The Vatican signals a more tolerant stance on homosexuality

The Catholic Church may be changing its attitude toward homosexuality and same-sex marriage, a new Vatican document revealed Monday.

A report issued by a gathering of 200 bishops from around the world, brought together by Pope Francis to discuss families in modern society, reflected a more inclusive tone on the subjects.

In the document, prepared after the first week of a two-week gathering, the bishops suggested the Church recognize that homosexuals had “gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community.” The document also posed the question of whether the Christian community was capable of accepting them “without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony;” saying that often homosexuals were hoping for a “Church that offers them a welcoming home.”

The document also suggested that pastors around the globe look at the “positive aspects of civil unions and cohabitation.”

“Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions,” the document said, “it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners.”

The document will be discussed and rewritten over the course of the week, until the gathering concludes this weekend. The final document will then be used as a basis for discussion over the next year in the Catholic Church, when, in Fall 2015, Pope Francis has scheduled a second gathering for where Church changes can be put forth.