Young people want the Vatican to be more open about homosexuality

A document published by the Vatican on Tuesday reveals that young people want the Catholic Church to take a more active stance in discussing gender and sexuality.

The 67-page-long document replaced the church’s usual use of the term “homosexual” with “LGBT” for the first time in a major church publication.

The report stated that religious leaders must speak practically about controversial topics such as homosexuality and gender issues.

The findings are based on a questionnaire from recent national bishops’ conferences and a gathering of approximately 305 young people, regardless of religious background, at the Vatican in March.

The group brought up issues such as contraception, abortion, homosexuality, cohabitation, and marriage, and the survey results supported the idea that the past sexual and financial scandals within the Catholic Church have resulted in less trust from younger generations.

Pope Francis addresses the crowd from the window of the apostolic palace overlooking St Peter’s square during his Angelus prayer on June 17, 2018 at the Vatican. (ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty)

Participants said they are looking for a church that allows for more open discussion and holds fewer taboos.

“The Synod’s primary aim is to make the whole Church aware of her important and not at all optional task of accompanying every young person, without exclusion, towards the joy of love,” said Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri at a press conference on Tuesday.

Divided into three parts – recognising, interpreting, and choosing – the document stresses the importance of the church listening to reality, understanding the daily lives of young adults to assist them in discerning their vocational calling, and accompanying them in choosing the right path.

“Above all, in a world that no longer helps us to dream, it can be interpreted as an invitation to start wishing for the impossible, to dream great things for and with young people,” said Cardinal Baldisseri.

Pope Francis waves to faithful upon his arrival in St. Peters square at the Vatican for his weekly general audience on June 20, 2018. (VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty)

Pope Francis may be known for his more progressive approach to Catholicism, but this promise for more communication with young LGBT Catholics also comes just days after he upheld the belief that the traditional heterosexual family is the only way.

Despite the goals that it presents, the document also reinforces the idea that the church teachings on sexuality need to be upheld at a time of a more “technocratic approach to the body,” referring to practices such as in vitro fertilisation.

The document was published ahead of the upcoming Synod of Bishops – a meeting of the pope’s closest advisors – on the topic of “Young people, faith and vocational discernment” scheduled for this October.