While the pope judges legislation to give gay people rights as the work of the evil one, I will not be joining the chorus singing his praises. Never judge Pope Francis by the headlines – the devil is in the detail.
Whenever Pope Francis says something news worthy very quickly someone from the Church will clarify – do not panic it is business as normal in the thoughts of the church.
Regarding gay people the context of his remarks was about gay priests:
[Pope Francis] broached the delicate issue of how the Catholic hierarchy should respond to clerics who are gay, though not sexually active. In doing so, he departed from the posture that has long shaped papal thinking on gay priests.
“Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?” the pontiff told a news conference in response to a question. “You can’t marginalize these people.” [WSJ]
So the answer was specifically about the celibate clergy. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York was quick to say nothing has changed:
“Homosexuality is not a sin. Homosexual acts are.
“[Pope Francis’] is articulating well…the traditional teaching of the church.
“In no way could this be interpreted as a change in church doctrine.” [HuffPost]
Well, that is how it is being interpreted. Yet those that know Pope Francis remember what he wrote about when in Argentina, opposing gay marriage writing to monasteries in Buenos Aires:
‘Let’s not be naive, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God.
‘We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.’ [Source]
He also mentioned gay people adopting was child abuse.
So before we start announcing Christianity is cool again we must accept that we need to realise there is a battle inside the church to be had – where some claim to be on the side of angels against demons.
With this in mind I echo Gary Meir that gay priests need to come out to see change happen.
What is cool is Desmond Tutu refusing to enter a homophobic heaven and making it clear that he would judge God wrong in this situation.
The problem is that Pope Francis does not see anything wrong with the church’s teachings. Reform will be pressure from the grass roots, or people leaving the faith as the church becomes marginalised for the treatment of human beings.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog