Vatican Document Moves Towards Greater Inclusion Of Women And LGBTQ Individuals


Jack Moore Contributor
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A working document released by the Vatican on Tuesday takes up questions relating to the inclusion of women and LGBTQ individuals, among others.

The document, entitled “Instrumentum laboris” (instrument of labor), emphasizes movements by the Catholic Church to appeal to groups that may feel unaccepted by and “marginalized” within the church community. The document outlines “suggestions for prayer and preparatory reflection” in relation to including LGBTQ individuals, those in polygamous marriages, divorcees who have remarried and more.

“How can we create spaces where those who feel hurt by the Church and unwelcomed by the community feel recognised, received, free to ask questions and not judged?” one reflection question reads. “In the light of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, what concrete steps are needed to welcome those who feel excluded from the Church because of their status or sexuality (for example, remarried divorcees, people in polygamous marriages, LGBTQ+ people, etc.)?”

The tonal shift of the working document signals a change in church relations with concepts such as homosexuality, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Referring to the LGBTQ community as “LGBTP+ people” marks a departure from the church’s prior description of “persons with homosexual tendencies,” according to the outlet. Reuters and U.S. News have speculated the document implies the church should strive for a greater understanding of polygamous relationships. (RELATED: Catholic Bishop Faces Backlash For Telling Catholics Not To Support LGBTQ Pride Events)

“The desire to offer genuine welcome is a sentiment expressed by synod participants across diverse contexts: the final documents of the Continental Assemblies often mention those who do not feel accepted in the Church, such as the divorced and remarried, people in polygamous marriages, or LGBTQ+ Catholics,” the document reads in a section entitled “How can a synodal Church make credible the promise that ‘love and truth will meet’ (Ps 85:11)?”

The document will be taken up by Pope Francis and considered before he casts any judgment or broaches any suggestions. The Pope previously said “homosexuality is not a crime,” while following up with “Yes, but it’s a sin.” Other clergy members have disregarded traditional church teachings on homosexual relations in countries such as Germany and Belgium.

No concrete decision on the document’s questions regarding inclusion have been made at the time of writing.