Tags: Pope Francis | Steve Malzberg Show | Vatican | marriages | gays | Francis

Exclusive: Inside the Vatican's Meeting on Gays, Sex and Divorce

By    |   Monday, 20 Oct 2014 03:20 PM

Reports that the Vatican was loosening its views on homosexuality and divorce was pure media spin based on the jottings of a left-leaning bishop, according to Dr. Robert Royal, editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing and president of the Faith & Reason Institute.

"In fact, there never was on the table any doctrinal reconsideration of divorced and remarried Catholics receiving communion or the acceptance of homosexual unions of every kind," Royal said Monday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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On Saturday, Catholic bishops passed a revised document that spells out the Roman Catholic Church's position on homosexuals, marriage divorce and sex.

But the document was missing passages from a draft released earlier in the week that showed a surprisingly liberal attitude towards accepting gays and unwed Catholics who live together as well as permitting remarried divorcees to receive Communion.

Several gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups praised what appeared to be the church's revised views.

But that wasn't the case, according to Royal, who is author of the book, "The God That Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West," published by Encounter Books.

"We have to begin with that understanding. The doctrine was never in any way called into question," said Royal, who has knowledgeable sources at the Vatican.

"What happened is this: Midway through what is called a synod, a meeting of bishops, the pope calls them together to consult with him … and the synod was brought together to talk about marriage and Evangelization.

"An interim report is released that guides the discussion from that point on and it was released after being written by a single bishop known to be very much to the left and it was a surprise to the other bishops, which is why it caused this tremendous blowback."

He was referring to a number of bishops who went public to blast the draft and insist the church is not changing.

"We all know that marriage is troubled, there are a lot of divorces, there are a lot of people in very difficult situations, single-parent families, on and on and on."

"I see news reports coming out that the … Holy Father issues this pro-gay language and then backed off," Royal said.

"In fact, this was bungled bureaucratic operation that gave the wrong impression and then the story of course got garbled after that.

"A lot of the cardinals, who are below the pope … began speaking out publicly and this is very, very rare that cardinals will appear in public to be in conflict with what seems to be coming out of the Vatican."

Royal said many of the bishops were caught by surprise, not having seen the draft before it was released.

"So suddenly you had this clash. I was there last Monday, it was all roses … and then the very next day there was a 180 degree turn," he said.

"One of the cardinals from Africa, Wilfred Fox Napier, went so far as to say that a message went out and it was the wrong message and now as often happens with the church gets into these media situations, the situation may be irredeemable."
 
Royal said Pope Francis does want change the church.

"He does want to have a pastoral outreach to people in broken families, single parents, unmarried couples, perhaps even gay couples in a way," he said.

"But we shouldn't interpret that as saying that everything is now OK, anybody anywhere in the Catholic Church is OK.

"The constant theme was we meet people where they are and we try to move them to where Catholics believe they ought to."

After the revised document was released, Pope Francis said on Sunday that the Church should not be afraid of change and new challenges.

Francis, who has called for a more merciful Church, made his comments to a crowd of 70,000 people in Rome's St. Peter's Square.

"God is not afraid of new things. That is why he is continuously surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways," the pope said.

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Reports that the Vatican was loosening its views on homosexuality and divorce was pure media spin based on the jottings of a left-leaning bishop, according to Dr. Robert Royal, editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing and president of the Faith & Reason Institute.
Vatican, marriages, gays, Francis
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2014-20-20
Monday, 20 Oct 2014 03:20 PM
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