Vatican to debate teachings on divorce, birth control, gay unions

Should be a very short meeting…the teachings are quite clear on all 3 topics. I think the meeting is more about how to present its long standing teachings in ways that do not alienate but welcome…

What a shoddy bit of journalism - but then again, it IS the LA Times. I read the whole thing and am amazed that it got printed. Innuendos and subtle hints at a change in policy all over the place. The writer is of the same ilk as those who published similar nonsense during the infamous Papal Birth Control Commission back in Paul VI’s day.

They hint at a change in policy (or even teaching) all the while knowing that nothing will change. So why do it? Simple: they know the Catholic Church is the strongest moral voice in the world and has the most members in its ranks of any organization (whether or not those individual members are practicing or devout it another story). So, if the liberal left can knock the Church’s credibility down a notch, so be it. In the eyes of lukewarm Catholics, the authority of the Church is neutralized when such unrealistic expectations are not met.

I don’t think it’s true that they know nothing will change. I think they really believe that such changes are possible.

A church whose teaching was solely the result of hierarchical power plays and could be changed whenever the wind blows in the right direction is not the type of church I’d want to belong to. :shrug:

This is just an example of sensationalist tabloid journalism.

No, the Church is not going to “debate” any teachings, but discuss them.

I would strongly suggest that readers here go to the official Vatican website to read the document (which has been made public) expressing what will be discussed at the upcoming synod.

Or is it actually:

(AP) LA Times debates Vatican teachings on divorce, birth control, gay unions

I’m always scared that the Church would any day just reverse it’s teachings on these three issues, in an attempt to be more “politically correct”, and people like me who support them would be left out to dry.

They wouldn’t do that, would they? It’s not like Pope Francis could just say “Oh, we’ve changed our mind!” and there goes our Church…

Have no fear.

Please read the document from the Vatican website.

No worries, the Church will never change her teachings on these matters. She has been promised the protection of the Holy Spirit, so she will never falter from the Truth.

In what ways would you"be left out to dry?" I don’t mean to insinuate that there should be some change or there should be no change in any way whatsoever. I just want to understand why you feel threatened (if indeed “threatened” is the right word).

This is an awful write-up, polemic in tone and not reflecting the content of the announcement. I wonder if the follow-up - when the conference is held and nothing changes in Church teaching - will reflect “dissent from underlings” who oppose this Pope who has “excited liberal reformers”.

Journalism is never unbiased. In J-school we learned that the act of observation leads to interpretation on its own - discerning what is and is not news is itself a subjective act. I think it continues to get worse, with little attempt made at objectivity. This is the same paper that published a stern call to dissent from disgraced priest Charles E Curran (who was deemed unfit to teach Catholic theology because he publicly refused to agree with it) back in 2005 (

This is the constant M.O. of the enemies of God - “give us the loving, nice, sweet part of Christianity. Give us the Catholic charities. Give us support for immigrants and we’ll call it political support for immigration reform. Give us opposition to war and we’ll call it political support for troop reductions. Just don’t give us rules on how to conduct ourselves. And don’t tell us about Jesus beyond how fair He was to everyone.” They want to co-opt whatever they can, claim the message for themselves, and appear to ally with the authority of the Seat of Peter.

All here understand Pope Francis to be a pastoral, not theological, reformer. He wants to move the energy of the Church from hammering politically against gay marriage to evangelizing energetically in the parishes the kinds of relationships that please God; he doesn’t want to allow gay marriage. He wants to move the energy of the Church from campaigning for the end of abortion and towards giving support to those who are vulnerable; he doesn’t want to end the Church’s proscription against abortion.

His first “fire and brimstone” sermon will simply be ignored by the media. They’ve made a big deal about his humility, but nary a tabloid mentioned his connection between the virtues of humility and shame ( To the media, humility in a Pope starts with saying “we’ve done wrong” and must, in the minds of fallen-away Catholics and pulp-printing atheists alike, lead to “we will change”. This is another place where religious writers like Chu (who wrote the article that started the topic) totally miss - humility has less to do with treating humans and far more with subjugating ourselves before the Living God. That humility can take the form of mildness in treating one another, but it should never be an excuse for apologizing for or watering down a faith that calls us to a God who is both Loving and Holy, who provides Forgiveness precisely because He demands Justice, not instead of it.

That would be the day you know the sheep and the goats. There are snakes in the Church, and snakes outside the Church, and demons chanting eagerly for both. The gates of Hell shall not prevail. We may very well lose many to apostasy - Lord protect us from falling as well! - but the Church will herself survive.

So if (though it cannot) the Church altered its teaching would that mean you would live the Church? Just wondering?

I am wondering why they would waste their time discussing these topic if nothing can ever change. Aren’t there enough important issue to deal with than go over ones that already have cleat teachings. Does make me wondering about the meeting.

That’s probably the point - why should a journalist write about a story unless
a) It reinforces what the journalist thinks is the prevalent idea
b) It encourages what the journalist thinks is the correct idea

This is a neat accumulation of both. The LA Times evangelizes its readers, telling Catholics “Yes, the Church will change, look they’re already starting”, and telling gays “Look, you’ll be able to marry in the Catholic Church one day, they’re already starting” and telling people living an unchaste lifestyle “Look, the Church is moving to give you approval, they’re already starting”.

It continues to astonish me that journalists who are so sensitive to stories about what you do in your own bedroom are also so obtuse to the damage that occurs. “Hey, here’s someone who practices birth control. Good for her! She’s had 15 sex partners in the past year. Glad she’s protected against pregnancy and STDs, that’s all you need to worry about in such a fun lifestyle.”

We deserve whatever’s coming to us. We’re a country that’s far more interested in getting high, sleeping around, and wasting our time, our energy, and our youth than in actually getting anything done. When a nation rejects God, it unravels all those things that work.

I’m literally going to get myself a nice big bag of popcorn for when I’m reading the reports of what actually took place in this meeting and what actually came through in the results.

The Church was indeed promised to never fall into error, but there is more than a slight tinge of Irony in that the vast majority of it’s members potentially have. I’ve only read the Russian and German findings but eh…Only really told me what I already knew about the general mindset of the average practicing Catholic.

Should be interesting to see this get explained, can’t all just be chalked up to bad Catechism or the “evils” of modern society rather than a few mistakes closer to home (Which of course, it will be).

Instead of wondering about it, why not read what the Church is publicly saying about it?

The answer is clear enough if you read the Preparatory Document.

Yes I am scared (which i think is reasonable) that the Church would fall into error regarding these topics. I know it can’t, but it’s still a valid fear… I just pray that they hold true to what we believe and don’t let the powers of evil change them.

Have you read the Preparatory Document?

I am anxiously (to put it mildly) awaiting the Instrumentum Laboris for the Synod, which is supposed to come out soon. My understanding is that it will (hopefully) give us a clearer picture of what is, and isn’t, on the table for discussion.

So, have you read the Preparatory Document, or not?

I don’t understand why some Catholics seem so anxious that the Church may change some of its disciplines or even some if its teachings. For example, the Church can change the way the Church ministers to the divorced without changing the teachings on marriage.

More fundamentally, the Church’s teachings on most things could conceivable change. There are few truly immutable teachings, and the Church has changed its teachings on many things in various ways through the ages. The Church should always be striving to have the best possible practices, disciplines and teachings. Part of that may entail some changes from time to time. That is what has happened in the past, and what will happen in the future. No reason to treat every little change like its the end of Catholicism.

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