Catholic Church Loosens Exclusions on Divorced Members

Conservatives in the Catholic Church won a partial victory in an important debate over homosexuality and divorced members of the church.

Wrapping up three weeks of talks, hundreds of bishops from around the world affirmed Church doctrine on traditional marriage.

The document they produced recognized the "dignity" of gays and lesbians, but it said same-sex unions can't remotely compare to "God's design for matrimony and family."

Preston Noell, of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, discusses the need for Pope Francis to reaffirm church doctrine on remarried Catholics and same-sex unions. His organization has collected more than 800,000 signatures urging the Vatican to "never separate from the teaching of Jesus Christ." Click play to watch.

Pope Francis warned those in the Church of the risk of "becoming habitually unmoved by grace" and turning a cold shoulder to God's most wounded.

Many conservatives were worried Francis' call for inclusion and mercy would clear the way for more liberal proposals.

But the 94-point final document outlined how to respond better to the needs of today's Catholic families. The document opens the door for divorced Catholics to be more involved in church life.

The text also covered a host of other issues, including immigration, poverty, single parenting, and polygamy. But the most disputed section concerned whether civilly remarried Catholics can receive communion.

Catholic teaching holds that without an annulment, members are essentially committing adultery and cannot receive communion.

The key paragraph says a case-by-case approach is necessary when dealing with remarriage since not everyone bears the same responsibility for the failure. It passed with only one vote more than the two-thirds majority necessary.

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