – that supports my contention.

  82. I’m a Christian, my sins are between me and Christ. I don’t need to flaunt them. I identify as a Christian, not a sinner

  83. Yes it is a most serious sin. Young people die because of what you believe and attempt to hoist on them.

  84. African americans are different from homosexuals; they are not unrepentant sinner. You seem to be trying to contrive something that is totally different.

  85. Brach’s Autumn Mix – is that the orange, yellow and white “indian” corn? Love it! My grandma used to give it to us as kids.

  86. Brach’s Autumn Mix is not a sin as long as you don’t use them for a milk shake topping.

  87. Actually, in Romans 1, Christ terms homosexuality to be “unnatural” “abandoning natural relations”, a “shameful act’, “shameful lusts”.
    “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1:26
    Christ is also just and faithful to forgive our sin, should we turn to Him, repent and follow Him.

  88. We cannot call them “brothers in Christ”. They would need to be saved:

    1 John 2: 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,”

    1 John 1:6 – If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

    1 John 2:3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

    1 John 3: 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

  89. Those who would prefer to be unrepentant sinners, rather than followers of Christ.

  90. “can’t live and let live” – no, we want you to be in a good relationship with Christ.

  91. If they weren’t taught they were sinning and could do something about it, they would die in Hell.

  92. You are not the judge here. You’re a murderer, and I’m warning you about your future in HELL.

  93. I prefer to be called “gay” in social contexts, please.

  94. Leave me and my relationship with Christ up to me. You just make sure that your own life is in order. That should keep even a nominal Christian busy, looking after themself.

  95. Not really. Its an accurate description. Gay is to political and positive.

  96. However, my salvation is mine to work out and none of your business.

  97. Not true: God wishes that none should perish.
    “If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for[a] his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.” Ezekiel 3:18-19 English Standard Version (ESV)
    If you have read any of the countless posts by others on this blog, Christ has told you that you are going to die without Him.

  98. So we’ve been warned already, by you and many others. You’ve absolved your souls of this Old Testament passage, now leave us alone.

  99. Sorry, there are others coming to the page who need to hear the truth also.

  100. You are another poster who provides the perfect platform for the truth to be told. I’m here to protect people from the lies and give them the knowledge required to go to Heaven.
    This site calls itself “religious” Sorry if you have difficulty with that

  101. In Italy, one addresses a letter to any individual with “Gentilissimo(a).” In Spain, one begins a letter with “Muy Estimado(a) Señor(a).” In many countries of Latin America, one addresses another person with “Don” or “Doña.” In parts of Brazil, it is common to address any man as “Doctor.”
    It should come naturally to most of our prelates to address people with great respect. One can still make one’s theological argument, such as it is, while showing respect for the people to whom one speaks.

  102. You must be of that rare species scientifically classified as Popcorn Junkie. Glad to meet you, but lets skip the buttery handshake. Word is, unlike regular snackers munching on popcorn for the first 30 minutes of the 2-hour movie they’re watching, Popcorn Junkies like you just can’t go on living without popcorn. That should work nicely for you, though, on account of the length of time it would require for The Great Catholic Schism to happen. That’ll take much more than a movie-length of time, I assure you. You sure you have stocked up on a 10-year supply of popcorn seeds? How about butter, salt, etc.? Plenty of those?

  103. Didnt the apostles call believers “brothers and sisters” when they were addressing issues of doctrine in the early church?

  104. maybe I misunderstood, Parker? You wrote: ‘How about we call them brothers in Christ…’ They don’t become a child of God until they turn to Him, repent and follow Him. They are not “in Christ” without conversion, Please tell me the scripture that you are referring to if we are still disagreeing

  105. Bizarre. Were you smoking weed when you wrote that?

  106. Well, you don’t get to make that decision for others.

  107. So it wasn’t, “Can’t wait. I’ll make popcorn.” You meant, “Can’t wait. I’ll make [smoke weed].”

    I’ll get back to you on that with a re-write.

