Vatican document: Gay people have ‘gifts and qualities to offer’

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The Roman Catholic Church must find a “fraternal space” for gay people, a Vatican document has said.

Reuters reports a Vatican document said on Monday that although no official change in stance will be made with regards to same-sex marriage, the Catholic church must learn to respect the positive aspects of gay couples.

The document, prepared after a week of discussion at a two-week synod of nearly 200 clergy, says gay people have “gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community.”

It reads: “Are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a further space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home.

“Are our communities capable of proving that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?”

John Thavis, a Vatican expert, has called the document “an earthquake” in the Church’s attitude towards same-sex couples.

“The document clearly reflects Pope Francis’ desire to adopt a more merciful pastoral approach on marriage and family issues,” he said.

Pope Francis urged clergy at the Synod last week to speak “without concerns of human respect and without fear.”

Speaking to reporters in July last year, Pope Francis said that gay people should not be judged or marginalised and should be integrated into society.

In March, Pope Francis said: “matrimony is between a man and a woman”.