The Vatican has had to backtrack on a landmark welcome to gay people in the Catholic church after bishops voted against it.
The proposals, put forward by Pope Francis, failed to win a two-thirds majority from bishops who gathered from around the world in Rome for a Catholic Church synod.
Many conservative bishops had been angered at a draft report which called for greater openness towards homosexuals and divorced people, and these paragraphs had to be scrapped.
Thomas J. Reese, an analyst for National Catholic Reporter, believes the vote is not the end of the discussion.
“I think that these issues are going to continue to be discussed during the coming year, especially the issue of how to deal with people, who have been divorced and remarried. The document does not resolve it. It says that some bishops said one thing, other bishops said something else,” he said.
The original draft laid out that gay people had “gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community.” This was changed to say simply that discrimination against gays “is to be avoided.”
However, more than half of the bishops did vote in favour of Pope Francis’s reforms showing a significant shift in attitude. The Pope has called for further talks on the issues before the synod meets again in a year’s time.