  108. CORRECTION: “What about ‘people [abandoned] by God [for abandoning The Christ Jesus] to love someone of the same [and/or opposite] sex?'”

  109. Because you don’t control other people’s lives. “Gay” has never been a “political” thing for me; it’s merely a descriptor. And what is the problem with positive? Being gay is a broader state of being than merely “sexual”.

  110. The ones in the Catholic Church certainly are not – by and large, they are dysfunctional, closeted, conflicted and self-loathing.

  111. Your bigotry is evidence of your unrepentant sin.

  112. Being gay is not a sin. I don’t give a rat’s a$$ about your point of view, except that it does harm to others.

  113. When you’re wrong, it’s wrong. And you’re wrong.

  114. The reek word is rarre and technical (there are other words for homosexuals). This word is about pagan temple worship and can be translated as “rapers of boys in the worship worship a pagan god,” or just as “rapers of boys.” t does not mean boy prostitutes.

  115. Religion always fins a way to justify its hatreds.

  116. Priest training in Rome covers items of modern Biblical scholarship that are seldom or never known to most Catholic priests pr faithful. The scholarship on Paul and same-sex relations is complex, with interpretations away from condemnation allowable. Wikipedia presents an excellent summary and everyone commenting here should read it.

  117. An extreme way of putting it, but there are serious differences. The Eastern church pays more attention to the Greek Fathers of the Church, The Roman church pays more attention to Augustine. The Greek Fathers do not hold to Original Sin while augustine seems to have invented that idea. The Easterners see Baptism not as a cleansing from original sin but as acceptance into the Body of Christ and the special graces that that incorporation brings. The Greek Fathers allow for universal salvation (repentance required, but it can happen after death); hence to the Easterners there is no Purgatory. The lovingkindness of God wins. Early Eastern depictions of the Resurrection shows Jesus rising surrounded by people rather than Jesus alone.This is gradually replaced under Imperial influence, with Jesus shown as the heavenly Emperor, alone. The congregation prays the Eucharist along with the priest. They are not an audience watching the priest perform. All these differences, and more, allow for a different kind of sprituality and a different kind of prayer.

  118. Agree. But the whole passage captures all sexual immorality, including homosexuality.

  119. How about calling them “people?”

    That wasn’t difficult after all now, was it?

  120. The lbgtip crowd certainly wants to control peoples lives with its propaganda lies.

  121. The failure to live and let live is on BOTH sides of the fence.

    The primary thrust of many if not most of the comments is anti-religious, anti-Christian, and particularly anti-Catholic, e.g.:

    “On the flip side, I struggle with what to call churches. I’m leaning toward calling them Superstition Indoctrination Centers.”

    Not very impressive, and definitely not live and let live.

  122. No one is “worthy”.

    Forgiveness for our sins is a gratuity.

  123. The general line of attack on the Roman positions by the Greeks is that the “Roman church pays more attention to Augustine”.

    That, however, is a caricature of the Roman Catholic view, which is rarely well understood by Orthodox pundits who have been steeped in a tradition of trying to find differences which do not exist.

    Yes, in the East there is an intermediate state between death and the final disposition of the soul. The exact nature of this intermediate state is undefined, and it is not called “purgatory”.

    “At death man’s body goes to the earth from which it was taken, and the soul, being immortal, goes to God, who gave it. The souls of men, being conscious and exercising all their faculties immediately after death, are judged by God. This judgment following man’s death we call the Particular Judgment. The final reward of men, however, we believe will take place at the time of the General Judgment. During the time between the Particular and the General Judgment, which is called the Intermediate State, the souls of men have foretaste of their blessing or punishment.”

    There is no essential difference between Roman and Greek Catholic Eucharistic theology.

  124. So, all “lgbtip” are alike in your little world? And this small segment of the population is so powerful, and you are so weak, that your lives have been taken over? Textbook bigotry on your part.

