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The Synod's Report and Homosexuality: It's a work in progress that doesn't change Church Doctrine

2014-10-14

For many, the midterm report on the Synod came as a big surprise. Especially the wording used when referring to homosexuality. Some bishops expressed concern, fearing that the language left a lot of room for confusion. 

CARD. WILFRID NAPIER 
Archbishop of Durban, South Africa
"In some ways, is the misinterpretation reflecting what people would like to see happening rather than what is happening or is going to happen.” 

Some bishops claim the description doesn't fully reflect what's been discussed in the debates. 

While it states that marriage is between a man and a woman, it also says that '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.' It goes on to say that homosexuals have gifts and talents to offer the Christian community. 

Critics say the statement is confusing and contradictory. The South African Cardinal said it's regrettable that the document, which is just a summary of the synod discussions and a work in progress, is being described by some as a change in Church Doctrine. 

CARD. WILFRID NAPIER 
Archbishop of Durban, South Africa
 "We are now working from a position that is virtually irredeemable. The message has gone out-this is what the synod is saying, this is what the Catholic Church is saying –and it’s not what we’re saying at all, so no matter how we try correcting that –and this unfortunately is my experience with the media, once it’s out there in the public lights there is no way of retrieving it.”

The document will be modified before it's handed out to bishops again at the end of the week. Bishops are expected to vote on the final wording on this document. 

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