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Pope Francisí comments on homosexuality in the Big Interview
WDTPRS ^ | 9/19/2013 | Fr John Zuhlsdorf

Posted on 09/19/2013 5:04:36 PM PDT by markomalley

In the Big Interview (my first thoughts HERE), Pope Francis spoke on a range of issues, including homosexuality.

The MSM and catholic left and the squishy center is running with Francis’s jump-out quotes (traddies could maybe call them “scare quotes”).  If you look at MSM headlines, you take-away will be that Pope Francis is saying that abortion isn’t a big deal or that homosexuality is okay and that the Church doesn’t have a right to tell anyone what to do.

I don’t think that that is what he thinks or what he is doing or saying.

Let’s take a look at a portion of the interview in which Francis talks about homosexuality.  Pay attention to the vocabulary, even though this is a translation.  I haven’t yet verified the translation against the original.  My emphases and comments:

“We need to proclaim the Gospel on every street corner,” [That's the public square.] the pope says, “preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing, even with our preaching, every kind of disease and wound. [Something that needs healing is not a good thing.  Then he leaps immediately into the issue of homosexuality... ] 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. [Which has been made abundantly clear in documents issued during the time of John Paul II from the office guided by Joseph Card. Ratzinger.  The Church does NOT condemn homosexual people!  The Church sees the actions as sinful and the orientation as a wound.  I won't use the word "disease", because that gives absolutely the wrong sense of the wound.  I'll go with Francis' point that it is something that needs "healing".] 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, [Where, Holy Father, where?  On every street corner: the public square.] but God in creation has set us free: [We have FREE WILL.  We can choose to go against God's plan and law.] it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person. [God doesn't use mind control.  The Church doesn't use mind control.  The Church proposes and we either freely embrace it or freely reject it.]

“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?’ [Which is exactly what the Church teaches.  God loves everyone.] 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. [Well... maybe He does.  I hope and pray that is what happens.]

So, the Pope starting by talking about the healing of what is wounded.  He immediately went into the subject of homosexual persons.  He talked about the pain they feel.  He talked about our compassion and God’s love.  Now, in talking about homosexuality he says:

“This is also the great benefit of confession as a sacrament: [What happens in the Sacrament of Penance?  First and foremost you confess your own sins.] evaluating case by case and discerning what is the best thing to do for a person who seeks God and grace. The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord’s mercy motivates us to do better. [Confession is the "tribunal" in which you are simultaneously the accused and the prosecuting attorney. The Church's role, in the person of the mercy is to act as, simultaneously, minister of  justice and minister of mercy.  You accuse yourself of sins and the Church helps in the healing.  Remember, Francis is talking about homosexuality.  Now he pivots to other great issues where there is a disease or wound to be healed.] I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do? [If a confessor is involved at this point in her life then that is because she is confessing the sin she committed in procuring an abortion and for her parts or failures if any in the breakup of the marriage.  Those are diseases or wounds that need healing.  What does the confessor do?  He HEALS, first by absolving the sincerely confessed sin, and also by talking of God's love and mercy. He reconciles the women with the society of the Church as well.  So, let's go on and see if Francis is only saying that the Church shouldn't talk about abortion or homosexuality or that the Church doesn't have a right to tell anyone what to do....]

“We cannot insist only [only] on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. [In other words, we cannot a) limit ourselves to talking just about these burning issues and b) just talk about the sins and messes people get themselves into.] This is not possible. [We have a lot of things to talk about, in addition to those issues.  For example, the flipside of the issues, such as the joy of healing and returning to grace and life in God.] I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. [Right.  Some people want to hear more from Francis about these burning issues on which the Church's voice is being snuffed out.] But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. [YES!  In a context.  The context is that we are all sinners.  The context was established by Jesus: He told the woman taken in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.” (John 8:11)  He did NOT approve of the sin.  He called the sin what it is: SIN. At the same time He did not condemn the woman.  How is this difficult?  That is exactly the Church's position on homsexuals and homsexual acts which are sins.] The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time. [That, folks, is the take-away.] 

Let me repeat:

The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

This is what I think Francis is up to.

Francis’ pontificate is going to be about evangelization and putting a motherly face on the Church.

I suspect that, while he is Pope, Francis doesn’t want to see the words “Vatican condemns” a-ny-where.

I think that Francis thinks that constant correction and condemnation does more harm than good.  BE CAREFUL NOW: Francis said “all the time”.  He did not say “we should not talk about these things”.

