Main | Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pope Francis: Don't Interfere With Gays

In a lengthy interview published today, Pope Francis declared that the Catholic Church should not "interfere spiritually" with the lives of gay people. CNN reports:
When Francis was a bishop in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he received letters from gays and lesbians who said they were "socially wounded" by the church, he said. "But the church does not want to do this," Francis said in the interview. The pope then recalled his comments in July, when he told the media aboard a flight to Rome, "Who am I to judge" gay people?" By saying this, I said what the catechism says," the pope told Spadaro. The catechism, the Catholic Church's book of official doctrine, condemns homosexual acts, but says gays and lesbians "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity."

"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." Francis said that someone once asked him if he "approved" of homosexuality. "I replied with another question," he said. "`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."

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods," he told his Jesuit interviewer. "I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that." But the pope said the church's teachings on those issue are clear, and he clearly believes in those teachings, so what else is there to say? "It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time," Francis said
More from the New York Times:
The 12,000-word interview ranges widely, and may confirm what many Catholics already suspected: that the chameleon-like Francis bears little resemblance to those on the church’s theological or political right wing. He said some people had assumed he was an “ultraconservative” because of his reputation when he served as the superior of his Jesuit province in Argentina. He pointed out that he was made superior at the “crazy” young age of 36, and that his leadership style was too authoritarian. “But I have never been a right-winger,” he said. “It was my authoritarian way of making decisions that created problems.”
Stand by for Bill Donohue to denounce the Pope.

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