Catholic church not relaxing doctrine on homosexuality

Catholic church not relaxing doctrine on homosexuality
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Roman Catholic bishops will not relax the Church's strict doctrine on homosexuality, though they have agreed to soften their line towards divorced couples, according to Reuters. 

The outcome of three weeks of closed-door debate, known as a synod and presided over by Pope Francis, appeared to mark a victory for conservatives and a failure for reformers. The final document from the meeting is due to be released later Saturday.

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"It is a document of consensus. You will not find much about homosexuality in this document. Some people will be disappointed," Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Vienna said at a news conference. 

During the synod, some of the 270 bishops that participated said the 1.2 billion-member church should use introduce welcoming and inclusive language regarding gays, but many others said homosexuality was still "too delicate a theme" in their countries. 

Schoenborn, who is a progressive, said the document would re-state Church teaching that while homosexual tendencies are not sinful, homosexual acts are.

"The doctrine is clear," Schoenborn said, according to Reuters. "And there is no need to repeat it."

The synod also addressed how to minister to the large number of Catholics with failed first marriages who have divorced and remarried in civil ceremonies. 

Current Church doctrine says divorcees cannot receive communion unless they abstain from sex with their new partner since their first marriage is still valid in the eyes of the church, and they are seen to be living in an adulterous state of sin.

Some bishops said that the doctrine could be modified so individual Catholics could receive communion after personal spiritual counseling on a case-by-case basis.