Sunday, September 27, 2015

Frank Wilson: Pope Francis And His Words Of Reaffirmation

Frank Wilson, my friend and former editor at the  Philadelphia Inquirer, offers his take on Pope Francis and his visit to Philadelphia, Washington and New York at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The media like it when Pope Francis says something that can be construed as "progressive," even when what he says, taken in context, turns out to be pretty unexceptional.

"If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill," the pontiff said in July 2013 on a flight back from Brazil, "who am I to judge?"

It is true that this pronouncement differs sharply from the position of Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. Benedict called homosexuality "a strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil," and suggested that any man with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" should not enter the priesthood. This latter view seems peculiar, given that every man who enters the priesthood, whether straight or gay, must remain celibate.

But Francis' remark echoes Jesus' own advice to "judge not, lest ye be judged." Likewise, his recent call for Christians to resist the temptation of the "God of money" is paralleled by Jesus' own observation that "you cannot serve God and mammon."

Even the business about extending the right to forgive what Catholics regard as the sin of abortion to all priests is not as innovative as it has been made out to be. To begin with, bishops already had discretion in this matter, and many had already done as the pope has (and his extension is only for the Year of Mercy that begins in December).

The bottom line, though, is that if the Catholic Church is about anything, it is about the forgiveness of sins, and any steps taken to make the path to forgiveness easier can only be regarded as strictly orthodox.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 

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