Â Thanks to the mainstream media, gays worldwide are giddyÂ overÂ what they think Pope Francis said and meant during his impromptu, 82-minuteÂ news conference aboard his Alitalia flight home to the Vatican after his triumphant visit to Brazil.
For example, Reuters.com blared the headline, “Pope Says Gays Should Not Be Marginalized,” the BBC declared, “Pope Francis: Who Am I to Judge Gay People,” the Daily NewsÂ ran with,Â ”Pope Francis: I Won’t Judge Gay Priests,” etc., all of which the Pope did say.
However, much of the MSM omitted or minimized the context in whichÂ Francis spoke those words, a context that clearlyÂ demonstrates he was notÂ altering Catholic doctrine in any way.Â ItÂ certainly does not indicate that there would be any change in the age-old tenet that homosexuality is â€œobjectively disorderedâ€Â since same-sex relations cannot lead to children and hence areÂ contrary toÂ natural moral law and condemnedÂ by Scripture.
In response to a press question as to the existence of a “gay lobby” in the Holy See, a questionÂ the PopeÂ really didn’t address but rather dismissed with a quip, â€œI have yet to find on a Vatican identity card the word â€˜gay.â€™ â€Â (It should be noted, though, that he has previously acknowledged that such a lobby is alive and all too well in the Vatican.)
Â Pope Francis did say, â€œI think that when we encounter a gay person, we must make the distinction between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of a lobby, because lobbies are not good. . . . If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge that person?â€Â and cited church teaching that gays should never be marginalized: â€œThe problem is not that one has this tendency [to homosexuality]; no, we must be brothers.â€
To the chagrin of mostÂ in the MSM, neither response blazes new gay paths for Catholics but rather dovetail precisely with what the Church has always taught, namely that we should condemn the sin, not the sinner.
FrancisÂ did seemÂ to contradict Pope Benedict XVI’s viewÂ that men with â€œdeep-seated homosexual tendenciesâ€ should not become priests, thatÂ â€œHomosexuality is incompatible with the priestly vocation,â€Â and that homosexuality is “one of the miseries of the Church.”Â Francis defendedÂ Monsignor Battista Ricca who has been accused of having had a gay affair years ago by saying, â€œIf a person, or . . . priest or a nun, has committed a sin and then that person experienced conversion, the Lord forgives and when the Lord forgives, the Lord forgets.â€
ThatÂ belief also perfectly aligns with the Church philosophy of forgiving the sinnerÂ while condemning the sin.
Richard Gaillardetz, president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, later parsed Francis’ words,Â â€œPope Francis seems to feel that as long as a gay priest is not acting out sexually, he should not be judged.Â And he apparently sees no impediment to that priest serving the church well.â€
If Gaillardetz’ parsing is valid–and I don’t know his personal interest in the matter nor do I know hisÂ sexual proclivities–Pope Francis is terribly wrong in that assumption.Â The Pope, of course,Â was not speaking ex cathedra during the Alitalia presser so it’s still possible he may change his opinion on endorsing the ordination of even latent homosexuals.
Forgiveness is divine.
However, encouragingÂ the same policies, desperate policies of knowingly recruiting both known and “non-practicing” gays into the priesthood in order to fillÂ seminary vacanciesÂ which have caused the vast majority of sex scandals and have resulted in payments in the billions of much-needed dollars to victims of homosexual priests and haveÂ decimated the reputation ofÂ the Roman Catholic Church,Â strikes me asÂ beyond foolish.
Pope Francis is an exceptional Pope.Â Bishop of Rome,Â patriarch of the world’s 1.2 billionÂ Catholics, direct successor of Saint Peter, he is at once modest, frugal, and simple in the best sense.Â For those disenchanted with some of Francis’ views and statements, take heart.
As Slate.com, one of the most extreme liberal-leftist websites on the Internet reminded its readers,Â ”Before he was pope, Francis waged an ultimately unsuccessful push to prevent Argentina from becoming the first Latin American country to legalize gay marriage, and declared that allowing gay couples to adopt was discrimination against children.”
This Pope may have failed to convince his native Argentinians that men marrying men and women marrying women was, umm, unnatural and he may have failed to convince them that homosexuals adopting kids was tantamount to child abuse yet he has convinced his enormous flock that he is one of us, he’s more than okay, and he will go down as one of the greatest pontiffs in history.
My wife wishes Pope Francis had expressed interest in a married clergy and women priests.Â I just wish he would ride in a bullet-proof popemobile!