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Get Ready for the Intentional Misconstruing of the Pope's Words About Gays

Oh boy. There's nothing wrong with what Pope Francis said here but the words are vague enough that those who want to misconstrue them will have plenty of opportunities to do so.

Yahoo News has the part in question:

The National Catholic Reporter says Francis participated in a wide-ranging interview with reporters on the plane for close to 90 minutes. While he spoke openly about many church topics, Francis' most newsworthy soundbite came when he said he would not judge gay priests and seemingly opened the door for gay acceptance within the church. "When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby," Francis told reporters. "If they accept the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem … they’re our brothers." As the Associated Press points out, this is a radical change of position from Francis' predecesscor, Pope Benedict XVI, who signed a church document in 2005 banning homosexuals from serving the church.
I'm not sure how the AP calls this a "radical change" from Pope Benedict.

And I don't even understand the term used in the story about opening the door for gay acceptance in the Church. Were gays not allowed in the Church before? The Church calls all sinners, and last I checked that means everyone.

While some may start thinking that perhaps the pope shouldn't give off the cuff interviews, the truth is that this happens with every recent pope. This reminds me of when Pope Benedict was reported in the media to have changed the Church's teaching on contraception a few years ago. He didn't, as we all know. But his words, if artfully and intentionally misconstrued, could've kinda' sorta' intimated a change. But that's not what he meant.

Be prepared for liberal Catholic publications to take this and run. I expect this quote from Pope Francis to be used over the next few years almost as must as "judge not lest ye' be judged."


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ProudHillbilly said...

Thought of that as soon as I heard it...

Anonymous said...

Considering the data on our misnamed "pedophile" crisis in the USA church which data proved was overwhelmingly a homosexual ephebophile predation (the victims were largely 12 to 17 year old males), this off the cuff remark was a huge blunder. Who are any of us to judge/ Well, adult reasoning humans made in the image of God and needed to use the gray matter he gave us to judge ACTIONS and protect those vulnerable to those actions.

Katalina said...

As the above comment show this pope has been making these off the cuff remarks for months now and too many seem not to care about all the confusion they cause. Another example is his remarks on the scandal Chinese exposed a week ago. He says the allegations are false. Was Sandra Magister and the authorities in Uruguay all lying then? I think the Cardinals could have made a better choice in March IMHO.

tro said...

The Catechism describes the inclination to homosexuality as "objectively disordered". That sounds like a problem to me.

Bishop Francis needs to think carefully before he opens his mouth. And didn't he just say he doesn't like giving interviews?

Maybe his comments were influenced by his friendship with his lunch buddy, Monsignor Ricca, of course.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, having an objectively disordered inclination is not sinful. Acting upon it is, and if said act is done freely, with due reflection, it is mortally sinful.

His Holiness is right. I would not want any of you to judge me for my disordered inclinations - some of which could be considered much worse than same-sex attraction. When I act upon them, I am a worse sinner than any sodomite. When I refuse to act upon them, I am the same as anyone else.

The Church is right: Persons with same-sex attraction are not sinful. They have a particular problem. We all have particular problems. Some of mine are far worse than homosexuality.

Christ is the Judge of persons, not us. We can judge acts all day long.

Aged parent said...

Clarity has not been a hallmark of this man thus far. But when it comes to this subject clarity is essential. Too often do I see and hear our prelates referring to homosexual Catholics, as if they are mere Catholics with a bad cold, or Catholics of a different race. Too rarely do I hear talk of mortal sin.

But as one great Saint has noted, when people can lose their reason when this subject comes up, especially if they are too sympathetic to this particular sin.

But aside from all that the remarks he made are disturbing, to say the very least.

Anonymous said...

Its not disturbing unless he suddenly says:

"Hey! Homosexual acts are not sinful! They are the same as sexual intercourse between a married man and woman."

THAT would be disturbing. This is not the same thing. He is reiterating Church teaching and nothing more.

What disordered inclinations do YOU have? Do you want to be thrown out of the Church for simply HAVING them? Or do you want to fight against them with the grace of Jesus Christ within His Body, the Church?

That is the question. I can't stand the "gay" pride movement. And homosexual activists are liars - sinfully telling vulnerable people that it is okay to act on their disorder. And His Holiness obviously disagrees with them as well. As does the Church.

But they - even the activists - are still people worthy of love and respect, even when they hate us and spit at us. And that is what the Pope is saying. It is what Christ says.

Separate act from person. Separate act from appetite.

Andy said...

I don't think the pope's comments cause confusion. I think the mainstream media, who think like the revolutionary morally-subversive sort they are, cause the confusion. The lies that our nation have come to believe cause the confusion.

The pope saying "don't judge homosexuals" means that we shouldn't judge them as being willful sinners. They may have same sex attraction but that doesn't mean they aren't fighting against it. And so we should give them respect and the love of Christ.

That's not to say that the pope is overturning the ban against ordaining priests with same-sex attraction. That law is still in effect as long as the document is in place to the best of my knowledge. The pope said nothing about this practice. We are still able to judge that we should be cautious about people with certain tendencies; prudence demands it.

But of course, no one these days listens to reason to try to actually understand what the pope is saying, at least, not the media. I guess that's our job as disciples to help inform the world of false understanding. It will be a constant struggle until the end.

Anneg said...

The comments are very clear in Spanish. It's the translation and then reinterpretation that is a problem.
He did say he hadn't seen anybody with a membership card in the gay lobby, but nobody should be constructing their own lobbies. He also talked about a lot of other stuff. Problem is mostly linguistic. Pray for him, y'all. He needs protection from those who prowl about seeking the ruin of souls.

tuleesh said...

It's not wise to reach conclusions on the "bits and pieces" the press likes to dole out. And it's good to keep in mind the media is no friend of the Church. Even though they seem to be "charmed" by His Holiness.

It's better to wait until the whole transcript is released. After all, it was an hour+ long interview. Perhaps Pope Francis was referring to clergy and not seminarians? Won't know until the transcript is released, and there is full context...

Besides, it wasn't like the Pope was speaking ex cathera. And, boy, oh boy, we had better pray for the Pope for when he does!

Anneg @ 2:39 PM Thanks for pointing out the translation/interpretation consideration.

tuleesh said...

Aged parent @ 1:43 PM

Unfortunately, you are right. Decent catechesis would go a long way in making things clear for all Catholics. Only once in the last 5 or 6 years have I heard a priest even hint at the Four Last Things in a sermon. We'll see what the next few years bring.

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