clear of discussions about religion and politics if you want to avoid
confrontation is age-old, sage advice, but keeping the peace may have just
gotten easier. That's because Pope Francis' most recent
statement is one many of us can agree on ...
Six months into his papacy, Francis has laid out his vision for the church
and his priorities in an interview with La Civilta Cattolica, the
Italian Jesuit magazine. The lengthy, in-depth discussion was published today in
Jesuit journals in 16 countries, including America magazine in the
U.S., and the biggest takeaway by far is the Pope's warning that the Catholic
Church's moral structure might "fall like
a house of cards" if it doesn't dial down the stringent rules on
abortion, homosexuality, and contraception. Whoa! And
that's not all.
Pope Francis also emphasized what he believes is the need to make the
church a more merciful, welcoming place for all. And he lamented his
belief that "the church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in
small-minded rules." He also addressed homosexuality specifically by saying:
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
Wow! It's pretty groundbreaking that he's going there.
Especially in light of the fact that some bishops in the U.S. have been voicing
dismay that Francis hasn't been outspoken about abortion, contraception, and
homosexuality. But while Francis acknowledged he had been "reprimanded" for not
speaking out on those subject, he asserted that he doesn't have to and
"we cannot insist only on" these controversial issues.
Sounds good to me! While it's sure to have some tongues wagging and
tsk-ing, the messages Francis is sending sound reflective of more
inclusion and compassion. Hopefully it's indicative of him looking to take the
church a big humanitarian step forward.
What do you think about the Pope's controversial statement?
God doesn't get anything wrong. People just don't want to accept that God would actually disapprove of their lifestyle but he does. His norms are very clear to all of humanity in his word. It's up to us if we want to strive to meet them. He understands we are imperfect but it's on thing to miss the mark, and quite another to live without any regard for God's norms. It's our decision.