HRC Blog

Vatican Changes Tone to be More Accepting of Gay and Lesbian People

Vatican CityThe Vatican yesterday announced that it must embrace a new, welcoming tone needed towards LGBT people.  The document demands that gay and lesbian people must be treated with respect and with equal dignity and allows their children to be baptized in the church. The document went even further, urging 1.2 billion Church members to become less exclusive and more humble.

The document is based off of a 39-question survey that was sent to dioceses around the world for a family issues meeting the Vatican will be holding in October. This announcement was just one part of a 75-page working paper.

The announcement also contains some controversial subjects, such as same-sex marriage. In the document the Church admits that Catholic priests are still unsure about how to handle same-sex couples. However, it argues that the Church must find a way to have "respectful, non-judgmental attitude towards people living in such unions."

These changes echo Pope Francis’s statement last year that shocked the world. When the Pope was in Brazil he was asked by a group of reporters about gay priests within the Roman Catholic Church. The Pope responded, in part, "Who am I to judge them if they're seeking the Lord in good faith?"

As HRC has previously noted, the vast majority of lay Catholics in the U.S. support LGBT equality. A poll from New York Times/CBS News found that more than six in ten American Catholics support equal marriage, compared to 53 percent of the country as a whole.

To learn more about HRC’s Religion and Faith Program which seeks to engage all faith traditions in a deeper dialogue on questions of fairness and equality for LGBT Americans, visit http://www.hrc.org/issues/religion-faith

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