Also, I did not say that I think Francis thinks that it is only harmful to correct and condemn, etc.  It does some good, but it also does harm.  I think he thinks that, right now, the harm to the Church’s message and motherly character outweighs the good that the correction does.  (At least considering the way we have been doing it.)

That is also why he thinks things need to be done more at the local level than by him.  He doesn’t want to see “Vatican condemns” or “Pope Francis condemns” all the time. That’s just about the only way that the MSM chooses to pay attention to Popes.  If they are not calling for peace, Popes are only reported on when they exercise one of the most important dimensions of their office: saying “No!”

To recap: People who focus just on the comments that Francis made about compassion for homosexuals and “social wounds” or about not talking about abortion all the time or that the Church has no right to “interfere” with people (as if to say that Francis thinks homosexuality is okay or that the Church should be silent in the public square or that we mustn’t talk about abortion) without also underscoring that Francis was talking about things which need healing and that they are matters for confession (read: sins) have distorted his meaning.

Some of you are saying “But Father! But Father! Should any Pope talk this way?  Doesn’t he understand that people take him out of context?  Should he say any of this?”

I respond that, when I am Pope, I’ll have a different style.  Headlines might read something like “POPE NOT SEEN IN PUBLIC FOR 100 DAYS! STILL ALIVE?”  But that’s a different can of chowder.  Francis is the one in the chair and he gets to speak and act with the freedom of the Vicar of Christ in a world that hasn’t been welcoming the Church’s message for a long time.  We shall see what results.

I read what the Pope says. Then I try to figure out what he is really saying, apart from my own preferences about how he should say it.   But, hey!. He talks about the Devil in stark terms, more than Benedict ever did.  Francis might not talk in philosophical terms about beauty and mystery, and truth – no, wait he did in Lumen fidei…. well… as much as Benedict did…. no, wait… Benedict wrote what Francis signed… well… as often as we might prefer.  Instead, Francis talks about things like damaging gossip and the sort of ambition that hurts people.  Oh, Lord, how I have suffered from both gossip and the machinations of the ambitious clerics during my years as a priest. I welcome Francis healing words about these sins!  These are concrete sins that are going on even more than homosexual acts or abortions, which are also sins.  These sins deserve attention also.  We know what the sins are.  Even people who deny that certain things are sins know that they are sins deep down.  Therefore, we can use lots of attention on healing the wounds of sin.

Dear readers, don’t focus only on the jump-out quotes or the scare quotes.

Read the whole context.  Let it sink in.  Think about it.


TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS: homosexuality; popefrancis
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To: SkyPilot
Huh?

Where is this statement, "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" a heresy to God's Word, the Holy Bible?

Are you saying that the Bible supports homosexual "marriage"?

Because Cardinal Bergoglio said that homosexual marriage was a machination of the devil.

41 posted on 09/20/2013 3:43:46 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: SkyPilot
The real quote: If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge him?

If you're going to post cheesy jpegs, I'd think you could at least post the correct quote.

BTW, a little bit later, he said: “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

42 posted on 09/20/2013 3:47:46 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: SkyPilot

But, of course, since you support homosexual “marriage”, I guess you wouldn’t want to understand what he actually says.


43 posted on 09/20/2013 3:48:31 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: markomalley

When did I ever say I support “homosexual marriage?”


44 posted on 09/20/2013 5:56:35 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot

” When did I ever say I support “homosexual marriage?””

Since you called his opposition to “marriage equality” a heresy against the Scriptures, what other conclusion should one draw.


45 posted on 09/20/2013 5:59:05 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: markomalley

The pope DID say what I posted, on July 22, 2013 during an interview with reporters. The “context” you posted adds nothing to detract from his moral relativism, in fact, it only adds to the bitter stew he himself is cooking.


46 posted on 09/20/2013 6:00:48 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: markomalley
I can see why there is confusion - I posted the wrong picture. I meant to post the one below. The initial one showed his statement regarding a debate about legislation in Argentina to legalize homosexual marriage, which they did. Back then, he was against it. Now, he is not "judging" homosexuals.

He has refuted his own statements, and that is what I meant to convey. My fault for the confusion - sorry.

47 posted on 09/20/2013 6:08:30 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: plain talk
"Well said statement by the Pope. You don't believe in Free Will? God does not force anyone to do anything. They choose."

Perhaps this is the wishful thinking your organization holds. As with many other traditions it promotes, this view does not comport with the Scriptures.

