Speakers tell pope, synod that parishes should welcome same-sex couples

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A married couple told Pope Francis and the Synod of Bishops on the family that Catholic parishes should welcome same-sex couples, following the example of parents who invite their son and his male partner to their home for Christmas.

“The church constantly faces the tension of upholding the truth while expressing compassion and mercy. Families face this tension all the time,” Ron and Mavis Pirola of Sydney told the synod Oct. 6.

“Take homosexuality as an example. Friends of ours were planning their Christmas family gathering when their gay son said he wanted to bring his partner home too. They fully believed in the church’s teachings and they knew their grandchildren would see them welcome the son and his partner into the family. Their response could be summed up in three (sic) words, ‘He is our son.’”

“What a model of evangelization for parishes as they respond to similar situations in their neighborhood,” the Pirolas said.

While Catholic teaching insists homosexual people should not be discriminated against, it holds that homosexual acts are always immoral and that marriage can only be a union between one man and one woman.

The couple, who are participating in the synod as non-voting auditors, spoke at the beginning of the afternoon session of the synod’s first working day. The session’s designated theme was “God’s plan for marriage and the family.”


Which of course invites the question, what does it mean to “welcome” them?

I think welcoming back Catholics who feel alienated and exactly what that means will be one of the major items to come out of this Synod.

Right. As such, I guess the couple’s comments are a good way to kick off the discussion. :slight_smile:

If they ‘fully believed in the Church’s teachings’ why are they in a relationship? It doesn’t sound based on the overall theme that they purely have a chaste friendship.

I believe it’s saying that the parents of the couple fully believe in Church teachings, not the couple themselves.

Hmm. Three words. “He is our son.”


brain collapses into black hole while attempting to reconcile and equate “threeness” and “fourness”


:smiley: I totally missed that one. Maybe they were speaking in another language? Or else maybe they meant to use the contraction “He’s”. :stuck_out_tongue:

Coffee hour after Mass with extra donuts to share?

:smiley: That’s most probably true. I couldn’t let that one pass by, though.

Concerning the actual topic:

I hope that the synod leaders are very clear about the position of the Church on homosexual couples, even while remaining charitable. Yes, people do have feelings and we don’t need to needlessly offend, but it is a well-known fact that the Catholic Church has always taught, currently teaches, and will never cease to teach that marriage is for one man and one woman only. For homosexuals to expect that to change just because of the whim of society is quite uneducated, and I question their contention that **they **are the victims, not us, when our beliefs and laws are so constantly ignored.

“Take homosexuality as an example. Friends of ours were planning their Christmas family gathering when their gay son said he wanted to bring his partner home too. They fully believed in the church’s teachings and they knew their grandchildren would see them welcome the son and his partner into the family. Their response could be summed up in three (sic) words, ‘He is our son.’”

There is always ‘the rest of the story’. That story(depicted at synod) is different for every family. The nuances and hardships per family/situation is unique. This generalized family gathering story does not afford a clear understanding of difficulties that can and do arise.

This blanket request to ‘welcome’ is too simple.

No one’s turning them away at the door. The problem is that they aren’t welcome exclusively on their own terms; that full communion with the Church requires, for them as for all of us, repentance, renewal, interior conversion – being bathed in the waters of the Gospel. And if they aren’t willing to do this, well, then, they hardly get to complain about being shut out of full communion, do they?

This whole thing stinks. Can anyone possibly imagine a saintly pope like St. Pius X listening to a couple telling him to “welcome” unrepentant sinners in the Church?

There have always been sinners of all kinds in the Church (I´m one to start with), but the crucial difference is that now we are being told to forget about the sin and pretend everything is hunky dory. Sin is no longer an issue, and nobody is allowed to call a spade a spade anymore. It´s all about “pastoral care”, whatever that means. It´s the “Church of Nice”, where nobody EVER says anything that could possibly hurt anyone´s feelings. Of course, Jesus NEVER offended anyone, did He?

If instead of a son taking his male partner to Christmas dinner it was a daughter taking her pimp, would we see the situation differently? Sodomy used to be called one of the four sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance. Now we are instructed to be NICE to the sodomites.

And some people think the Church is doing just fine???!!!

Many unimaginable things and sins happen in the end time. We know the time is near by seeing such signs.

I love all this talk about being welcoming, like these thousands of alienated people are beating down the doors of cold-hearted, conservative run Catholic Churches. Church attendance has been in decline SINCE the SIXTIES. Solid 50 years of “opening” up the Church. The conservatives have barely made a dent in that. The trend continues; the results will be the same.

We have to try and have faith in the Holy Spirits involvment in this process. When Jesus constantly welcomed prostitutes and tax collectors and other sinners to eat with Him, I’m sure there were many of the same fears among the congregations that are happening now. I think this synod is an important one for Priests in taking back a greater leadership role in their parishes to take some of the weight off the parishoners to protect the integrity of the law that leads us to judge and discriminate.

I think that ultimately there has to be a return to the spiritual leadership of the parish Priest in opening up the doors of the Church to modern day sinners. He has to serve by leading. What makes me hopeful of the propects of this is my experience of all the African Priests that we now have in Australia. They engender a trust in the Priests that had diminished and that’s what we need. Jesus welcomed prostitutes, tax collectors and sinners to eat with Him and we have to feel that we too can break bread with those who’ve veered off path, confident that the Holy Spirit can reach them within the bosom of the Church.

Part of the problem is that in evangelizing and exhibiting love, rule #1 is never compromise on a doctrine. And too many people of a secular bent measure the Church’s degree of “welcomeness” proportionate to how much their contra-Church behavior is approved.

We cannot measure how “welcoming” the Church is based on raw numbers. We cannot measure how “loving” the Church is based on raw membership. It would be poisonous to go around granting the approval that is sought by gay couples and supporters of that arrangement. It would certainly not be an act of love to do so, not to any such couple, nor to the practicing members of the Body. If the Church must uphold a hard saying, it doesn’t mean the Church is unloving. John 6?

I think any synodal considerations have to balance outreach with the upholding of truth. This culture too often demands that the Church forfeit the latter.

Yes, and many of those who uphold the truth in this context are accused of being uncharitable - it often really just amounts to “you don’t agree with me about this.”

Mmmmmmm hm.

At every parish I’ve been in, I’ve never noticed anyone at the door checking to see if anyone entering might be a homosexual couple. They don’t even check to see if some couple might be shacking up, or if there are fornicators, masturbators or adulterers entering. As far as I can see, it is entirely welcoming. Those issues might arise in the confessional, and the confessional is open to any Catholic, and RCIA is open to non-Catholics. What exactly did the speaker wish for parishes to do?

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