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not necessarily so. I spoke with a friend who had friends who were Catholic and refused to annul their marriages, due to the fact they didn't want to acknowledge their marriage didn't exist. In the end, they ended up leaving the church.

At least the Orthodox practice acknowledges the existence of the marriage of past; and learns to address it, accordingly.

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Originally Posted by Lester S
Originally Posted by Peter J
Originally Posted by twf
This is not, however, as Otets suggests, "ultramontanism" in play. The Pope is not sitting in an ivory tower, isolated from the world, promulgating decrees. He consults with the cardinals, he convenes synods, etc...and THEN promulgates decrees on behalf of the Church universal.
That's not ultramontanist?

word
Thank you. cool

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The Orthodox present at the Extraordinary Synod are Fraternal Delegates [press.vatican.va]

"Orthodox Church Representatives Have Their Say at the Synod" [ncregister.com]

"Fraternal Delegates to Synod on Family: we share same concerns, hopes" [en.radiovaticana.va] "Metropolitan Hilarion, representing the Patriarchate of Moscow is expected to deliver his address to synod participants in the coming days."

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http://www.aol.com/article/2014/10/13/vatican-document-challenges-church-to-change-attitude-to-gays/20977155/?icid=maing-grid7%7Chtmlws-sb-bb%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D544776

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aol news story written By PHILIP PULLELLA

(Reuters) - In a dramatic shift in tone, a Vatican document said on Monday that homosexuals had "gifts and qualities to offer" and asked if Catholicism could accept gays and recognize positive aspects of same-sex couples.
The document, prepared after a week of discussions at an assembly of 200 bishops on the family, said the Church should challenge itself to find "a fraternal space" for homosexuals without compromising Catholic doctrine on family and matrimony.
While the text did not signal any change in the Church's condemnation of homosexual acts or gay marriage, it used less judgmental and more compassionate language than that seen in Vatican statements prior to the 2013 election of Pope Francis.
"Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community: 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," said the document, known by its Latin name "relatio".
"Are our communities capable of proving that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?" it asked.
John Thavis, Vatican expert and author of the bestselling 2013 book "The Vatican Diaries", called the report "an earthquake" in the Church's attitude towards gays.
"The document clearly reflects Pope Francis' desire to adopt a more merciful pastoral approach on marriage and family issues," he said.
London-based QUEST, one of the oldest Catholic gay rights groups, said in a statement that parts of the synod document "represent a breakthrough in that they acknowledge that such unions have an intrinsic goodness and constitute a valuable contribution to wider society and the common good."
The Vatican document will be the basis for discussion for the second and final week of the bishops' assembly, known as a synod. It will also serve for further reflection among Catholics around the world ahead of another, definitive synod next year.
A number of participants at the closed-door gathering have said the Church should tone down its condemnatory language when referring to gay couples and avoid phrases such as "intrinsically disordered" when speaking of homosexuals.
That was the phrase used by former Pope Benedict in a document written before his election, when he was still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and head of the Vatican's doctrinal department.
EDUCATIONAL CHALLENGE
The language and tone of Monday's document, read to the assembly in the presence of Pope Francis, appeared to show that the advocates of a more merciful tone toward homosexuals and Catholics in so-called "irregular situations" had prevailed.
It said that the 1.2 billion-member Church should see the development of its position on homosexuals as "an important educational challenge" for the global institution.
While the Church continued to affirm that gay unions "cannot be considered on the same footing as matrimony between man and woman", it should recognize that there could be positive aspects to relationships in same-sex couples.
"Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions 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 said.
Pope Francis has said the Church must be more compassionate with homosexuals, saying last year: "If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge."
The Church teaches that while homosexual tendencies are not sinful, homosexual acts are. Elizabeth Saint-Guily, spokeswoman for David and Jonathan, a gay Christian association in France, said the group had received news of the synod document "with joy," even though not all of the group's expectations had not been met. "The fact that we are even on the agenda is amazing ...," she said.

Latest news from the Synod on families. I thought they were to discuss families and how to strengthen them. Guess not. Maybe the demotion of conservative cardinals signaled that "the fix was in."

Bob

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I have to admit, this is scary.

While I can accept the idea that "Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community ..." I would immediately insist that we have to accept them as individuals, and not as couples. Their private sins are between them and God, and I believe we can look past their "gay" mannerisms as long as they seem to be trying to live according to the Gospel (and how many of us can say we're successful at doing this?).

However, I don't see how we can go further than that. I mean seriously, how could anyone possibly "... accept and value their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?"

To me, this seems to be the squarest circle you could possibly conjure up, and that to "accept and value their sexual orientation" would necessarily mean "compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony." How could it be otherwise?


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Perhaps the Synod needs to read some of the Early Fathers:

Basil the Great

"He who is guilty of unseemliness with males will be under discipline for the same time as adulterers" (Letters 217:62 [A.D. 367]).

