“I didn’t think there’s anything in it that an Evangelical Christian couldn’t enthusiastically endorse or at least understand favorably”
I read the whole article. It had a number of statements that I would object to...most importantly, a failure to mention repentance prior to forgiveness.
“I mention to Pope Francis that there are Christians who live in situations that are irregular for the church or in complex situations that represent open wounds. I mention the divorced and remarried, same-sex couples and other difficult situations. What kind of pastoral work can we do in these cases? What kinds of tools can we use?
We need to proclaim the Gospel on every street corner, the pope says, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing, even with our preaching, every kind of disease and wound. In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are socially wounded because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.
A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person? We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing.”
Please notice the question involved same sex couples - people living and practicing homosexual acts.
"The confessor, for example, is always in danger of being either too much of a rigorist or too lax. Neither is merciful, because neither of them really takes responsibility for the person. The rigorist washes his hands so that he leaves it to the commandment. The loose minister washes his hands by simply saying, This is not a sin or something like that. In pastoral ministry we must accompany people, and we must heal their wounds."
This is what he's getting at, and I think he's right. He sees that rigorism and laxity both deviate from the path of true mercy. The rigorist says "You're wrong" and chop-chop, that's it. He's a Pharisee who won't lift a finger to help. The laxist says "You're OK, it's all good," and again, does not help the sinner to understand his sin, nor to become free of it.
The key is seeing the person, first. Not the sin, but the person. What follows is a relationship of trust, in which the sinner knows you're for him. How else can you lead him to Christ?
Ok; let's CONSIDER.....
20. Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous
21. that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know."
4. Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house.
5. They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."
6. Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him
7. and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing.
Isaiah 3:9 The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves.
2 Peter 2:13b Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.
49. "`Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.
50. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.
1. But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves.
2. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.
3. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
4. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;
5. if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;
6. if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;
7. and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men
8. (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)--
9. if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.
10. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings;
11. yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord.
12. But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.
13. They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.
But there IS hope!!!
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
9. Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived:
Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
10. nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
11. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
If you could NOT change, you would be in most pitiful shape...