LGBT Outreach and Tolerance of Polygamy: Vatican Urges Liberal Reforms

Roman Catholic bishops should discuss how the Church can be more welcoming to LGBTQ+ people and divorcees, a Vatican document released on Tuesday said.

They should also reflect on how to give women more decision-making power and allow them to be ordained deacons, it said.

The 50-page working document for a global synod of the bishops also proposes discussion on allowing married men to become priests in remote areas – a possibility that Pope Francis put on hold following talks in a similar meeting in 2019.

It even appears to suggest that the Church should be understanding towards those in polygamous relationships.

The synod has been in preparation for two years, during which Catholics around the world were asked about their vision for the Church. A first session will be held this October and a second in October 2024.

The document, known by its Latin title Instrumentum Laboris, includes suggestions for reflections and discussions for the delegates stemming from the consultations.

After the synod, the pope writes what is known as an Apostolic Exhortation, an official document setting out his views on which, if any, of its recommendations should be taken up. This is likely to come some months after the second session.

One “question for discernment” in the document reads:

“How can we create spaces where those who feel hurt by the Church and unwelcomed by the community feel recognised, received, free to ask questions and not judged?

“… what concrete steps are needed to welcome those who feel excluded from the Church because of their status or sexuality (for example, remarried divorcees, people in polygamous marriages, LGBTQ+ people, etc.)?”

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