"If you [O, monk] are young in either body or mind, shun the companionship of other young men and avoid them as you would a flame. For through them the enemy has kindled the desires of many and then handed them over to eternal fire, hurling them into the vile pit of the five cities under the pretense of spiritual love. . . . At meals take a seat far from other young men. In lying down to sleep let not their clothes be near yours, but rather have an old man between you. When a young man converses with you, or sings psalms facing you, answer him with eyes cast down, lest perhaps by gazing at his face you receive a seed of desire sown by the enemy and reap sheaves of corruption and ruin. Whether in the house or in a place where there is no one to see your actions, be not found in his company under the pretense either of studying the divine oracles or of any other business whatsoever, however necessary" (The Renunciation of the World [A.D. 373]).

St. John Crysostom:

"[Certain men in church] come in gazing about at the beauty of women; others curious about the blooming youth of boys. After this, do you not marvel that [lightning] bolts are not launched [from heaven], and all these things are not plucked up from their foundations? For worthy both of thunderbolts and hell are the things that are done; but God, who is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forbears awhile his wrath, calling you to repentance and amendment" (Homilies on Matthew 3:3 [A.D. 391]).

St. Augustine

"[T]hose shameful acts against nature, such as were committed in Sodom, ought everywhere and always to be detested and punished. If all nations were to do such things, they would be held guilty of the same crime by the law of God, which has not made men so that they should use one another in this way" (Confessions 3:8:15 [A.D. 400]).

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Would that those "gifts and qualities" be chastity and celibacy!

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Isn't this just adapting the practice of economy into the pastoral life of the Catholic Church? No doctrines or teachings are being challenged or questioned.

Should the sick be given a room in the hospital or left on the sidewalk to die?

Obviously the devil may well be in the details, but I don't see anything wrong on the face of it.

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Both heterosexuals and homosexuals who are Catholic have "gifts and qualities," especially if they are faithful to Christ and the Faith. They have those qualities as authentic Christian believers, not because of their sexual orientation.

All people should be treated with dignity and respect; the Church mandates that the faithful treat homosexuals with Christian kindness, right in the text of the Catechism.

Ambiguous language is extraordinarily dangerous. It has been the cause of horrifying abuse of Church doctrine and praxis in modern Western Catholicism since the conclusion of Vatican II. Given the nature of Pope Francis, who himself often speaks in ambiguous phrases, I am deeply concerned about the direction of this Synod.

Depending on the outcome of thi Synod, I may very well finally be able to jump off the uncertainly fence and head towards Orthodoxy. To be seen- what disconcerting times for the Catholic Church. Spiritual anarchists and secularists are cheering at the pronouncements emanating from the Synod thus far. That is chilling.

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Certain mystics and seers have predicted for years that a false and dark church will arise in the midst of the church. Evidently, the actual church will undergo suffering at the hands of the imposters. This is supposed to extend to the top of church leadership. True? I don't know, but recent events may be pointing in that direction.

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I am rather concerned about what the "relatio" defines as "accepting" and "welcoming". Are these vague words intended to be synonyms of "affirming"?

Secularists and spiritual leftists would deem them so, no doubt.

All are called to Christ, gay and straight. If this synod document is calling upon parishes to welcome chaste same-sex couples, I have no issue with that. But given the ambiguity, you know that sexually active homosexual married partners will be at the communion line openly in countless parishes.

Where is the clarity? Have ANY Eastern Catholic prelates offered their thoughts on this Synod as of late?

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Would you mind identifying these Christian mystics and where their statements can be located?

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On same-sex unions, for instance, the Synod of Bishops has yet to issue any sort of pointed criticism of gay marriage. It has, however, brought an absolute novelty – today, a senior cardinal stood on Rome’s biggest stage at the moment and said that the church needs to see the positive value in committed same-sex relationships, including instances of “mutual aid to the point of sacrifice” that is a “precious support in the life of the partners.”

None of this means that Catholic doctrine is on the brink of changing, as the synod has made clear that’s not in the cards. It may, however, augur a new era of what might be called “lifestyle ecumenism,” in which the church approaches people living outside its ideal for marriage with friendship rather than condemnation.
John Allen on the Synod of the Family [cruxnow.com]

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chaste same-sex couples

This seems to be the kind of oxymoron that produces so much of the confusion over what is the Faith and what is not that has afflicted the Catholic Church in the last 50 years. It seems to me to be akin to "chaste heterosexual couples" who happen to live together. At best, it's the sin of scandal--the image given to others, weak in the Faith or the young who are not yet catechised about what is morally right and what is morally wrong. Of course, we don't teach about the sin of scandal anymore so that ought to be irrelevant.

I have to wonder what this does for the many stands that the Church has taken int he U.S. that has cost it so dearly. The Catholic Church has been forced out of the adoption business in some states because they refused to place children with same-sex couples. Then there are the number of teachers who have been fired from Catholic schools for publicly entering a same-sex marriage where that is legal or publicly announcing a same-sex relationship. Do they all get re-instated and do the agencies go back into business reversing their previous stance?

Bob

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Originally Posted by BenjaminRH
Would you mind identifying these Christian mystics and where their statements can be located?


I believe that, like urban legends, these predictions have passed verbally for decades. I was told in the 1960s that by the turn of the century that there would be a split in every Christian community between those who kept the Faith and those who would not (read try to accomodate the world).

Bob

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