Pope could change catechism’s language on LGBTQ+ issues

catechism's language

A prominent theologian has said the pope has the power to change the catechism’s language regarding homosexuality.

However, Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, who was involved in drafting the Catechism of the Catholic Church, has reinforced Church teaching on LGBTQ+ issues.

Speaking at a press briefing during the Synod of Bishops on Synodality, Schönborn stated that the Pope has the prerogative to modify the catechism.

He cited a precedent in Pope Francis’ 2018 revision of the Church’s stance on the death penalty.

Pope Francis changed the catechism’s language to say that capital punishment is “unacceptable”.

LGBTQ+ issues have been a major point of interest during this month’s Synod of Bishops.

It is one of the most frequently asked about topics alongside other hot-button issues such as women’s priestly ordination and the married priesthood.

In terms of whether there will be further changes to the catechism’s language, Schönborn said he does not know.

He added that “the pope is the only one who can decide because he’s the one who promulgated the catechism.”

The cardinal recommended viewing the text holistically, stressing the importance of respecting all individuals despite their sins.

“Human beings always have the right to be respected, even though they sin, which we all do.

“I personally, you, all of you, we all sin, but we are entitled to be respected; we have a right to be respected” Schönborn said.

Global shift in the Church

Cardinal Schönborn pointed out a shift in the Catholic Church’s centre from Europe to the global south.

This included regions in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Schönborn said what had struck him throughout the synod process was “the fact that Europe is no longer the main centre of the Church.”

He noted the Catholic Church’s centre had shifted to the global south including regions in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

He remarked that these regions have more developed continental bishops’ conferences and more synodality.

Europe is “lagging behind a bit in the way in which we live synodality among the local churches in Europe. I think we need some stimulus to move forward,” Schönborn said.



CathNews New Zealand

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