Gay Catholics have said they are encouraged by the Pope’s closing address to the synod and are hopeful for a “new era” of pastoral care.
The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC) said that while it was not always happy with terminology used to describe gay people, it felt it was the “beginning of a new era of inclusive pastoral care for and white LGBT people and their families.”
It added it hoped dioceses could take on this attitude across the world.
In a statement, the group said it felt there was also “no longer any reason” to not include same-sex couples as well as children with same-sex parents in pastoral plans as the synod mentioned “specific attention should be paid to families that have a member with homosexual tendencies”.
However, GNRC said it rejected the synod’s implication that the best interests of a child, in adoptive or fostering situations, necessarily requires parenting by opposite sex couples.
It added: “Such a statement flies in the face of considerable social science research and denigrates the generosity of lesbian and gay couples, as well as single parents, in caring for unwanted children.”
GNRC argued the terminology used by the synod, such as “gender ideology” would continue to give “those who seek to find an excuse not to listen and respond pastorally to the realities of LGBT lives, and those of parents and families”.
Before the synod, the group released a briefing urging the synod to reject the global criminalisation of homosexual activities, including the use of the death penalty.
It claims the synod fathers did not take this into account, saying it “strongly rejected” the synod’s suggestion that financial aid to poor countries is conditional on the introduction of laws that institute marriage between same-sex people, calling it a “baseless accusation”.
The group said it saw the comments as a “failure to reject the criminalisation, torture, and death penalty inflicted on LGBT people in too many countries”.
Despite this, GNRC said it felt there were “expressions of apology” during the synod for what it termed “harmful and inaccurate language” when discussing gay people.
It added it felt “the door for a more sensitive attentiveness to LGBT issues in the Church has been opened…and despite opposition cannot be closed.”