10 October 2014, The Tablet

Synod bishops consider care of children of gay couples

Children of gay couples should be baptised and welcomed into the Church, the Synod has heard.

The children of gay partners or whose parents are in any "irregular situation" already bear "heavy burdens", one bishop said, but that should not stop them having access to the Church or the sacraments of Baptism and Communion.

Vatican spokesman Fr Thomas Rosica said the Synod fathers were concerned about the "faith development" of these children.

Fr Rosica told a press conference: "Those [who are] broken, alienated, whether they have alienation imposed or those pushed out, we must be concerned with their children."

He said participants were concerned for the children "who are often victims or bearing very heavy burdens because of these irregular situations."

He said: "On the children of gay couples. How do we assist? We don’t refuse the sacraments. We care for them, we provide pastoral care for them."

The Church should communicate this to their parents and let them know that it does not refuse to baptise their children, and cares about their well being. This should happen during church support groups or "listening groups", he said.

Fr Rosica also updated journalists on the ongoing discussions about Communion for the divorced and remarried saying that there was "great emphasis on the idea of a penitential journey the church would like to develop for those who have remarried".

One bishop described the world’s cities as full of the "widows and widowers of divorce" who are lonely and suffering, he said.

He added: "The Church must always announce the indissolubility of marriage but the Church also lives in world and what is required is a journey of penance and reconciliation to bring people back."

He said that more than one bishop had spoken about the possibility of divorced remarried being admitted to Communion after a period of penance, but added: "This is not a simple solution."

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