Final Youth Synod document promotes acceptance of homosexual orientation

Pope Francis wears rainbow cross in youth synod
Photo above shows Pope Francis wearing a “rainbow cross” in the Youth Synod. Many lamented this choice of cross, given the close association of the rainbow colours with the LGBT Movement.

The final Youth Synod document may not have used the term LGBT (which was used in the initial preparatory document for the Synod), but it nonetheless uses the term “sexual orientation”, a propaganda term for homosexuality used by the LGBT movement.

The Youth Synod’s final document was accepted on October 27 by a two-third majority. The most controversial part of the final document is paragraph 150, which deals with homosexuality.  It received only two votes more than necessary, scoring 65 “no” votes. The paragraph’s ambiguity allows from varying interpretations, some of which may be contrary to the official teaching of the Church. 

Below is the full text of the controversial paragraph 150:

There are questions concerning the body, affectivity and sexuality which require a deepened anthropological, theological and pastoral elaboration, to be carried out in the most appropriate ways and at the most appropriate levels, from the local to the universal. Among these, those relating in particular to the difference and harmony between male and female identity and to sexual inclinations emerge. In this regard the Synod reaffirms that God loves every person and so does the Church, renewing its commitment against all discrimination and violence on a sexual basis. It also reaffirms the decisive anthropological relevance of the difference and reciprocity between man and woman and considers it reductive to define the identity of persons solely on the basis of their “sexual orientation” (CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, October 1, 1986, no. 16).

In many Christian communities there are already paths of accompaniment in the faith of homosexual persons: the Synod recommends that these paths be encouraged. In these paths people are helped to understand their own [personal] history; to adhere freely and responsibly to their own baptismal call; to recognize the desire to belong to and contribute to the life of the community; and to discern the best ways of achieving it. In this way we help every young person, no one excluded, to integrate the sexual dimension more and more into their personality, growing in the quality of relationships and walking towards the gift of self.

Is the Church’s approach to same-sex unions and homosexuality still an open discussion?

The Youth Synod document calls for a “deepened anthropological, theological and pastoral elaboration” about sexuality. Essentially, the Youth Synod document opens the door to varying interpretations and deeper “studies” on homosexuality, which may be contrary to the teaching of the Church.

The Church already has established teachings on human sexuality, the gravity of the sin of homosexual unions and same-sex acts, and the “intrinsically-disordered” (John Paul II) nature of homosexuality – as such, there is no need for a “deepened” elaboration about sexuality in this matter. 

This call for a “deepened elaboration” about “sexual orientation” (ie, LGBT) is essentially telling us that the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality and same-sex unions is not yet the final word – that it still requires further study and a deepened elaboration.


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“Sexual orientation” = LGBT

The term “sexual orientation” is tantamount to “LGBT” for the UN and homosexual lobby. It must also be recalled that the initial preparatory document included the term “LGBT”.  Although LGBT wasn’t included in the final document, one of the key provisions which the Pope specifically requested was to insert a clause in the final Youth Synod document which requires the Church to read the final document in “continuity” with the preparatory document.  

The inclusion of the term “sexual inclination”, as well as the inclusion of the term “LGBT” in the preparatory document, can rightly be seen as a watering down of Catholic teaching in this matter, and a step towards normalizing homosexuality in the Church.

Are homosexual tendencies still “objectively disordered”?

The Youth Synod document takes a big step in “normalizing” homosexual tendencies as just “sexual inclinations” that must not be “discriminated against”.  This is contrary to the official teaching of the Church, which emphasises that homosexual tendencies are “objectively disordered” (Catechism #2358): 

The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial…These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

Does “accompaniment” mean affirming homosexuals in same-sex unions in their grave state of sin?

The second section of paragraph 150 speaks of “paths of accompaniment” for homosexual persons, but does not distinguish between apostolates such as Courage — which helps men and women with same-sex attraction to live chaste lives in accord with the Catholic faith — and other organizations that do not.  It strongly encourages “paths of accompaniment” for homosexual persons, in order to help them to “integrate the sexual dimension”, to grow in the “quality of relationships” and to walk towards the “gift of self”.  

However, the Church teaches that people in same-sex unions are living in a state of grave sin, and the job of the Church in these situations is not to “accompany” them, but to call them to repentance. The Catechism emphasises that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” and are to be approved “under no circumstances”. 

Here is the exact text on this matter from the Catechism (#2357):

Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

The Catechism is clear that we are not called upon to affirm, or “accompany” same-sex couples in their personal journey. Rather, we are called upon to help bring people in same-sex unions to recognise the fact that by having sexual relations with a person of the same sex, they are living in a state of mortal sin, and are being called to repentance. 

Furthermore, the Church is called upon to emphasise to homosexual persons, who may not necessarily be in a same-sex relationship, that they are called to chastity.  Here we quote the Catechism again in this regard (#2359):

Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

Paul Simeon, Veritas

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