Rather than considering gays as individuals who had gifts to offer the church, the revised paragraph referred to homosexuality as one of the problems Catholic families have to confront. It said "people with homosexual tendencies must be welcomed with respect and delicacy," but repeated church teaching that marriage is only between man and woman. The paragraph failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed to pass.
Two other paragraphs concerning the other hot-button issue at the synod of bishops - whether divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can receive Communion - also failed to pass.
The outcome showed a deeply divided church on some of the most pressing issues facing Catholic families.
It appeared that the 118-62 vote on the gay section might have been a protest vote by progressive bishops who refused to back the watered-down wording. The original draft had said gays had gifts to offer the church and that their partnerships, while morally problematic, provided gay couples with "precious" support.If this really was a "protest vote", then I want to repeat something I've said over and over.
Consider this line: "People with homosexual tendencies must be welcomed with respect and delicacy, but Church teaching is that marriage is only between man and women."
That is outreach. That is encouragement without surrender. That would be a much-needed conservative attempt to tell LGB people: look, you are human, we respect you, we want you to be part of our Church. Same-sex sexual acts are sinful, but you are still welcome.
And, it would seem, the progressives have decided that is not allowed. There is no room in their worldview for conservatives who reach out to LGB people without approving, in advance, of their sexual acts.
So my advice? My meager, momentary advice?
That is exactly the sort of conservative all of us should be. When progressives are afraid of even acknowledging your existence, you are doing something right.