So, you may remember the posting I wrote here on Wednesday about how the Vatican had released a remarkable document, known as a relatio, during its current synod that offered a deeply sympathetic outreach to homosexuals, in hopes that the clergy would find a "fraternal space" for them in the Catholic Church.
On Thursday, the Vatican released a new translation of that document. The language that had previously said, “welcoming homosexual persons,” has been replaced with the watered-down phrase, “providing for homosexual persons.”
Making this all the more pointed, it's important to note that this new translation is only in English. It appears an effort to appease conservative American clergy who -- as I noted in my article the other day -- were outraged that the Pope dare suggest an inclusiveness to other fellow humans. Or rather, I should say, "other humans." Or perhaps just "others."
American Cardinal Raymond Burke, the chairs the Vatican’s highest court of canon law, had been particularly critical of the relatio, saying, among other things, that “The document lacks a solid foundation in the Sacred Scriptures and the Magisterium.”
Well, in the far-right portion of the American Catholic Church, that is. The rest of the world, therefore, is still encouraged to welcome homosexuals who, "have gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community." (Well, some of the Christian community, that is...)
Not to worry, conservative American Catholics need only provide for homosexual persons. And actually, they don't even have to provide for them. That's because it was only a "hope" by the Pontiff that homosexual persons would be welcomed. Or just provided for, if you and they live in America.
To assuage those conservative American Catholic clergy further, worried that they would have to be welcoming to actual homosexual persons, the Vatican made clear that the relatio was only a working document -- spitballing as it were -- and not anything official being pronounced by the synod. God forbid. Literally.
The good news is that the conservative Catholic clergy in America didn't protest the Valican describing homosexuals as "persons," and allowed that word to be left in.
I do feel pleased, though, that just yesterday I posted that video of Neil Patrick Harris hosting the Tonys in 2011 and singing how Broadway "Is Not Just for Gays Anymore." After all, though homosexual persons might not be welcomed in the conservative Catholic Church in America, they still can take in a good musical...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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