Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lucia Did the Pope really relax the Church's stance on "gays"?

During an 80 minute interview with journalists, when Pope Francis was apparently asked about gay people, he answered “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Pope Francis' answer to the question has been reported all over the place - but not the actual question itself.  This has lead to excitement in some quarter that Pope Francis is somehow changing the direction of the Catholic Church on her attitude towards homosexuals. Misinformation is being spread, mainly through is this AP article, regurgitated by news sources such as Stuff, with quotes such as the following:

Gay leaders were buoyed by Francis' non-judgmental approach, saying changing the tone was progress in itself, although for some, the encouragement was tempered by Francis’ talk of gay clergy's ''sins".

''Basically, I'm overjoyed at the news," said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of the US-based New Ways Ministry, a group promoting justice and reconciliation for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people and the wider church community.

''For decades now, we've had nothing but negative comments about gay and lesbian people coming from the Vatican," DeBernardo said in a telephone interview from Maryland.

The largest US gay rights group, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), said in a statement that the pope's remarks "reflect a hopeful change in tone".

The real change in tone comes from journalists, not from the Pope. Pope Francis is being cast as a change of direction from Pope Benedict, when he is no such thing.  Both popes are Catholic and will continue to be so, and no one should be surprised about this.

Here is the actual question that Pope Francis was asked (translated by the Salt and Light blog from Italian), in relation to the new head of the Vatican Bank who might have had a gay affair:

I would like to ask permission to pose a rather delicate question. Another image that went around the world is that of Monsignor Ricca and the news about his personal life. I would like to know, your Holiness, what will be done about this question. How should one deal with this question and how does your Holiness wish to deal with the whole question of the gay lobby?

Pope Francis' answer was as follows (also translated by the Salt and Light blog). I've bolded the part that has been picked up by the world, so you can see it in context of the entire answer:

Regarding the matter of Monsignor Ricca, I did what Canon Law required and did the required investigation. And from the investigation, we did not find anything corresponding to the accusations against him. We found none of that. That is the answer. But I would like to add one more thing to this: I see that so many times in the Church, apart from this case and also in this case, one looks for the “sins of youth,” for example, is it not thus?, And then these things are published. These things are not crimes. The crimes are something else: child abuse is a crime. But sins, if a person, or secular 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 and this is very important for our lives. When we go to confession and we truly say “I have sinned in this matter,” the Lord forgets and we do not have the right to not forget because we run the risk that the Lord will not forget our sins, eh? This is a danger. This is what is important: a theology of sin. So many times I think of St. Peter: he committed one of the worst sins denying Christ. And with this sin they made him Pope. We must think about fact often.

But returning to your question more concretely: in this case [Ricca] I did the required investigation and we found nothing. That is the first question. Then you spoke of the gay lobby. Agh… so much is written about the gay lobby. I have yet to find on a Vatican identity card the word gay. They say there are some gay people here. I 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. They are bad. If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge that person? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this point beautifully but says, wait a moment, how does it say, it says, these persons must never be marginalized and “they must be integrated into society.”

The problem is not that one has this tendency; no, we must be brothers, this is the first matter. There is another problem, another one: the problem is to form a lobby of those who have this tendency, a lobby of the greedy people, a lobby of politicians, a lobby of Masons, so many lobbies. This is the most serious problem for me. And thank you so much for doing this question. Thank you very much!

What you can see happening with Pope Francis is what has been happening with previous popes over the decades. It's a misrepresentation of where they are coming from by ignorant or devious people who have an agenda. Hopefully the internet will be able to do with Pope Francis what hadn't been possible earlier, and that is clarification of what he actually said so that Catholics don't freak out and so that dissents and others don't get control of the message.

13 comment(s):

leftrightout said...

How much simpler and clearer are the words of Desmond Tutu.

"I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place.

"I would not worship a God who is homophobic, and that is how deeply I feel about this."

Seems Desmond is on the right side of history while Lucia and her Pope are happier keeping company with the misnamed Liberty Council and the Levites.

leftrightout said...

Seems the words of Desmond Tutu are not wanted on this blog.

How horrid it must be, trapped in a closed minded prison.

conzervative said...

Great piece team. Tnx for the Italian translation. Reposted here with further comment...

http://conzervative.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/the-pope-loves-gays/

leftrightout said...

