Tags: America's Forum | Pope Francis | gays | Catholics | Pope Francis | divorce

Ray Flynn: Vatican Debate on Gays 'Healthy' for Church

By    |   Wednesday, 15 October 2014 12:24 PM

The Vatican debate on how the Roman Catholic Church should view gays is "very healthy," says Ray Flynn, former ambassador to the Holy See.

"It is very healthy. It's a very important, healthy debate," Flynn told John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

"It's the debate that is really generating a lot of interest, a lot of response, and it was brought about principally when Pope Francis ... said, 'Who am I to judge?'" he said.

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"Pope Francis has now emerged as the servant-in-chief rather than the chief judge and that's what people are looking for," he said.

"That kind of forgiveness, that kind of openness, not changing the doctrine of the Catholic Church, which I support strongly, but changing the tone so people who have left the church ... feel comfortable returning to the church," the former Boston mayor said.

"It's good for them, it's good for the church, it's good for society to have more people — as many people as we can really engaged in this religious moral debate that's taking place at the Vatican at this very moment," he added.

The alternative, he said, is that people feel alienated from the church.

"When people feel that their decisions, which affect their life, whether the divorced Catholics or whatever it is, if they feel that their voice is not heard, that's not respected, not understood, there's a certain alienation that takes place," he said.

The former ambassador to the Holy See under former President Bill Clinton says that it's important to understand that "the last thing you want to do is, even though you have strong convictions and strong beliefs and values, don't turn everybody off."

"In the analysis of respect and openness and inclusiveness at least let everybody have a voice in those issues that impact their lives and, quite frankly, these are great people, these are good people.

"They're not bad people, they just need an opportunity to be heard and the pope is doing exactly that, a more inclusiveness, a more openness," Flynn added.

Flynn contends that Pope Francis developed this openness while serving as archbishop in Argentina.

"Can you imagine going to work as archbishop of Buenos Aires on a bus ... listening to people, hearing what they have to say?" he asked.

"This is not some PR stunt, this is not about style, this is about what he believes and frankly, we need more inclusiveness, more outreach to people even though it's not going to result in a doctrinal change," he added.

The Vatican released a provisional document expressing an openness toward both gays and those who are divorced. The document was released in the middle of a two-week synod of bishops on the topic of family life. 

However, conservative Catholic bishops have come out against the report. Cardinal Stanislaw Gadecki of Poland said the document is "unacceptable." 

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The Vatican debate on how the Roman Catholic Church should view gays is "very healthy," says Ray Flynn, former ambassador to the Holy See, on "America's Forum."
gays, Catholics, Pope Francis, divorce
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 12:24 PM
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