Prov. 21:1 "The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.

Prov. 16:9 "The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

There is nothing uncontrolled in the universe...

Prov. 16:33 "The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord.

Free will? Sorry. There are probably 100 more passages where free will is debunked. But, it requires one to read the text without the organizational glasses on. We have a God who really is God. Maybe the RCC should reconsider the god they worship...if they can.

48 posted on 09/20/2013 6:56:16 AM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: jodyel
"For those of you listening and hearing and who are genuinely interested, I invite you to PM me."

Very kind offer. Hopefully, God will allow someone to seek you out and visit.

49 posted on 09/20/2013 6:59:09 AM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Dutchboy88

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Thanks.


50 posted on 09/20/2013 7:02:00 AM PDT by plain talk
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To: jodyel

**utterly deceived and blinded **

We are not deceived and blinded. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Have you ever attended a Catholic Mass? Almost the entire Mass is from the Bible.


51 posted on 09/20/2013 7:15:37 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: plain talk
"Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Thanks."

I suspect that your organization does not agree that "everyone is entitled to their opinion". That is one of the great tragedies of Rome. They dictate exactly what you must believe, exactly what you must do to be rescued, exactly what you must do with regard to them. Check Vatican II out. Only the brass knows what you must believe. But, even this is being managed by God.

52 posted on 09/20/2013 7:42:03 AM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: SkyPilot

Is a repentant homosexual able to be saved?


53 posted on 09/20/2013 7:43:17 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: SkyPilot

Follow up question: if a repentant homosexual is saved and his sins are forgiven by God, then is it appropriate for other Christians to judge him based upon past sins that God has already forgiven?

(N B: if your answer to the previous question was that he is beyond saving, then please disregard this question)


54 posted on 09/20/2013 7:47:04 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: markomalley
The Bible says that if someone truly repents and believes that Jesus Christ is Lord, and confesses to Him, then they will be saved. Mark 1:15, Acts 2:38, Romans 10:9, Acts 16:31, and others.

I do not believe that any is "beyond saving" for Jesus. The Bible also warns us to watch against wolves in sheep's clothing (Matthew 7:15), false teachers (2 Peter 2: 1-3), and those who would alter God's Word (Revelation 22:18-19).

55 posted on 09/20/2013 11:16:33 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: markomalley

I appreciate your systematic breakdown of Francis’ words. You have put forth a fair analysis of the words and what the mean or may mean.

Honestly, your analysis is better than Weigel’s commentary on the interview. The reason I say this, is that you take it on in full and Weigel uses a strawman argument in his critique of we who are distraught over this interview.

He accuses those who critiqued Pope Francis as “misrepresent(ing) Pope Francis as an advocate of doctrinal and moral change. This is not the case at all. My point is that we live in a cultural depravity, where the gay lifesyle and abortion are intensively and consistently rammed down our throats. We need a strong Christian voice to stand up to these constant bombardments.

More importantly to me as a father, with two children in Catholic school, I have to consider if my children are capable of comprehending the subtleties of this Papal strategy.

“Dad, is it now wrong to pray and speak out against abortions? Is the Church changing on these issues?”

It makes our jobs as parents more difficult. Especially, as we let our senior children embark on to college, where the cultural indoctrination is inescapable.

Anyway, I still have major reservations about this new tone and this Pope. And I do appreciate the more Christ-centered approach, which you would think our Protestant brothers would be slightly more welcoming of lol.

Thanks for your analysis it is appreciated.


56 posted on 09/20/2013 12:01:07 PM PDT by rbmillerjr (We have No Opposition to Obam a's Socialist Agenda:)
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To: SkyPilot
I do not believe that any is "beyond saving" for Jesus.

Good. Neither do I.

The Holy Father apparently agrees with the two of us:

If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge him?

57 posted on 09/20/2013 5:24:50 PM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Just because one can read or hear scripture, salavation, does not mean one can understand it.

It takes the Holy Spirit living inside a believer to give understanding and discernment.

God bless,
jodyel


58 posted on 09/20/2013 8:23:27 PM PDT by jodyel
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To: Dutchboy88

I hope so, dutchboy...because that is all I really want...is for them to know the spectacular relationship with the Savior without the machinations of fallen men surrounding it.


59 posted on 09/20/2013 8:28:35 PM PDT by jodyel
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To: jodyel

Did you read the entire interview?

http://www.americamagazine.org/pope-interview
Complete text


60 posted on 09/20/2013 8:30:43 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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