  125. Homosexuality is a sin.

    You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22
    If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:13

  126. So now you’re making terroristic threats. That might apply to you, but not to me, since I don’t share your sociopathic beliefs, and I have far less regard for the Book of Leviticus than I do for The Cat In The Hat.

  127. Hahahahahahaha – dream on. You get funnier as we go along! Blessings Canis.

  128. If you believed you were being threatened, I suggest you take it up with the Lord, who made the statement. Tell Him your fears and He will help you.

  129. “The Lord” doesn’t have a Disqus account… You, not “the Lord”, threatened me with death. How very Christ’like of you. This is exactly why I compare your sin to that of terrorists and murderers. You’ve made it clear.

  130. Keep hoping Canis – you’ll find a plausible excuse yet

  131. I have nothing to make excuses for. But you will have to account for making death threats.

  132. I’m done here. You’re a goddamned sociopath. Blocking you.

  133. The word is “bedders of men,” not rapers of boys. The latter has its own term.

  134. There are a number of different fences and there isn’t a coin, as this isn’t just two-sided. LGBTQ folks who are anti-Christian, anti-religion & even anti-Catholic are also insulting to those of us who are LGBTQ and religious. And there are plenty of folks who are anti-Christian, anti-religion and anti-Catholic who aren’t LGBTQ. Some of your anti-LGBTQ compatriots who post here are rabidly anti-Catholic, as your beliefs and practices go beyond the pale for their stripped down fundegelical beliefs. They just call a truce when joining you here in being anti-LGBTQ.

  135. The point was that the article deals with what Catholic bishops should call “gay” Catholics.
    Obviously “gay” Catholics have an interest in this.
    Also Catholics in general have an interest in it.

    Also, LGBTQ folks in general have an interest in this, as we have flung in our faces quite often how RCs refer to us, even by non-RCs.

  136. Tell that to the bakers who are getting sued or the elementary children who are being forced to embrace the homosexual propaganda against the wishes of their parents or the fake women who are forcing their way into the bathrooms and locker rooms of girls and women.

  137. Oh, the drama. You do have problems, don’t you? Move to Saudi Arabis. You’ll feel at home there.

  138. I’m not the only one who has problems with the lies of the lgbtip crowd.

  139. This should be interesting; Please, prey tell me the true exegesis of the saying regarding the beam and the mote.

  140. Yes, ignorant bigots abound in America. But people who are kind and understanding still outnumber you.

  141. You are suggesting that I am judging – as is normal for you.

  142. You state that I need to learn about those verses, that I am using them incorrectly. I want to know what they are really about, their correct meaning.

  143. then do some research if you are insinuating that I judged.

  144. To determine “what to call gay people” is to determine “what to call [non-]gay people” as well. Both require thinking outside the Cere(br)al Box.

    If LGBTs are sinful, then so are Heterosexuals. For both are equally sinful in God & Jesus’ eyes.

    Let me rephrase that.

    If Heterosexuals are sinful, then so are Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals & Transgenders. For both are equally sinful in God & Jesus’ eyes.

    Otherwise, let those Heterosexuals without any Sins of Lust, Pornography, Masturbation, Fornication and/or Adultery judge all LGBTs & cast them to you-know-where. No can do, right?

    Likewise, let those LGBTs without the Sins of Lust, Pornography, Masturbation, Fornication and/or Adultery judge all Heterosexuals & cast them to you-know-where. No can do either, right?

    POINT IS: Since LGBTs & Heterosexuals are equally sinful in God & Jesus’ eyes, both need to get saved by the ransoming Fatherly love of God through the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of His own beloved Son, Jesus, the Messiah of Israel and the savior of the rest of the world.

  145. Those who do not want to believe the truth, will always try to justify it with calling it ‘hatred”

  146. “Religion always finds a way to justify its hatreds” toward those who practice it as well as those who don’t? Such “religion” does not exist.

