Although Saint John Paul II emphasized the dignity of every human being, the church seemed to find little or no way to affirm that dignity. Is the Francis effect finally beginning to bear fruit in this area?
"The church constantly faces the tension of upholding the truth while expressing compassion and mercy. Families face this tension all the time."
Uganda's Catholic bishops reaffirmed their opposition to homosexuality, but reserved judgment on a recently ratified bill imposing harsh punishment for homosexual acts in the East African nation.
"Our reaction from the church is very clear, we don't support homosexuality," Msgr. John Baptist Kauta, secretary-general of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, told Catholic News Service by phone Feb. 26.
He said that when the anti-gay bill was first discussed, the country's bishops had been against the harsh penalties it involved for homosexual acts, including the death penalty.
The head of the Catholic church in India has reiterated its opposition to "criminalization" of homosexuality.
"It is for the government and the legislature to sort out the situation now," Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai said after the Supreme Court declined to review its December ruling on an anti-sodomy law.
The December ruling served to reinstate Section 337 of India's penal code, a law that outlawed homosexuality, making it a felony subject to fines and sentences of up to 10 years to life in prison.