Wow you check the news at lunch and find out that the Church has reconsidered the whole anthropology of the human person and that documents are to be rescinded and a new Catechism issued.
Or at least that is what catechesis by headline would have us believe.
Last week speaking to journalists on the flight to Brazil he said:
It is true that I do not give interviews, but why, I do not know, I can’t, it’s just like that. For me it is quite an effort to do so, but I thank all of you here.
Previously I had commented on this thinking really regardless of the reason this is a good policy since for the most past nothing good comes of these interviews. Mainly journalist gotchas to generate pageviews.
So I was a bit surprised that he did give an informal interview when leaving Brazil.
The part generating the most heat:
“A gay person who is seeking God, who is of good will – well, who am I to judge him?” the pope said. “The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says one must not marginalize these persons, they must be integrated into society. The problem isn’t this (homosexual) orientation – we must be like brothers and sisters. The problem is something else, the problem is lobbying either for this orientation or a political lobby or a Masonic lobby.”
Somehow this has both outraged some within the Church and also became a cause for jubilation within and without the Church.
My first reaction was the Pope should have stuck to not giving interviews for the reasons mentioned above and that his off-the-cuff articulation of this is easily misunderstood. Although he could have read passages directly from the Catechism and from the CDF’s Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on The Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons and it would have been misunderstood. Most of the world is unused to both/and thinking. Treating with respect and love those who suffer from same-sex attraction while also condemning homosexual acts as intrinsically evil. This lack of both/and thinking makes everything seem as a contradiction where none exists.
Jimmy Akin as usual has a helpful article on the subject 7 things you need to know about what Pope Francis said about gays.
So mostly my thinking is the press and revisionist Catholics misconstrues what the pope says, in other words the sun rose again today.
One thing I could wish for is that Catholics not use the word “gay” because of all the baggage now associated with it. I try to avoid it myself, but I can understand how it easily becomes a short-hand term for person with homosexual attraction. Looking at the Spanish language report of what he said the Pope used the English word “gay” which I guess has become the same across languages. Much of our language describing this is rather clumsy and even the tern “homosexual person” found in Vatican documents can imply more than it intends by equating sexual identity as the primary focus of the human person.
Watching Twitter over the day I saw some rather odd things. For one a Traditionalist site retweeting Fr. James Martin, SJ in some-what agreement.
Well call me nuts for actually believing the faith hasn’t changed since yesterday.
“But my dear fellow, this is the twentieth century!” It is worth having a little training in philosophy if only to avoid looking so ghastly a fool as that. It has on the whole rather less sense or meaning than saying, “But my dear fellow, this is Tuesday afternoon.“ – G.K. Chesterton ”The Common Man"
This is what happens when you become an agenda Catholic and see everything via a filtered lens that blocks out part of the truth. In Fr. James Martin’s case this is a bit of a hobby horse for him (or is that gay lobby horse?). He often comments on stories regarding homosexuals while letting you read into it his own opinion. He never comes out directly and says homosexual acts are not intrinsically evil, but to me he seems to dance around it a lot.
While a Tweet does not have room for much nuance, his interpretation is purely wishful thinking. Fr. Martin also seems to have a problem with both/and thinking. So again if Fr. Martin thinks that this is actually a sea change (Holy See change?) and that those with deep-seated homosexual tendencies will now be specifically accepted to the priesthood than he just might want to reflect on his “nut-calling.” That he can believe that the same man who in opposition to Argentina’s move to legalize same-sex marriage said:
“Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”
Or in his first Encyclical approved of or wrote the line “stable union of man and woman in marriage” is now going to approve of homosexual acts needs to check his water supply for contamination.
Moving on, while the media concentrated on the one paragraph there was also many other things discussed in the 80 minute interview.
This is the Google Translate version of a Spanish article on the interview:
Q. You have not spoken yet about abortion or about marriage between same sex. Brazil has passed a law extending abortion rights and another that includes marriages between persons of the same sex. Why has not talked about that?
A. The Church has already expressed perfectly on that, it was necessary to go over that, nor talked about cheating, lying or other things about which the Church has a clear doctrine. No need to talk about it, but the positive things their way to the boys. Moreover, young people know exactly what the position of the Church.
Q. But where you stand on these issues?
A. of the Church, I am a son of the Church.
Funny how “I am a son of the Church” did not make it into headlines or when the Pope reaffirmed the teaching regarding ordination to the priesthood or concerning Communion for civilly divorced Catholics who remarried without a declaration of nullity. We will not be seeing a headline saying “Pope affirms Catholic teaching” anytime soon.