Catholic bishops scrap welcome to gays in sign of split

FILE - In this file photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano on Feb. 11, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI reads a document in Latin where he announces his resignation, during a meeting of Vatican cardinals, at the Vatican. It was a holiday at the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI was speaking in Latin at an arguably boring ceremony announcing new saints, so few people were paying much attention. But what Benedict said a year ago Tuesday changed the course of the 2,000-year-old Catholic Church and paved the way for the historic papacy of Pope Francis. In his soft voice and in a Latin that the cardinals present strained to understand, Benedict announced that he no longer had the "strength of mind and body" to be pope and would retire at the end of the month, the first pope to step down in more than half a millennium. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

Catholic bishops scrapped their landmark welcome to gays Saturday, showing deep divisions at the end of a two- week meeting sought by Pope Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families.

The bishops approved a final report covering a host of issues related to Catholic family life, acknowledging there were “positive elements” in civil heterosexual unions outside the church and even in cases when men and women were living together outside marriage.

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