Penny Carter: Is anyone gonna tell me what’s going on?
10th Doctor: What, you’re a journalist?
Penny Carter: Yes.
10th Doctor: Well, make it up!
Doctor Who Partners in Crime 2008
There seems to be a lot of people very worried about the media jumping all over the Pope’s statement as reported with weeping and Gnashing of teeth. Here is the ABC report in full:
Pope Francis is reaching out to gays, saying he won’t judge priests for their sexual orientation, in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference as he returns from his first foreign trip.
Francis says: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, authored a document that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests. Francis is being much more conciliatory, saying gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.
His remarks came Monday during a plane journey back to the Vatican from his first foreign trip in Brazil.
Before we even bother to touch this in context, lets look at it as ABC presents it.
“A person searching for the Lord and has good will” a person searching for the Lord is implicitly looking for truth, and person of good will, when finding truth will accept it. It might be hard, it might take time but a person searching the Lord will eventually find him waiting with arms open.
In other words, he is saying the Doctrine of the church as it has been, the problem being the MSM has always painted the church as something it is not.
This of course is not the message the media is transmitting or even wanting to transmit. The left is looking to spin this as: The Pope says Gay sex is OK and the low information voter might fall for it.
Catholics should not.
Now let’s look at it all in context. There are several issues, lets take them one by one:
Pope Francis told reporters, “I did what canon law said must be done, I ordered an ‘investigation brevia,’ and this investigation found nothing.”
The pope continued by talking about how “many times in the church, outside this case, but also in this one, we go searching for the sins — of one’s youth, for example — for publicity. I’m not talking about crimes here — the abuse of a minor is a crime — but of sins.”
There is a difference between sin and crime. You won’t always find crime when you look at a person but you’ll always be able to find sin because that is the nature of humanity:
“But if a person, whether a layperson, priest or sister, goes to confession and converts, the Lord forgives. And when the Lord forgives, he forgets. This is important,” he said, because those who want the Lord to forget their sins should forget those of others.
That is the whole point of confession, to have our sins forgiven. Even if we haven’t conquered them, even if we are still struggling with sin and wrestling with it as Jacob did with the angel.
“St. Peter committed one of the biggest sins ever — he denied Christ — and he made him pope,” Pope Francis said.
That’s some serious perspective. Now comes the quote the media is going nuts over.
“A gay person who is seeking God, who is of good will — well, who am I to judge him?” the pope said.
I’ve already gone over this but with the context above the message is even clearer. Stripped of all context it’s easier to spin, in context it’s a lot harder.
“The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says one must not marginalize these persons, they must be integrated into society.
Again this is clearly stated by anyone who has read it.
The problem isn’t this (homosexual) orientation — we must be like brothers and sisters.
We are all sinners and falling short of the glory of God, otherwise Christ’s sacrifice would not have been needed.
The problem is something else, the problem is lobbying either for this orientation or a political lobby or a Masonic lobby.”
BINGO! Once we define ourselves, are lives and our actions based on sin, or based on our desire for sin everything changes. Instead of being the woman caught in sin accepting the forgiveness Christ offers her:
“Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more.”
we instead answer back:
But Jesus, I like this sin, I enjoy this sin and who are you to really say this is sin? Maybe you should reconsider.
The media is setting two traps with the same bait. The media want both the uninformed about the faith and the faithful to think the Pope is saying something he is not and on the later Satan is helping out using the most effective temptation of all, the sin of pride.
Let’s not fall for either. I’ll give the last word to the Anchoress:
To proclaim a Gospel of Mercy and then only permit a man or woman who has converted their lives in Christ to assume lesser or menial positions is to say we do not trust our own teaching — Christ’s own teaching — about mercy. The pope is correct; by that way of thinking, Peter would never have been given the keys to the kingdom. We are the church of Saint Mary Magdalene and Saint Paul; sinners who were first forgiven and then trusted with prominence.
Update: KJ Lopez at National Review:
It’s important to bear in mind that the pope today seemed (we’ve been reading partial transcripts in news stories) to be talking about men who are priests, not seminary candidates. Fundamentally, he was talking about mercy. It wasn’t a break with Benedict or a policy change but an elucidation of Church teaching (which popes don’t make up on airplane rides).
The media has not mentioned that there has been a real change in the seminaries over the last 10 years and those changes haven’t changed.
Update 2: Lisa Graas makes a great point
Sandro Magister offers a concise explanation, in the context of the Msgr. Ricca story/scandal, of the difference in requirements re: same-sex attraction among priests, bishops and cardinals as opposed to consecrated persons. I knew this, but it leaped out at me as I read it as a point I have overlooked. A light bulb went off in my head.
Against homosexuals who live in chastity, including priests, bishops, cardinals, there is no preconceived hostility whatsoever in the Church, so much so that, in tranquility, a number of them have occupied and still occupy important positions.
What the Church does not accept is that consecrated persons, who have made a public commitment of celibacy and chastity “for the Kingdom of Heaven,” should betray their promise.
Aha. Like I said, I knew that…but it’s been going way over my head. If you want people to become saints, if you want people to know Jesus as St. Gemma did, you’re “hostile” to “gays.”
BTW that is a betrayal no matter who that vow is broken with is it’s own sin. If you have a second sin along with it that’s another story.
Update 3: Cardinal Dolan on CBS This Morning
What surprises me is that anyone is surprised
He is on the Today’s show and they are trying to pound him and he’s just letting it slide off his back.
Update 4: The Anchoress gets it so well we’ll quote her follow up post as well:
I am not sure many people fully realize what Francis did on that plane, so let me tell you: he neutralized the power of the media narrative; he exposed the truth that in Christ there is mercy and forgiveness, and that the church exists to offer this in his name; he set whatever “gay lobby” exists in the church on notice that while he has no intention of acting as gay-priest-witch-hunter, he won’t tolerate a bloc acting against the interests of the church.
in fact we’ll quote two of them:
As Mollie Hemingway pointed out at Get Religion, any pope discussing gay anything will make headlines. In this case, nothing Francis actually said about homosexuality was new. In fact, in these two quotes Francis is doing nothing more than pronouncing long-standing Catholic teaching on homosexuality, sin, and the mercy of God.
Let that sink in for a moment: A pope is teaching the Christian faith, and the press is accurately quoting him, in blazing headlines that everyone will read.
The Press doesn’t know what he is doing but the Holy Spirit does.
Update 5: Fr Longenecker
So if you think the mainstream media are pleased about Pope Francis the rock star pope. Think again. They’re hopping mad….
…but they’re not going to show it.
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