Despite the setback, there is still hope that the Catholic Church will embrace a GLBT inclusive approach in the near future writes Express Magazine’s Levi Joule.

There is no doubt that the past week has been a disappointing one for GLBT, GLBT friendly and progressive Catholics.

Sadly, the Catholic Church turned its back on social progressivism at it’s recent synod. What makes the situation so disappointing is that just a few days prior, the Pope made comments which did in fact signal what looked like a new direction for the church which was more accepting and welcoming of homosexuals. Sadly, the synod put an end to that when it meet.


However, it is not the end of the world: this synod has simply issued a preliminary report and has simply reaffirmed doctrine. It is also crucial to note that the synod is not a meeting that will define church policy in the near future  and merely a consultative meeting, widely believed to be a prelude to a third Vatican Council.

What the synod means is that Pope Francis, who, for the Catholic Church has made great steps towards change, will face trouble within the clergy if he does continue on his path of church reform.The clergy are also going to have to contend with the opinions of Catholic laypeople, which are far more liberal than official Catholic doctrine would suggest – for example, in South America or even in the United States, where a majority of Catholics voted for President Barack Obama in the last presidential election, even with his prominent support of same-sex marriage. However, despite the fact the Church is quite a slow organization in terms of altering it’s own policy, it is still disappointing that the language discussing homosexuality was changed.

Perhaps the most hopeful thing about current situation, it is that arch conservative and prominent critic of the Pope’s views on social issues, Raymond Burke, was recently demoted from his position at the top of the Vatican justice system – and, when asked who had made the decision to demote him, he answered “who did you think?” It is clear that the man at the top at least, wants to see the Church turn away from it’s conservative values and look towards accepting gays in the Church – in part, reflecting something that is already practice amongst many laypeople.

Positive change for GLBT Catholics has not come fast enough, but then again, it never does for those in our community.


Article | Levi Joule