Vatican mystery: Where did the ‘gays are welcome’ message originate?

Vatican City

Vatican City AP (File)

Vatican CityAP (File)

Vatican City

VATICAN CITY — It’s one of the great mysteries of the meeting on family life taking place behind closed doors at the Vatican this week: Just where did the authors of a draft report come up with such ground-breaking language that gays had gifts to offer the church and that even homosexual partnerships had merit?

Officially speaking, the draft report was a synthesis of the interventions from more than 200 bishops, a starting point for small working groups to propose amendments, elaborations, additions and subtractions to the drafting committee preparing a final report that will be released on Saturday.

But conservative cardinals have said their views were not reflected in the draft, they blasted the report as “unacceptable” and said it was in sore need of an overhaul.

U.S. Cardinal Timothy Dolan said his fellow American, hardline Cardinal Raymond Burke, reflected the view of “a good number of people in saying, boy, this document is a rough draft, does it ever need major revisions.”

“I think he’s right, he’s picked up on the side that a lot of bishops, and I would include myself, feel that it needs some major reworking,” Dolan told “CBS This Morning.”

The most contentious passage is contained in three paragraphs of the 58-paragraph report under the heading “Welcoming homosexuals.” It starts off by saying gays “have gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community.”

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“Are our communities capable of providing (a welcoming home,) accepting and valuing their sexual orientations without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?”

And it continues: “Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners.”

There was no reference to Catholic doctrine that gay sex is “intrinsically disordered,” sinful or that homosexual orientation was “objectively disordered.”

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