“I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place,” Archbishop Tutu said at the launch of the Free and Equal campaign in Cape Town.
“I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.”
Archbishop Tutu said the campaign against homophobia was similar to the campaign waged against racism in South Africa.
“I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid. For me, it is at the same level,” he added.

Lucia Maria said...

Well, LRO. Looks like Tutu is flirting with eternal damnation. I wonder if he'll consider it was worth it when he's there.

mzala said...

Agree Lucia. His wish may be granted.
As a South African growing up under apartheid, was arrested,dealt with hundreds of murdered victims, I can honestly say that poor Desmond is a sad case as well as intellectually dishonest. We always had homosexual people in our communities and they were treated as human beings, as somebody's child, as children of God. Never did I observe nor hear of ill-treatment toward homosexual people because the (tight-knit)communities, if anything felt great pity toward what was identified as unnatural. Never did the idea of fighting for "homosexual rights" arise in the underground/banned structures. I was there. To equate the two is idiocy personified. On the other hand, his bank balance is swelling and his prominence increasing especially being a member of the anti-population "Elder" group (along with Mandela).

LRO, it is no co-incidence that the "movement" labels itself as "PRIDE" but if you want a grand-stand seat to 'oodles' of PRIDE, morally bankrupt Tutu displays it here in spades. It is PRIDE that guarantees a person a one-way ticket to Hell. Forever!

leftrightout said...

Lucia, I think Desmond is drawing close to understanding that god is a human construct, thus he speaks as freely as he does, simply pointing out that too many people worship a bigoted god, not a loving god.

leftrightout said...

mzala, where do I start with your post?

We always had homosexual people in our communities and they were treated as human beings, ...

Does treating them as human beings include prison sentences for 7 years? Because that was the law under the apartheid years. Maybe you yearn for a return to such days.

Never did I observe nor hear of ill-treatment toward homosexual people

Ignorance is no excuse.

if anything felt great pity toward what was identified as unnatural.

Identified as "unnatural by whom? Anything that occurs in nature, as homosexuality does, is natural. It is part of the observable, natural world. On the other hand, a god that is not observable, not part of the natural world, is, well, un natural.

Never did the idea of fighting for "homosexual rights" arise in the underground/banned structures. I was there.

Then you are ignorant, again. You are obviously unaware of the Gay Association of South Africa, the Rand Gay Organisation and the Organisation of Gays and Lesbians against oppression, all of whom were active during the apartheid years.

Perhaps this documentary will open your eyes to how gays were treated in the military. http://shop.oia.co.za/featured/property-of-the-state-gay-men-in-apartheid-military/

Go get an education, then you might be suited to discussing facts with adults.


mzala said...

LRO
And you, living at the end of the world know better than somebody who was involved with the underground (banned)structures at that time. How do you know about these groups that were in existence at that time? A computer makes you educated?????

mzala said...

LRO
Btw, you don't know me or my background but yet you claim "ignorance/ignorant". A case of the (no pun intended), the pot calling the kettle black?

ZenTiger said...

LRO said: "“I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.”

Good on Tutu. He's got a chance of worshiping the same God then.

LRO - you make sweeping assumptions and attribute positions that are not actually held, then you attack those assumptions. You are rude to boot, and such rudeness only provokes people to respond in kind.

The point Mzala makes about how he and his community treated gay people with compassion is well made. I suggest that many New Zealanders would act exactly the same, yet we see deplorable stories from time to time of a gay person being beaten up merely for being different. Yet that doesn't mean that is the general experience for all gay people in NZ. I suggest you treat his testimony with a little more respect - insinuating he is a liar does you no credit.

ZenTiger said...

LRO Said - "Seems the words of Desmond Tutu are not wanted on this blog.

How horrid it must be, trapped in a closed minded prison."


After your years of visiting this blog, you assumed we deleted a comment like this, rather than ask us to check the spam file? How horrid it must be to be trapped in a closed minded prison.

I've checked the spam and released several messages - thanks for the heads up.

Ezekiel Benedict said...

Desmond Tutu is on the wrong side of the truth. Like all liberals he is wrong about everything. Its a strange mindset that sees endorsement of sexual depravity as the litmus test of orthodoxy.

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