The Synod on Synodality and the LGBT Debate

By: Jacob Adams

April 22, 2023

Spring 2023 Student Symposium: REWA Minors

The Catholic Church is currently in the midst of a Synod on Synodality whereby Catholic leaders in each region of the Church are consulting among themselves and laypeople of the Church about the future of Catholicism. The Synod of the German Catholic Church has taken the unprecedented step of recommending to Pope Francis and the bishops around the world that the Church modify its teaching on homosexuality.  Pope Francis has been described by some as a pontiff of a different kind compared to his predecessors: one more welcoming to those who feel alienated by the church, and one who supports a more hands-on approach towards Church governance. This paper will examine the pontiff’s viewpoint through some of his early actions, including the Synod on the Family and his papal exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The paper will then discuss Fr. James Martin, S.J.’s approach towards LGBT issues in the Catholic Church as a potential framework for change in the Church on these matters.


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Martin, James, S.J. Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2017.

Rocca, Francis X. “German Catholic Leaders Support Blessings for Gay Couples, Challenging Pope Francis.” Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2021. 

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Catechism of the Catholic Church.” Accessed May 11, 2022. 

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