Pope Francis: Church Must Find Ways of Welcoming Divorced Catholics, Gays

Pope Francis said the Catholic Church must find ways of welcoming divorced and gay Catholics as part of a yearlong debate by the church’s leadership that has already exposed a split within its ranks.

In an interview with Argentine newspaper La Nación published Sunday, the pontiff addressed the turmoil his 20-month papacy has stirred with more tradition-minded groups in the church, saying it was a “good sign” that there isn’t “hidden mumbling when there is disagreement.” The pope also announced that a reorganization of the Vatican bureaucracy won’t be completed next year and said he would add visits to both Latin America and Africa to his travel schedule next year.

The comments on gays and divorced Catholics were the pope’s first public remarks since the end of the synod, or meeting of bishops, in October on problems facing the family. That meeting of nearly 200 bishops opened discussion on a range of problems affecting Catholic families, with the goal of providing better solutions on issues such as gay unions, divorce, poverty, domestic violence and polygamy.

However, sharp disagreement emerged on the church’s approach to divorced Catholics and gays. One group of bishops called for open support of gay couples and pushed for the possibility of allowing remarried Catholics to receive communion. Currently, the church denies communion to Catholics who have remarried, unless their first marriage is annulled.

Those positions—which, according to senior Vatican clerics, enjoy the support of the pope—sparked fierce opposition from more tradition-minded bishops.

Credit: Yahoo News

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