    Take, for instance, Evangelicals who, having been abandoned by God for having abandoned The Christ Jesus, now love someone of the same and/or opposite sex. Do they hate themselves & their religion? Nope.

    Or the Liberals & Progressives who, having been abandoned by God for having abandoned The Christ Jesus, now love someone of the same and/or opposite sex. Do they hate themselves & their religion? Nope.

    Or the Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists who, having been abandoned by God for having abandoned The Christ Jesus, now love someone of the same and/or opposite sex. Do they hate themselves & their religion? Nope.

    And what about Atheists who, having been abandoned by God for having abandoned The Christ Jesus, now love someone of the same and/or opposite sex. Do they hate themselves & their non-religion? Nope.

  147. Once again you fake knowing a different meanig of a passage of scripture and that I don’t know it’s meaning and use it incorrectly. But when challenged for enlightenment on your special understanding, you play the game of “go research it yourself.” I don’t need to,I know what the passage states, both from English translations and the original Koine Greek. Move along, you’re nothing but Fake News.

    I’m finished wasting my time with you on this.

  148. I know; I know, from someone who knows tons more scripture – as proclaimed by himself, and yet, he cannot figure how something he said has nothing to do with anything discussed. I know, it must be really difficult to not understand the scripture when you say you can read it in Greek, even! Shame! See ya.

  149. BS. Christians aren’t victims. They’re perpetrators. They have spent 2000 years victimizing gay people, but when we fight back, you act like the whimpering pu$$ies you actually are.

  150. Given the Last Chance Saloon in which the Catholic Church is already drinking – thanks largely to the myriad sexual abuse scandals they’re involved in – senior clerics might think long and hard before alienating yet another group of people because they disapprove of either what they do in bed or who they think they are. The RCCs recent track record has made former strongholds such as Ireland more or less indifferent to church pronouncements on pretty much everything, and attempting to dictate how young people should view their LGBT friends is likely to backfire equally spectacularly.

    The Catholic Church may say it thinks in centuries, but that won’t help when the modern world changes almost beyond recognition in decades.

  151. Rubbish. It Christians who are standing against the lies of the lgbtip crowd. We are exposing their lies.

  152. What, pernicious, evil lies like “we’re gay, and therefore have relationships with people of the same sex” , “being gay is not a lifestyle choice”, and “accept me as I am”? Truly terrifying, world shaking stuff, a bunch of total control freaks evidently.

  153. Strange then how most of the Catholic church’s sex scandals were assaults on male children by male priests. Tens of thousands of them. Maybe clean up your own corrupt house before bothering others eh?

  154. Thank you for pointing that out. Its homosexual men preying on boys. That means they were homosexual pedophiles.

  155. “[I]f Pope Francis can use the word ‘gay’ so can everyone else.”


    Use it.

  156. The phrase “(s)ome of your anti-LGBTQ compatriots” kills your argument as well as your point.

    To state that:

    – Same-sex sexual contact is contrary to Natural Law is not “anti-LGBTQ”.

    – Same-sex sexual contact is contrary to revelation – Judaic, Christian, or Islamic – is not “anti-LGBTQ”.

    – One opposes the legalization of same-sex marriage is not “anti-LGBTQ”.

    Now, on the other hand, to state that:

    – Every person who engages in same-sex sexual contact should be drawn and quartered is “anti-LGBTQ”.

    – Regardless of the law, every person who is in a same-sex marriage should be subject to physical or verbal abuse is “anti-LGBTQ”.

    Your approach basically states that an individual cannot disagree with you, or advocate for changes in law.

    Everyone cannot be a winner and all cannot get prizes in the political process.

  157. An LGBTQ folk might have a general interest in it, but unless a Catholic no voice in it. The article specifically focuses on Catholics with same-sex attraction, not those with same-sex attraction in general.

    You’d never know that reading the comments, e.g.:

    “Despite the RCC backwardness.”

    “The ones in the Catholic Church certainly are not – by and large, they are dysfunctional, closeted, conflicted and self-loathing.”

