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Vatican Debate of Homosexuality Sparks Strong Reactions

Vatican Debate of Homosexuality Sparks Strong Reactions

Debating between proponents and critics of the Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality has continued.

The issue came up during the two-week Synod on the Family convened by Pope Francis. Australians Ron and Mavis Pirola, who attended the summit, told bishops at the meeting that they had friends that invited their gay son and his partner home for Christmas.

"They fully believed in the church's teachings and they knew their grandchildren would see them welcome the son and his partner into the family," the couple told the bishops. "Their response could be summed up in three words: 'He's our son.'"

American Cardinal Raymond Burke, however, disagreed, saying that children shouldn’t be “exposed” to gay relationships. 

"If it were another kind of relationship—something that was profoundly disordered and harmful—we wouldn't expose our children to that relationship, to the direct experience of it," Burke, who oversees the Vatican court system, told LifeSiteNews.

Pope Francis has said that the Catholic Church needs to be more compassionate toward the gay community.

“People are angry that the bishops take the side of discrimination rather than equality," said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of Maryland-based New Ways Ministry, a gay Catholic group.

"[But] they think Francis sees them as brothers and sisters. They don't feel they are outsiders anymore. Francis has changed the language, and in this synod we are seeing bishops calling for change in pastoral practice."

Publication date: October 13, 2014