By Matthew A. McIntosh / 04.08.2016
Pope Francis released his anticipated post-synodal Apostolic exhortation today, the Amoris Laetitia. In the document, he speaks to inclusion of LGBT individuals and “non-traditional” family groups.
Some were expecting a possible doctrinal shift in the Catholic Church today, but that was not to happen.
The Pope did denounce anti-gay violence:
“Every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration, while ‘every sign of unjust discrimination’ is to be carefully avoided, particularly any form of aggression and violence. Such families should be given respectful pastoral guidance, so that those who manifest a homosexual orientation can receive the assistance they need to understand and fully carry out God’s will in their lives.”
Added to the long-standing “every sign of unjust discrimination” now includes “any form of aggression and violence”. This was anticipated as he has been saying similar things in travels to other places.
Getting to the core of what could have been a doctrinal shift, there was no change. He continued:
“In discussing the dignity and mission of the family, the Synod Fathers observed that, ‘as for proposals to place unions between homosexual persons on the same level as marriage, there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.’ It is unacceptable ‘that local Churches should be subjected to pressure in this matter and that international bodies should make financial aid to poor countries dependent on the introduction of laws to establish ‘marriage’ between persons of the same sex.’”
And there you have it. Basically, “Hey, we love you folks now, but your families are inferior – you’re still black sheep, don’t get too excited.”
Ultimately, not much has changed. He simply denounced violence while keeping LGBT people on the outside of what is considered “normal”. He has simply confirmed a mentality that causes the very “aggression and violence” he wishes to avoid.
We’re never far from where we were – more of the same, different words.
The Amoris Laetitia: