The Catholic Church has dropped the acronym LGBT from an official document discussing recommendations on how to welcome young people into the church.
The Synod on Youth—a global summit for Catholic bishops—took place over the month of October, with a final 60-page document approved on Saturday night (October 27).
The working draft of the document had included the LGBT acronym, making it the first time it had been used by the Vatican in an official capacity.
However, the final publication does not use the initialism or the words “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender,” instead using words such as “sexual inclination” and “homosexuality.”
A number of young people were allowed to sit in and speak at the meeting, which was held as the Catholic Church is embroiled in a sexual abuse scandal, but they were not allowed to vote.
According to Religion News Service, the document’s watered down Section 150 on LGBT+ people was passed by just two votes—making it the slimmest majority of any of the votes on the 167 proposals in the publication.
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A number of progressive European and US bishops called for the use of more explicitly inclusive terminology to welcome LGBT+ young people into the church. However, some bishops from Africa and North America campaigned against the use of language that could be viewed as the Church approving of LGBT+ people, including the use of the acronym, at the Synod.
An article in the progressive Catholic newspaper The Tablet described the omission of “LGBT” as a “missed opportunity for the Church,” adding that it was “a chance to build bridges with young gay people, to demonstrate a keenness to love and listen, that was sacrificed to a reflexive obsession with preserving the status quo.”
Bishops at the meeting also called for women to take on decision-making roles at the Church. However, no women were allowed to take part in ballots at the Synod.
The Synod document adds to the Catholic Church’s lukewarm stance on LGBT+ issues.
In May, Pope Francis told a gay man, who was the victim of clerical abuse, that god had given him his sexuality.
According to The Guardian Pope Francis told the man: “Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care.”
But in August, Pope France advised parents to take their gay children to see a psychiatrist—remarks that, according to the Vatican, were not meant to be comparing homosexuality with a mental illness.
And, in October 2017, the pope suggested that trans and non-binary people could make others infertile.