Pope Francis criticized bishops who ''bury their heads in the sand'' after a three day synod ends with opening toward divorcees but rejected calls for more welcoming language towards homosexuals. Julie Noce reports.
Pope Francis criticised Church leaders on Saturday who quote "bury their heads in the sand" on matters pertaining to family issues. The pope's comments came after a three-week bishops meeting, or synod, on issues including divorce and homosexuality. The group issued a document stating that bishops and priests can work with Catholics who divorce and remarry in civil ceremonies on a case-by-case basis to decide whether he or she can be fully re-integrated into the Church. Regarding homosexuals, the document repeated the Church's stance that there was quote "no foundation whatsoever" for same-sex marriage, and that it "could not even remotely" be compared to heterosexual unions. During a news conference Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Vienna said many of the 270 bishops felt homosexuality was still "too delicate a theme" in their countries. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) AUSTRIAN CARDINAL CHRISTOPH SCHOENBORN, SAYING: "To have left it out does not mean that its not an important topic for the Church in Europe and North America but on a universal level, you have to respect political and cultural situations." After the document was issued, Pope Francis said the synod had "laid bare the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church's teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge..." The synod is an advisory body that doesn't have the power to alter church doctrine.