T he Catholic Church has given its most positive statement on homosexuality ever after commenting that it was time to ‘turn respectfully’ to same-sex couples and ‘appreciate the positive values’ the partnerships have. Cardinals have been meeting at the Vatican to discuss family policy and an interim report acknowledges that homosexuals have ‘gifts and qualities’ to offer which the Church must not over-look.

The comments mark a massive shift in the doctrine of the Church, which has previously seen homosexuality as a sin and refused to recognise any value in same-sex partnerships. The sea-change comes after the head of the Catholic Church worldwide, Pope Francis, released a ground breaking statement which called for a new understanding of homosexuality and a wider acceptance of same-sex couples.

The interim report also details a discussion as to whether divorced persons should be allowed to take communion.

The document is not a confirmation of any doctrinal change, but has been released to inform the public as to what has been discussed in the high-level meeting of 190 Cardinals. The meeting will continue for the rest of the week and although there will still be no formal changes to doctrine by the end of it, the meeting has been seen as the start of a big change which will see the Church develop a more liberal view on homosexuality.

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Natalie has been an LGBT journalist for 12 years and joined the Fyne team in 2001. Her interests outside of work are cycling, running and badminton. She is also studying for a degree in psychology.

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