[A Frankenbishop on FrankenPope and “modern families”]
San Diego’s Bishop Robert McElroy would like … a compassionate approach to Catholics who are divorced and remarried [and] a welcoming attitude toward gay parishioners …
Although McElroy was not part of the synod, or assembly of bishops, called by the Vatican in 2014 to consider family life and the church, he expects Pope Francis to summarize his findings next year.
The pontiff, McElroy predicted, will reaffirm church teaching that marriage is a lifetime commitment between one man and one woman — but may also welcome divorced and remarried Catholics into the life of the church, allowing them to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist.
He also expects “new outreach and initiatives” toward gay Catholics. While the church does not recognize same-sex marriage and regards sexual activity outside marriage as sinful, McElroy stressed that church membership is not determined by a single litmus test.
“In Catholic thinking,” he said, “it is absolutely wrong to reduce someone to their sexual identity or their sexual life.”
Instead, McElroy said, the church needs to be equally welcoming to all members, gay or straight. He noted that some parishes within the diocese have shown an openness to families led by same-sex couples, baptizing their adopted infants and enrolling their children in parochial schools.
“I wish there was more of this welcoming,” the bishop said, “but there is a lot of welcoming going on.”