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Consensus Eludes Vatican Synod on Gays


Prelates and Pope Francis attend a morning session of a two-week synod on family issues at the Vatican, Oct. 13, 2014.

Just as it seemed the Roman Catholic Church might ease its stance on homosexuality, bishops from around the world removed language doing just that from a new Vatican document.

The final version of the document was issued Saturday at the close of a two-week assembly, or synod, of 200 Catholic bishops.

An earlier version released during the week had spoken of "accepting and valuing their (homosexuals') sexual orientation" and giving gays "a welcoming home."

The final version is more general, saying gays "should be welcomed with respect and sensitivity," and that discrimination against gays "is to be avoided."

Conservatives criticized the earlier draft, calling for major revisions in a sign of division with progressive members of the Church.

In a blow to Pope Francis, the homosexuality paragraph did not even make it into the final document, failing to reach the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

The bishops also failed to approve paragraphs on allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive communion.

Some information for this report comes from AP, AFP and Reuters.