    Both are simply plain ordinary unvarnished blatant anti-Catholicism.

  158. It’s obvious that you idea of anti-LGBTQ and mine are different. But since you aren’t LGBTQ, your opinion doesn’t count. The only difference in your two sets of statements is that the second set promotes violense in its opposition to LGBTQ folks.

  159. I believe it’s obvious that your idea of “anti-LGBTQ” and most non-LGBTQ people is different.

    What your argument distills down to is anti-religious, anti-free speech, and anti-majority rule.

  160. you are the reason there is disease on this Krishna’s Earth

  161. No, it’s pedophiles preying on children. That they happen to be preying on boys is as much about opportunity as sexuality. Pedophiles in their tens of thousands globally appear to flock to the priesthood because in addition to a trusted position with easy access to children, the church itself has covered up such abuse by priests and moved them to new parishes and new opportunities to abuse children. Perhaps you should be obsessing over the shameful facts that are known rather than tiltilting at windmills based on your own small minded prejudice.

    Pedophiles can be either gay or straight as you no doubt know perfectly well. The large scale grooming scandals exposed in the UK since 2012 have been almost entirely about hundreds of men grooming and abusing young girls – I.e. straight pedophiles.

  162. Sorry, that is the argument of a fool and a hypocrit. Because I differ in my religious beliefs doesn’t make me anti-religious. Because I differ regarding what anti-LBTQ folks say, doesn’t make me anti-free speech. As to majority rule, yes, lets ask all of the other persecuted minorities throughout history who have sufferd from majority rule.

  163. No, what you makes you anti-religious is your allegation that, in the end, anyone who disputes your interpretation and beliefs is anti-LBTQ.

    If they speak out, they are anti-LBTQ.

    If they favor laws that you do not, they are anti-LBTQ.

    And that is the position of a fool and a hypocrite.

  164. I don’t find it foolish or hypocritical to want to protect my human and civil rights, my very existance and that of my brother and sister human beings. If you speak out against my existance, you’re anti-LGBTQ. Period. No question about it. If you try to pass laws that limit my existance, you’re anti-LGBTQ. Period. No question about it. Just as it wasn’t/isn’t foolish or hypocritical for human slaves of the past or the present to value their lives and seek freedom in any way possible. Or the Jews of the Holocaust, who sought to prevent their torture and murder.

    It’s bizarre to see these stupid arguments you write here, when you are the one who is so quick to call folks who comment here anti-Catholic, simply because they view your church differently than you do!

    “No, what you makes you foolish is your allegation that, in the end, anyone who disputes your interpretation and beliefs is anti-Catholic.
    If they speak out, they are anti-Catholic.

    If they favor laws that you do not, they are anti-Catholic.

    And that is the position of a fool and a hypocrite.”

  165. In this case they are mostly homosexual pedophiles preying on children.

  166. I’ll raise you. Catholic pedophiles with a proclivity for boys.

  167. Differentiating between “human and civil rights” and “what David Allen wants” requires some criterion.

    As you propose your position, that criterion consists solely of “what David Allen wants”. Apparently what David Allen wants is to say that if someone states that:

    – Same-sex sexual contact is contrary to Natural Law;

    – Same-sex sexual contact is contrary to revelation – Judaic, Christian, or Islamic;

    – One opposes the legalization of same-sex marriage is not “anti-LGBTQ”

    she or he is speaking out against your existence. That certainly is not true.

    Opposition to LGBTQ is based solely on behavior. Infants, for example, are unaffected by the three statements above.

    On the other hand infants lived under slavery and died in the Holocaust.

    That is because the imposition of slavery and the perpetration of the Holocaust did not arise from the behavior of the oppressed. It arose solely from skin color or religious belief. Opposition to LGBTQ is based on behavior, not provenance.

