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Vatican Reviews Policies on LGBTQ+ Parishioners, Women in Leadership

The Catholic Church is looking inward. A new document released today indicates that the church is aware of some outdated teachings and may consider a more significant role for women and LGBTQ+ people.As part of Pope Francis's ongoing consultation process with Catholics worldwide, a new Vatican document covers several topics, including women's ordination, homosexuality, children of priests, sexism, and clergy abuse, which were once considered of utmost taboo within the Catholic Church, National Catholic Reporter reports.Under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, just mentioning many of the topics raised in the new document may have raised an alarm.

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Pope Francis Tells Parents Not to 'Condemn' Gay Children in Unexpected Remarks
Pope Francis told parents of gay children not to condemn them but to support them."Never condemn a child," the pope said in off-the-cuff remarks during his weekly general audience on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press, which reported that the move was the latest outreach gesture from the Catholic church to the LGBTQ community."Parents who see that their children have different sexual orientations, how they manage that and accompany their children and not hide behind a condemning attitude," Pope Francis was quoted by the AP.The official teaching from the Catholic church calls for gay people to be respected and loved; however, it considers homosexual activity "intrinsically disordered," according to the AP.Francis has made moves during his papacy to welcome members of the LGBTQ community to the church. Recently, he congratulated an American nun, Sister Jeannine Gramick, on 50 years of her LGBTQ ministry, which was previously condemned by the Vatican, the AP added.In 2021, the Vatican's doctrinal office issued a document saying Catholic priests were not allowed to bless same-sex marriage unions; however, Francis said it can support civil union laws to give gay partners joint rights in terms of health care, inheritance issues and pensions, according to New Delhi Television (NDTV).Conservatives in the Catholic church, which counts 1.3 billion members in total, believe the pope is giving mixed messages on homosexuality and is confusing those who are faithful, NDTV added.In 2021, Pope Francis allowed publication of a Vatican document stating that the church would not bless same-sex unions because God "cannot bless sin," according to the AP.