Catholic Meetings May Pave the Way for Acceptance

Pope Francis

Pope Francis has called a meeting of bishops from around the world to review church teaching on family and marriage.

The meeting, called a synod, will have leaders of the Catholic church discussing the gap between what the Church teaches regarding issues such as divorce, premarital sex, contraception and homosexuality and what their followers actually do. The discussions began on Sunday and will continue for two weeks.

The secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri said the group will not shy away from difficult issues.

“I think that what this synod will try hardest to do is to give a true answer to problems,” Cardinal Baldisseri said.

“This is a real gesture that these questions are noted and will be discussed.”

Meanwhile, gay and lesbian groups in Portugal are holding an international congress, hoping to get their voices heard by the Vatican.

The event opens today in the southern resort of Portimao, and will run for three days. The congress aims to formally federate a number of organisations that represent LGBT Catholics worldwide.

The congress will draw up a statement to send to the synod with the aim of pressing for “urgent change of attitude from Catholic authorities” towards gay parishioners, according to Jose Leote, member of organizing group Rumos Novos (New Directions).

Francis DeBernardo, head of US based New Ways Ministry said he aims to act as a bridge between the congress and the synod.

“Jesus began with 12, and look at what that has become,” he told Reuters.

“The topic of homosexuality is so widespread in so many societies and it affects so many people – not only those who are LGBT, but their families, friends, co-workers.”

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