    You will be unable to provide an actual citation of my suggesting that anyone who disputes my interpretation and beliefs, merely speaks out, or favors laws that I do not are anti-Catholic. I have provided actual quotations from posts in the discussion of what constitutes anti-Catholicism, anti-Christian, and anti-religious comments. They are anti-Catholic because they bypass an actual argument and simply attack the Church and its adherents per se.

    “And yet religious folks make absolute statements in these forums on a minute by minute basis.”

    because their idea of “rights” involves making other people shut up. That of course violates those other people’s human and civil rights. But you disregard that.

    Btw, the criterion for distinguishing between “human and civil rights” and “what David Allen wants” is either Natural Law or Majority Rule.

    There are no other options.

    Yet you oppose both.

  168. I oppose natural law, because it doesn’t actually exist. It is a philosophical concept/contrivance used by the Roman Church which isn’t any more true than the Roman dogmas of the imaculate conception, the assumption of Mary, the veneration of saints or the ex cathedra infallibility of the Roman Catholic bishop of Rome. You are free to believe and subscribe to them, you may even share your belief in them with others, but they aren’t binding on anyone else.

    Unlike you, I posit that human & civil rights aren’t to be determined by something as fickle and selfserving as majority rule. You only prefer majority rule when it rules in your favor. Slowly but surely, the majority in the US is arriving at a live & let live position regarding LGBTQ folks. Majority rule is slowly becoming something not in your favor. You can’t be too happy about that.

    What I find bizarre on the part of folks such as you, ThomasA, Floydlee and sandinwindsor, to name but a few present here in this forum, is your obsession with LGBTQ folks and our lives. There are so many positive occupations regarding the inbreaking of the Commonwealth of God with which you lot could be involved. Yet you spend your time in such a negative endeavor, harrassing, persecuting and demonizing fellow human beings who are different from you.

    “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”

  169. You oppose Natural Law because doing so suits your purposes.

    It predates the Roman Catholic Church and Christianity itself.

    You are free to reject Natural Law but then you have to come up with a basis for your alleged minority rights. You’ve also rejected Majority Rule, so that leaves you with “just because”.

    Yes, I read you in another group of comments claim that majority rule is slowly becoming something not in my favor, but in fact that is not true.

    What I find bizarre is that you claim ThomasA, Floydlee, sandinwindsor, and myself have an obsession with “LGBTQ folks” and our lives, and yet with some minor exceptions it is what you call “LGBTQ folks” who raise the issues in nearly every discussion, generally to either excoriate one or more religions, or to claim that some minor minority view in one of the Abrahamic faith’s sects is super duper.

    Some of your compatriots are honest enough to admit that if they had the power, they’d eliminate every person, religion, politician, or party that opposes their agenda from the face of the earth.

  170. You support the concept of natural law because you believe that it suits your purposes.

    Various theories of natural law both pre & postdate Christianity. Proponents of natural law theories believe that they detect natiral law in the Old Testament, both in the Noahide and the Abrahamic Covenants.

    We don’t need either natural law or majority rule to form a basis of our minority rights, Just because is fine, however, I think that the 2nd greatest commandment, to love our neighbor as ourselves is a firm foundation for respecting the lives of those with whom we share this planet in the Christianized west. But there are cultures all over the planet which accepted, protected and often honored the sexual minorities among them and their moral codes aren’t based upon any form of natural law aside for the love of family & neighbor and treating others as you would wish to be treated.

    In fact, slowly and surely, polls of the US population show that folks indeed have already pasted a majority who favor LGBTQ and marriage equality. No matter how many times you wish to claim that it isn’t true won’t make it so.

    I can’t address your last two claims as that isn’t my experience here. I see that folks on both sides of this issue, LGBTQ & Marriage equality, are usually present in the comments. You and the other usual suspects on your side posting anti-LGBTQ comments in articles that lean to being LGBTQ positive and the usual suspects on my side posting against your comments as well as posting comments against articles that appear here that lean against LGBTQ forlks. You lot are here posting comments against us.

    “There are good people on both sides.”

