Bishop McElroy’s Implementation of ‘Amoris Laetitia’: “Embrace LGBT Families”

Bishop McElroy’s Implementation of ‘Amoris Laetitia’: “Embrace LGBT Families”Most Reverend Robert W. McElroy, Bishop of San Diego, convened a Diocesan Synod on October 29-30, with the participation of priests and lay representatives from close to one hundred parishes.1

The Synod’s purpose was to reflect on the teaching of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia and how to apply it to the diocese’s pastoral policy.2

Synod Proposals and “LGBT Families”
One of the proposals presented for Synod discussion was how to “develop resources for parishes to minister to families (i.e. divorced, single-parent, widowed, deployed, deported, special needs, multigenerational households, LGBT).”3 In a list of fifteen priority-ordered proposals, this proposal came in as number two, immediately after the proposal to “Provide marriage preparation and ongoing support of marriage as a vocation.”

Synod Embraces “LGBT Families”
The Diocesan Synod accepted the notion of “LGBT families.” This can be seen from various sources, as for example the National Catholic Reporter,4 but above all in “an update from the Diocese” published in various parish bulletins on November 13, 2016.5

The diocesan update states, “The Synod pointed to the need to invite young couples lovingly, non-judgmentally and energetically into Catholic marriage.…”

Concerning “those who are divorced and remarried and cannot receive an annulment,” the Synod delegates spoke of a need for the Church to assist them “to utilize the internal forum of conscience in order to discern if God is calling them to return to the Eucharist.”

The diocesan update further states that “the Synod proposed a spirituality of family life which is deeply inclusive: embracing…LBGT families.”

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In closing, the update states, “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 diocesan update is clear that, in its “deeply inclusive” outreach, the Synod accepted that God can “call” irregular couples to receive Holy Communion. The update is also clear that the Synod’s “embracing” of “LGBT families” was its response to the Diocesan Synod Proposals, and that Bishop McElroy will be implementing this “embracing” throughout the San Diego diocese.

What Is “Embracing…LGBT families”?
Interviewed by the National Catholic Reporter, Holy Child Sr. Tobie Tondi, a theologian assisting the Synod, declared: “Pope Francis’ document is incredibly fresh and new and eye-opening, and there’s a lot of education that’s needed to understand the direction that he is seeing for the church.” Sister Tondi continued, saying she is “hopeful … that there will be an even greater outreach to people who feel alienated from the church, whether it’s divorced people, or people who might be in same-sex relationships, or cohabitation, people who are living together.”6

Nowhere in the diocesan update and in reports on the Synod does one see that there was any mention of, much less emphasis on, the sinful nature of same-sex relationships. Nevertheless, Catholic doctrine’s clear condemnation of homosexual sin was all the more necessary considering the country’s immersion in homosexual propaganda, pressure from unjust laws, and the Supreme Court’s iniquitous decision to legalize same-sex “marriage.”

This omission is all the more disturbing since the Church Magisterium, faithful to Scripture7 and Tradition, has always condemned homosexual practice as an extremely serious sin, to the point of including it among the “sins that cry to heaven for vengeance.”8

Homosexual Unions Are Neither Similar nor Remotely Analogous to Families
Regarding marriage and the family, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a document on June 3, 2003, titled Considerations Regarding Proposals To Give Legal Recognition To Unions Between Homosexual Persons. Signed by its Prefect, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (the future Benedict XVI) and its Secretary, Archbishop Angelo Amato, this document states unequivocally:

“There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law.”9

We Must Protest This Subversion of Catholic Faith and Morals
We cannot be indifferent and silent in face of the attempt by Bishop McElroy and the Diocese of San Diego to spread confusion and diminish the horror of Catholics for the sin of homosexual acts and same-sex “marriage.” Rather, we must reiterate our repudiation for homosexual sin and this diocesan ambiguity that seems to equate marriage and the family established in accordance with nature and God’s grace, with spurious unions based on an unnatural and gravely sinful act.

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If we are to be faithful to our Baptism and Confirmation we cannot escape from this obligation. Our Baptism gave us supernatural faith. Our Confirmation turned us into “soldiers of Christ”10 and gave us “the grace and strength to profess and defend the faith courageously.”11

In addition to our firm and respectful protest, we must pray and offer reparation to God for this offense against divine Justice and Mercy. Yes, against divine Mercy. Because the divine and natural laws are means provided by God’s Mercy to help us attain eternal salvation by showing us the sins that prevent us from loving and adoring Him above all things—the very reason for which we were created.


  1. Cf. Most Rev. Robert W. McElroy, “Embracing the Joy of Love: A Pastoral Message to the People of the Diocese of San Diego,”, accessed Dec. 3, 2016.
  2. Cf. Diocese of San Diego – Synod on the Family,, accessed Dec. 3, 2016.
  3. Proposal Documents (English),, accessed Dec. 3, 2016. (Our emphasis.)
  4. Amy and Dan Morris-Young, “San Diego Diocesan Synod Seeks to Put ‘Amoris Laetitia’ Into Action,”, accessed Dec. 3, 2016.
  5. “Pastor’s Column: Diocesan Synod ‘Embracing the Joy of Love’” in Saint Thomas More Catholic Church parish bulletin, Nov. 13, 2016,, accessed Dec. 3, 2016. See also “Diocesan Synod Update” in Saint Joseph’s Cathedral parish bulletin, Nov. 13, 2016,, accessed Dec. 3, 2016, and “From the Desk of Msgr. Dennis” in San Rafael Parish bulletin, Nov. 13, 2016,, accessed Dec. 3, 2016.
  7. Cf. Gen. 13:13; Lev. 18:22; Lev. 20:13; Rom. 1:16-27, 1 Cor. 6:9; and 1 Tim. 1:10.
  8. Francesco Cardinal Roberti et alii, Dictionary of Moral Theology, p. 1139. Cf. CCC §1867.
  9., accessed Dec. 3, 2016.
  10. Thomas Scannell, “Confirmation” in The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908), accessed Dec. 4, 2016 at
  11. Gregory Manise, O.S.B., “Confirmation,” in Roberti, Dictionary of Moral Theology, p.282.

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