Chief Executive Tracey Byrne said, ‘The outcome of the Synod represents a significant shift in thinking and a brave move by those willing to affirm their support for gay and lesbian people. A substantial majority of the cardinals, only slightly short of the two-thirds majority needed, voted in support of the draft statement, and it’s being reported that a number who voted against the statement did so because they felt it did not go far enough in its support for gay and lesbian people. Pope Francis is to be applauded for convening the Synod, and for providing an opportunity for Catholics around the world to contribute to this ongoing process of listening and discernment in such an open way.’
Gay and lesbian Catholics from the UK were amongst those who attended the event in Rome, and a further meeting is due to take place there next year to continue the deliberations.
Ms Byrne added, ‘Here in the UK many gay and lesbian Catholics experience acceptance and affirmation in their lives, identities and relationships, and the example of the support and welcome extended to those in the Archdiocese of Westminster is particularly worthy of note. LGCM supports Cardinal Vincent Nichols both in this work, and in expressing his view that the draft Synod document does not go far enough in welcoming, respecting and supporting gay and lesbian people.’
‘Whilst there remains much to be done, particularly in those parts of the world where people would seek to use religion to justify oppression and violence against LGBT people, there can be no doubt that the Synod represents a very definite step in the right direction which LGCM welcomes. None of us expects change to happen overnight, but by small steps, and the Synod certainly gives plenty of cause of optimism and hope.’