The following comes from a November 28 LifeSiteNews article by Claire Chretien:
San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy is calling on his city’s priests to embrace “LGBT families,” and to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion in certain cases.
Following a much-hyped diocesan synod on the family last month, Bishop McElroy encouraged priests to publish a diocesan notice in their bulletins saying the Church will “assist those who are divorced and remarried and cannot receive an annulment to utilize the internal forum of conscience in order to discern if God is calling them to return to the Eucharist.”
“The Synod proposed a spirituality of family life which is deeply inclusive,” and embraces “LBGT families,” the statement went on to say. “During the coming months Bishop McElroy will be working with a committee of synod delegates who will focus on the implementation of these goals.”
The statement, which multiple sources confirmed the bishop sent to priests of the diocese, has appeared in at least three San Diego parish bulletins and is one of the most liberal interpretations by a U.S. bishop of the pope’s controversial exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
The “internal forum” is the process by which a “remarried” couple living in a state the Church considers adultery may “discern,” usually with the help of a priest, whether they may receive Holy Communion. This is at odds with the Church’s perennial teaching on sexual morality and the Sacraments, which stipulates that only the divorced and remarried who live abstinently as “brother and sister” may be admitted to the Sacraments.
The notion that couples who are in sexual relationships with individuals other than their valid spouse–adultery–may decide they are eligible to receive the Sacraments anyway has long been condemned by the Church, including by Pope St. John Paul II in his apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio. In the wake of Amoris Laetitia, it has again been condemned by numerous Church experts, including a renowned philosopher and close friend of Pope St. John Paul II as “completely inappropriate” and a potential “pastoral catastrophe.”
The use of the term “LGBT families” is unusual for a Catholic bishop, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “A man and a woman united in marriage, together with their children, form a family” (CCC 2202) and family “is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life” (CCC 2207).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church also teaches that sexual acts between members of the same sex are “intrinsically disordered,” “contrary to the natural law,” and “under no circumstances can they be approved” (CCC 2357).
McElroy has previously called the Catechism’s language “very destructive.”
The synod also recommended the creation of a diocesan office that will specialize in outreach to the “LGBT” population, that he hire a senior level marriage and family staffer whose sole job will be to focus “on all stages of separation and divorce,” and that the diocese provide “formation” on the “internal forum” that is referenced in Amoris Laetitia.
In interviews with local media, McElroy stressed, “Our notion of family is an inclusive notion” and individual “conscience” is the “real core of Catholic teaching.”