What Rome giveth, Rome taketh away

So much for this past week’s news that the Catholic Church might be willing to extend a more welcoming hand to LGBT families — called, euphemistically, “irregular unions” — or to “regular” families with LGBT children. What had been widely interpreted as welcoming paragraphs in a draft report from the bishops’ synod on the family were first watered down and then stripped away entirely.

Begone lesbians and gays! Poof!

Conservative bishops and cardinals won the day apparently, although not without some interesting wrinkles thrown in by Pope Francis — who, of course, has been seen as prodding, if not pushing, for a more compassionate stance. Here’s a great report from the Washington Post.   Perhaps one of the most interesting wrinkles is that one of the most virulently anti-gay cardinals, Raymond Leo Burke, has now been demoted by Pope Francis.  Burke, who used to be archbishop of St. Louis but of late has been heading the Vatican’s top court on canon law, protested the synod’s draft vehemently and even attacked Francis publicly, saying that he had no right to disregard (Burke’s presumed interpretation of) canon law and Catholic doctrine.  Burke will now go from being, in essence, the Vatican’s chief justice to being “patron of the Knights of Malta.” The title says it all.  Here’s a story from the Gay Star News.

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