  171. I support the concept of Natural Law because it underpins both science and our Western systems of government and law, makes the most sense of our reality, provides a common reasonably objective basis for moral decisions (which is why it played such an important role in Anglo-American jurisprudence and international law), and because it provides a rational basis for minority rights.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

    “We don’t need either natural law or majority rule to form a basis of our minority rights ….”.

    Well, then, where DO minority rights come from in law? I think everyone understands that we’re back to the Constitution as written for the next few years, so there is no Justice Kennedy to gin up rights out of thin air.

    “You and the other usual suspects on your side posting anti-LGBTQ comments in articles that lean to being LGBTQ positive and the usual suspects on my side posting against your comments as well as posting comments against articles that appear here that lean against LGBTQ forlks. You lot are here posting comments against us.”

    Certainly against your positions.

    And that is going to continue in this society as folks exercise THEIR rights.

    What you appear to be describing is a situation in which you get rights out of thin air, no one else gets their rights, and that for some reason makes sense.

  172. Anncient sccientific observers perhaps also believed in an idea of natiral law, howeer, modern science views it as a religious philosophical superstition and has nothing to do with natural law concepts. And unlike natural laws which can be broken at will, the laws of science are immutable! Try waling off the roof of a 4 story building and see if you can brake the Law of Gravity, real nature. The days of the validity of so-called natural law are receding in the rearview mirror of humankind’s constant march toward justice.

    As to minority rights, they exist from the same basis as majority rights. The US Declaration of Independance says it well;
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men {human beings, humanity] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    You obviously don’t see it that way, but we do. And slowly but surely, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” The justice for all.

  173. Modern science is completely silent on the philosophical and legal framework called “Natural Law”. Philosophy and jurisprudence are outside the competence of science.

    However, science does base itself and readily use its own version of Natural Law, assuming that identical conditions will lead to identical results, that light, energy, and matter follow laws, that laws can be deduced and accurately describe the function of the physical observable reality.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    is a Natural Law statement.

    Natural law was and remains an important source of international law:

    The history of mankind is that irrational thinking leads to tragedy, as the Third Reich and the Soviet Union demonstrate, and that the arc of history leads to both unless right thinking people of goodwill oppose evil.

  174. It should be pretty obvious what relevance it has to non catholics. The Catholic Church wields considerable influence with some governments and civic authorities around the world. The stance they take and the choices they make about language describing gay and transgender people can be (and is) used by others to justify homophobia and transphobia, whether in laws enacted or physical or verbal abuse.

    When you pay attention, you realise that now that so many are non religious, the only people left justifying exclusion, abuse and violence toward gay and transgender people are the religious. So yes, it matters to everyone, “family” or not.

  175. You will be unable to cite anything in the current Catholic language describing gay and transgender people that is used by others to justify homophobia, transphobia, physical abuse, or verbal abuse.

    The Catholic assessment can be summarized:

    – any physical sexual congress outside of marriage is immoral;

    – same sex physical sexual congress is always immoral;

    – those with same sex attraction should be treated with human dignity and respect;

    – modification of the human body involving mutilation of the sex organs is immoral if not mandated by disease (e.g., hysterectomy).

  176. Psssssssst! I’m answering a post of yours from elsewhere here So that bob//Robert/Jose/mark/dr/Draco/Matt doesn’t know I am here. The whole gang is after me!!!!! We have to communicate in secret.

    He said he has never revealed what his religious affiliation is. Aside from using pretty much the same exact language as the late, lamented Bob in describing his lack of revealing, which in itself was quite revealing, it also wasn’t a true statement. Of course, every one believes he is an Uber Catholic. It’s pretty obvious. And yet…

    A couple of weeks ago, in response a a catholic on a catholic issue, he used the specific words “our church”. There was no ambiguity in it. He meant they were both Catholics. Earlier this week, he declared he is an evangelical in as many words. So Bob Mark is lying about one or the other or both. I wish I had done screen shots.

    I’m not the slightest bit surprised.

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